If living a long and healthy life is a goal, there are steps you can take to turn back the clock.
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, whose award-winning research in DNA methylation – the regulation of gene expression, studied the difference between biological and chronological aging, and she clarified how people can feel better for longer in his upcoming book, “YOUNGER YOU: Reduce Your Biological Age and Live Better, Longer.”
Using epigenetics – the study of the impact of environments and behaviors on gene expression, the book details the eight-week pilot clinical trial conducted by Fitzgerald that reportedly reduced the biological age of participants by three years. through accessible diet and lifestyle adjustments.
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Fitzgerald told Fox News Digital that motherhood and reports of declining life expectancy in the United States inspired her to study biological aging. According to the most up-to-date life expectancy benchmark of the World Health Organization, the average lifespan of Americans is 78.6 years, while the average lifespan is 66.6 years.
“Our biological age is changing faster in this country than our chronological age,” Fitzgerald said. “And those last 16 years have passed with at least one – and for most of us – two chronic disease diagnoses. We’re not well. We’re not spending our last years in good health.”
While statistics show that Americans age biologically at a faster rate, Fitzgerald’s research indicates that there are ways to slow it down, and the process is surprisingly simple and cost effective.
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Have a nutritious diet
When it comes to reversing your biological age, Fitzgerald recommends modifying your daily diet to include nutritious foods, herbs, and spices.
“Obviously you want to eat more green and colorful vegetables like beets, and different herbs or plants like turmeric, which is in curry, and green tea – all of these have the ability to change our genetic expression to something younger when taken together.”
Fitzgerald recommends other nutrient-dense health foods, including low-sugar fruits like avocado, blood oranges, blueberries, grapefruit, and green apples; clean animal proteins like eggs, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, organic pork (if possible), lamb, and salmon; and healthy monosaturated, saturated, omega-3, and omega-6 fats” found in a variety of nuts and seeds.
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Daily carbohydrate intake should not exceed 35% of your calorie intake and most can be consumed through servings of fruits and vegetables rather than grains, which often contain gluten – a wheat protein that can cause inflammation in your body. some, Fitzgerald explained. i.e. Tom Brady and other gluten-free celebrities who have touted its benefits (Miley Cyrus, Ryan Phillippe, Kourtney Kardashian and more).
Do moderate exercise
Doing moderate exercise every day promotes cellular repair, sweat detoxification, and burns pro-inflammatory fat while strengthening heart muscle. According to Fitzgerald, not exercising can potentially shorten lifespan, as can smoking.
On a more positive note, the exercises useful for reducing bio-age are not necessarily intense.
“In our study, we also included a modest exercise prescription. It wasn’t anything crazy – just half an hour, five days a week, not really hard, sort of 60-80% perceived exertion “, said Fitzgerald. “So 60% would be you breathe a bit more, maybe a little sweaty, you know, nothing too crazy. What’s important is consistency.”
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Fitzgerald added that many healthy centenarians practice a lifestyle that includes some movement. These exercises can range from walking around town, to gardening, dancing, cleaning, or cycling.
Reduce your stress
Besides diet, stress is a leading cause of premature aging, Fitzgerald told Fox.
In his own words, “We are so stressed as a country. And stress is like gasoline on the fire of aging. But, research also shows that reversing that stress like meditation or maybe yoga or tai chi – has very good effects on our gene expression like contributing to that biologically younger profile.”
For his clinical trial participants, Fitzgerald prescribed a “basic meditation protocol.” She generally recommends 10 minutes of meditation twice a day, although there are relaxation podcasts or cuddling sessions with a pet or loved one that can help reduce anxiety and other stressors. .
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Don’t forget to repeat
Getting enough rest is the other key to staying biologically young, according to Fitzgerald. Sleeping at least seven hours a night not only helps keep your energy levels high during the day, but also promotes healthy DNA methylation.
“Sleep – if it’s good, the quality will keep us biologically younger,” Fitzgerald said. “If we don’t sleep well, we will change our gene expression to something that increases our risk of chronic disease, which in turn increases our biological age.”
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YOUNGER YOU: Reduce Your Bio Age and Live Longer, Better by Dr. Kara Fitzgerald will be available for purchase from January 18, 2022.