My kids used to accuse me of mentioning the worst case scenario too often when various situations arose. I believe we should be prepared for most things in our lives. What happens if you get laid off from work and can’t find another job? What happens if you get rear-ended coming home from work and end up in a long-term care facility for several months? Some things we can’t prepare for adequately. However, there are some that we can. Our health is actually one of the easiest. If we want to live a long, healthy life, there are things that we should pay attention to every day.
Shortened telomere length – the bottom portion of your DNA – affects your longevity. Inflammation shortens telomere length. Inflammation, in this context, is low-level chronic inflammation at the cellular level – not something we observe after an injury. All of us have some degree of low-level stress going on in our bodies at the cellular level every second of every day. Chronic low-level inflammation is the genesis of 90% of all disease. Stress is the genesis of 80% of all doctors’ visits. We can control both inflammation and stress.
Unabated chronic stress shortens telomere length and affects our health and longevity. If we are not doing something every day to alleviate stress in our lives, we should seriously consider starting today. Our bodies fight this stress continuously. Antioxidants are the primary weapons to fight both stress and inflammation from an internal perspective. Antioxidants are either water soluble (hydrophilic) or fat-soluble (hydrophobic). We need both. Examples of fat-soluble antioxidants are astaxanthin, vitamin A (liver, dairy, fish, colored fruits and vegetables), vitamin E (spinach, almonds, avocado, shrimp), carotenes (tomatoes, kiwi, carrots, bell peppers, oranges), and alpha-Lipoic acid (walnuts, seafood, flax seed).
Examples of water-soluble antioxidants are vitamin C (citrus fruits, raspberries, strawberries), polyphenols (berries, tea, apples, red wine), glutathione (consume sulfur-rich foods – cruciferous vegetables), and coenzyme Q-10 (spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, organ meats)