Here’s How To Slow Down The Aging Process, According To A Nobel Prize-Winning Biologist

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You’re getting older. Sorry, but it happens—to everyone. The effects of aging, however, don’t have to accompany the passing years—at least not as rapidly. A new video from Business Insider and Nobel Prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn explains the aging process and how we can slow down its effects.

Blackburn won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine—along with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak—“for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the enzyme telomerase.”

Telomeres hold the key to the effects of aging. They protect our DNA, but over time, wear down. When that happens, we age. Everyone will age, but some of us age faster than others. That’s where taking care of our telomeres comes into play.

In the video, Blackburn says we have the power to “slow down the onset or likelihood of getting diseases of aging.” To better explain how our body ages, she uses a simple example:

“Picture, if you will, a shoelace and at the end of the shoelace, there are little protective tips, often plastic,” she says in the video. “And if you imagine the shoelace is your DNA, then the protective tips at the end are called telomeres. Now, this matters for our cells because if the DNA is damaged by losing the telomeres when they get too short, then the cells can’t renew themselves.”

Blackburn says it is the damaged telomeres that speed up aging and particularly the onset of many of the diseases we get when we age—“like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, dementias, even stroke and lung diseases.”

If we keep our telomeres healthy, we can slow down the process of deterioration. The good news? We have the power to actively help protect our telomeres.

Blackburn says just getting exercise helps keep telomeres from getting damaged, and you don’t have to be a marathon runner (unless you want to). Simply walking briskly three times a week for 45 minutes is enough, she says.

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Adobe

Diet also plays a huge role. Make sure you’re eating healthy foods—like fruits, vegetables and nuts. Blackburn also suggests the Mediterranean diet, which continues to be praised by doctors and other health professionals.

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The fact that exercise and diet help maintain your telomeres also explains why staying active and eating well have such good effects on your health.

“We can see inside the cells that they’re helping to slow down cell aging because they’re helping to slow down the rate the telomeres wear down,” Blackburn says.

So if you needed yet another reason to eat healthy and exercise, here you go: It will keep you young.

To learn more, check out Blackburn’s book: “The Telomere Effect: A Revolutionary Approach to Living Younger, Healthier, Longer.

10 Foods That Have More Vitamin C Than An Orange

When it comes to loading up on vitamin C, our first thought is to grab an orange or sip on a cup of orange juice. Although the fruit is loaded with the nutrient (about 70 mg for a medium orange), there a number of other fruits and vegetables that contain more of the much-needed vitamin. Knowing what foods are rich in vitamin C can help you vary your diet, so you don’t have to feel obligated to chow down on oranges more often than you want to.

So why eat a diet rich in vitamin C? The nutrient is responsible for growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body, helping to improve your skin, heal wounds and fight cell damage.

If you want to include more vitamin C in your diet without eating citrus at every meal, try one of these 10 foods that have more vitamin C than an orange.

1. Chili Peppers

Turn up the heat! Just 1/2 cup of chopped chili peppers contains a whopping 107.8 mg of vitamin C. Add some spice to your dishes for more of the nutrient.

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Photo by hepp

2. Strawberries

One cup of the sweet fruit contains 84.7 mg of the vitamin. And strawberries don’t have to be just dessert: add them to your salads for a sweet and savory twist.

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Photo by Muffet

3. Bell Peppers

No matter the color, bell peppers are a great choice when it comes to loading up on vitamin C. For example, one medium red bell pepper contains 152 mg, while one medium green one contains 95.7 mg.

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Photo by *highlimitzz

4. Pineapple

Swap out your orange for some of this tropical fruit. One cup of pineapple contains 78.9 mg of vitamin C.

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Photo by yto

5. Kale

This leafy green kicks butt when it comes to its vitamin content. Just one cup of kale contains 80.4 mg of vitamin C, making a kale salad a great option for your health.

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Photo by B*2

6. Mango

Who needs an orange when you’ve got a mango? One whole fruit contains 122.3 mg of vitamin C.

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Photo by tomcensani

7. Broccoli

Mom wanted to serve you this vegetable for a reason. One serving of the cruciferous vegetable has 81.2 mg of vitamin C.

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Photo by Muffet

8. Kiwi

It may be a small fruit, but one serving of kiwi contains 137.2 mg of vitamin C.

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Photo by quinn.anya

9. Papaya

One cup of papaya alone has 88.3 mg of vitamin C. Bonus: The fruit is also rich in other antioxidants such as vitamin A.

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Photo by Japanexperterna.se

10. Brussels Sprouts

They may not be your favorite vegetable, but one cup of brussels sprouts has 74.8 mg of vitamin C.

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Photo by johnsu01

Photo by Kris Krug