4 Foods that Protect Telomere Health

Globally, the focus is on health these days. We are aware that there is a dangerous trend toward poorer health, and with an aging population, we are seeing the rise in many diseases including cancer and type 2 diabetes. How do we take better care of ourselves and promote longer, healthier lives? Learn about the foods that protect telomere health for a guide to get started.

Beyond genetics and nutrition, what can cause the shortening of telomeres?

  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Stress

The hopeful part is that all of these factors are within our control. Beyond feeling better, which is a benefit all by itself, small changes toward a more positive lifestyle will increase your health and reduce the risk factors for many common diseases.

Have you found it difficult to maintain a change long enough to see true results? The You 2.0 Wellness App Can Help!

This happens to the best of us. What you need is information, encouragement, support and the right tools. The You 2.0 Wellness APP was created by professionals to support you as you make healthy lifestyle changes that are sustainable and long-lasting.



Foods that Protect Telomere Health

Our lifestyles and habits impact our health and our health is reflected in the health of our DNA. Telomeres are the caps on the ends of DNA strands. They serve the important function of protecting the ends from fraying, allowing our DNA to replicate perfectly without fail.

Each replication, however, causes the shortening of the telomere and eventually they are no longer able to serve their protective function and we become vulnerable to disease and disorders, common in old age.

If you are keen to slow that process down and give yourself the best possible protection for your telomeres, there are a few basic foods that have been proven to do just that! Even better, they’re not unique or hard to find, but rather available in pretty much every grocery store.

1. Folate/Folic Acid

Folate is also known as Vitamin B-9. It promotes healthy new cell production, which is one of the reasons it is recommended during pregnancy when cell production is at a premium.

You will find folate in:

  • Dark leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Fortified cereals and grains.

2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3s are well known to be good for the health of your heart and brain, but how do they promote telomere protection? By preventing inflammation and improving the structure of the cell membrane.

Omega 3s are found in:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna and mackerel)
  • Nuts
  • Vegetable oils (olive and flaxseed oil especially)
  • Green leafy vegetables


3. Antioxidants – Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium

Antioxidant is a term that has been buzzing for years for good reason. These vitamins help to fight free radicals that cause cell changes and death, which can result in disease including cancer and type 2 diabetes.

We often think of oranges when we think of vitamin C, but it is found in many other foods as well including:

  • Green and red chili peppers
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Leafy greens
  • Potatoes with the skins

Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds, vegetable oil, and leafy greens, whereas brazil nuts, seafood, poultry, and enriched grains contain sources of selenium.

4. Vitamin D

Adequate amounts of vitamin D have been found to have a positive impact on telomere length. It promotes calcium absorption and helps the body to fight disease, reduces depression and may boost weight loss.

Vitamin D is found in:

  • Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, and mackerel)
  • Dairy, including cheese
  • Egg yolks
  • Mushrooms.

Your body also produces vitamin D naturally when it is exposed to the sun.


Other Dietary Tips For Promoting Telomere Health

In addition to adding all of the above foods in your daily meals, there are certain foods and products that you should try to avoid, or consume in moderation. This includes the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, such as soft drinks, fruit-flavoured drinks, and energy drinks.

Consider Fasting

Calorie restriction, and in particular, periods of fasting, have been shown to have a positive effect on telomere length. The practice of fasting has been shown to delay the onset of diseases such as:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer 
  • Certain neurological diseases 


The You 2.0 Wellness App Helps You Live a Longer and Healthier Life

Have you learned enough and know you would like to make some changes to your diet? Let us help you with the You 2.0 Wellness APP. You will find detailed information about food choices and support to make positive changes one step at a time. To find out more, call us today at 403-460-69691 or fill in our online contact form.


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