We all want to grow old gracefully. That’s why we’re so focused on health and beauty products, the latest exercise craze, and delicious recipes that are actually good for us.
But, wouldn’t it be even better not to grow old at all? Of course! We want to be as healthy as possible and live as long as possible.
Scientists may not have found the fountain of youth, but maybe that fountain is actually an apple.
Sounds crazy, we know, but in a recent study, mice who consumed fistein, a compound that is found in many fruits and vegetables including apples and strawberries, had longer lives and improved health. Not only that, but these were aging mice, meaning that you don’t have to be a teenager for fistein to prolong your health and your years on Earth.
Let’s back up and talk a bit about how this all works.
First of all, you need to know about cellular senescence, which is basically a cell that has aged to the point where it is no longer able to divide. When we’re young, our body gets rid of these cells. As we get older, the cells hang around and build up. That’s a problem.
These damaged cells cause mild inflammation and lead to tissue break-up which means they promote aging and aging-related diseases, such as osteoporosis, frailty and cardiovascular disease. The idea is to get rid of these senescent cells like your body does when it’s young.
Now, let’s talk about senolytics, which are molecules that get rid of senescent cells, and by doing so, slow down or even prevent aging. That’s right; they can prolong your lifespan.
Finally, you need to know about flavonoids. Flavonoids are natural compounds that are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits. Researchers have been looking for a flavonoid that contains senolytics.
Circling back to mice and apples, researchers tested out 10 different flavonoids on mice, and they found that fistein worked best. This study showed that fistein lowered the number of senescent cells in aging mice which caused their health to improve and their lifespan to lengthen.
Researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what the ideal “dosage” would be, but perhaps an apple a day doesn’t just keep the doctor away. It might actually add years to your life.
We love apples (in fact, the apple is the star of one of our favorite recipes), but if you’re not a fan, there are many other foods that contain fistein. The ones with the highest levels of fistein are apples, cucumbers (with the skin), grapes, kiwi, mangoes, onions, peaches, persimmons, strawberries and tomatoes.
Are you going to start eating more apples? What’s your favorite anti-aging trick?