6 Surprising Anti-Agers

Six science-backed strategies for postponing, reducing or entirely eluding the march of time

By Judy Jones
Photograph: Jillann Severson

5. Spice up Your Meals
Researchers recently tested 24 common herbs and spices, and found high amounts of compounds that may stop the inflammatory damage caused by elevated blood sugar levels. The herbs and spices, all bought at a local Wal-Mart, included cinnamon, thyme, Italian seasoning and cloves. “The active compounds in these herbs and spices have the potential to reduce the inflammation that contributes to nearly every human disease,” says the study’s coauthor, James Hargrove, PhD, associate professor of foods and nutrition at the University of Georgia in Athens. The researcher advises you to liberally season your food with a variety of
spices, thereby doubling or tripling the medicinal value of a meal.
6. Hang Out with Happy People
Scientists have known for some time that happy people live longer because their good spirits help protect them from illness. The new twist is that hap­piness is socially contagious: You can catch it—or its opposite—from the peo­ple close to you. Analyzing the social networks of the participants in the Framingham Heart Study, researchers at the University of California discovered distinct clusters of happy and unhappy people. “People who are surrounded by many happy people are the most likely to become happy themselves in the future,” remarked researcher Nicholas Christakis, MD, a professor of medical sociology at Harvard. Moral? It pays
to choose friends who lift you up.

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