The Five Horsemen of Aging

Blog-The 5 Horsemen of Aging

Do you think how you age and when you die is left to the fate of good or bad genes? Think again. “Only about 5 to 20 percent of the aging process has to do with our genes,” says Johnny Bowden, author of The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer. “The rest has to do with how we treat our bodies, which determines whether, like a light switch, we turn the good genes on and the bad genes off.”

Conquer them and you slow down the aging process and help prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. And you’ll look and feel younger than your peers.

Here are the 5 steps:

1. Lessen Exposure to Free Radicals

Not unlike the way rust attacks a car, free radicals attack our cells, damage our DNA and accelerate aging. Things to avoid: cigarettes, trans fats, excess sun exposure, charred meats, and pesticides. Though fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants that fight free radicals, try to buy the “dirty dozen” (produce with highest chemical residue) in organic form:

• Peaches
• Apples
• Blueberries
• Bell Peppers
• Celery
• Nectarines
• Strawberries
• Cherries
• Imported grapes
• Spinach & Kale

2. Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation that becomes chronic is now considered to be a major player in many diseases of aging including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Mediterranean diet based on fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils, grains and little meat appears to reduce inflammation. Other great anti-inflammatory foods include many spices (like turmeric) and dark chocolate (70 percent or higher cacao content).

Exercise is another great way to lower inflammation. Aim for a moderate amount of steady exercise like brisk walking, swimming, or biking for 30 to 45 minutes five days a week—the amount most experts recommend. But don’t overdo it to the point of soreness and extreme fatigue, since too much exercise can actually increase inflammation, at least temporarily.

3. Limit Sugar

When too much sugar mixes proteins and fats it forms molecules called Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs that promote aging. Limiting your intake of sugar-filled foods in general will also help. The American Heart Association now recommends that women consume no more than 100 calories per day of added sugars, and men no more than 150 calories per day.

4. Lower Stress

Being under constant pressure initiates the release of a variety of stress hormones that make your pulse race and cause your blood pressure to rise. The hormone cortisol gets released to lessen these effects, but if stress is constant, and cortisol stays chronically elevated it can shrink a part of the brain called the hippocampus, essential for long-term memory. It can also lead to the accumulation of belly fat, causing inflammation and insulin resistance.

Regularly practicing relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga or contemplative prayer help manage stress, but even closing your eyes for 5 minutes and breathing deeply at intervals through the day can help. Getting too little sleep can also increase cortisol, so make sure to aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

5. Protect and Repair DNA with Super Foods

This point is closely related to the above, because controlling oxidation and inflammation and avoiding toxins are all part of protecting your DNA. When we age or have disease our DNA is duplicated but not as well. Think of a Xerox machine that produces a copy of a copy of a copy… and so on. The final copies are not very clear. We want “clear reproductions” when it comes to duplicating our DNA within.

Many spices are also amazingly protective. I think it is good idea to include a reputable, high quality super “green” or “super food” type powder as part of your health regimen. You can mix the powder in your smoothie or mix it with juice as an added boost to your brain, energy and longevity.

Improve Your Brain Health

At Amen Clinics, we have spent decades helping people just like you improve their brain health. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit.


  1. What is the best treatment for Essential Tremor?

    Comment by Loretta Rhodes — February 19, 2018 @ 8:18 AM

  2. Is there a super greens powder as mentioned that I can buy?

    Comment by Marcia — June 6, 2018 @ 8:24 AM

  3. Hello Marcia, you can find great recipes in The Brain Warrior’s Way Cookbook –

    Comment by Amen Clinics — June 6, 2018 @ 10:07 AM

  4. Good morning. As I take my morning dose of Apo- Phenytoin (200 mg) and Apo- Levetiracetam (1000 mg), and then again at 8:00 pm (300+1500) respectively, this to stop having Epileptic Seizure Disorders that may have been caused by a Non malignant brain tumor that was removed in 2013, would you think I will be taking these drugs for the rest of my life?

    Comment by Kevin Ritchie — October 12, 2018 @ 4:20 AM

  5. Very helpful information

    Comment by Michael Turner — March 11, 2019 @ 3:35 AM

  6. Bee Pollen
    This all natural food source is considered to be the most complete food source known to man because it contains everything the human body requires to sustain life. Have any studies or inquiries been made on behalf of Amen clinics and or it's council members in regards to this natural food source when it comes to brain health and imaging?

    Comment by Mark Day — September 18, 2023 @ 5:11 PM

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