If this advice is too fishy for you, get your omega-3s from plants, instead. “Try plant-based docosahexaenoic acid (DHA),” says Dr. Roizen. To reap the benefits, aim for 600 milligrams of DHA a day from foods like walnuts or flaxseed.  If you add these healthy fats to your existing food choices, your real age will be about 3.3 years younger. Even better, says Dr. Roizen, if you replace all saturated and trans fats with healthy omega-3s, your real age will be six years younger.

Move it and lose it: Exercise helps you feel better, and – even if you don’t lose weight doing it – the physical activity is good for your heart. And exercising regularly also can make your real age three to nine years younger, Dr. Roizen says. Aim for about 30 minutes a day (most days of the week) of combined cardio and strength training. And if you are able to exercise enough and manage your calorie intake so that you lose weight, the risk of heart disease will decrease, along with the number on the scale.

Fill up on fruits and veggies: “Eat five fruits and five vegetables every day,” says New York City-based anti-aging specialist Eric Braverman, MD. Fruits and veggies are loaded with antioxidants, which help cool inflammation. “If you do this, your erythrocyte sedimentation (sed) rate will fall, and you will see less joint damage,” he says. The sed rate is a measure of inflammation in the body. “You can turn back the clock 15 years,” Dr. Braverman adds.

Throw away the cigarettes – for good: Dr. Braverman’s promise is backed up by hard science. A new study of 20,000 adults shows that people can trim 14 years off their age by eating five or more fruits and vegetables daily, along with being physically active for at least 30 minutes per day, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking. And smoking is a definite no-no for people with rheumatoid arthritis – especially those who have the HLA-DRB1 and anti-CCP antibodies. People with that genetic combination tend to have more severe rheumatoid arthritis, and a new study shows that they also are the ones who may die prematurely from cardiovascular disease. Smoking heightens that risk.

Treat your RA: Regardless of the other changes you make, be sure to treat the underlying disease and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis, Dr. Roizen advises. “There are a lot of effective drugs today that can help. And many studies show that people with rheumatoid arthritis whose disease is tightly controlled feel better, have less inflammation in their bodies and live longer because keeping inflammation from increasing out of control helps reduce the risk of heart disease,” he says.

If you haven’t already done so, consult your doctor about the rheumatoid arthritis treatments that are best for you.