The word autophagy derives from Greek; Auto meaning ‘self’ and phagein is ‘to eat’. Whilst the thought of eating oneself doesn’t sound particularly appealing, autophagy is the body’s natural way of cleansing itself of damaged cells so that new, fresh and healthy ones can be generated.
Think of it as hitting the reset button on your body.
It is therefore extremely beneficial to your overall health.
What are the benefits of autophagy?
If someone told you there is a way your body could turn back it’s clock, you’d likely be all ears. Well, autophagy is just that. It creates young cells, and is like a natural self-cleaning function.
It’s benefits include:
– increased longevity
– improved immune response
– reduced inflammation
– protection against disease
– improved blood sugar regulation
Is autophagy a natural process?
Autophagy does happen naturally within the body. But unfortunately it declines with age which means it’s important to boost it to remain youthful.
How to boost autophagy.
With the knowledge that autophagy means ‘self-eating’ it makes sense that it can be triggered by fasting. Fasting as well as intermittent fasting are the most effective way to boost autophagy.
Autophagy is a response to stress so trick it into thinking it’s under attack by restricting your food intake for periods of time.
When your body is low on sugar – your glucose levels will drop when fasting – the survival repair mode is awoken.
Exercise has also been shown to induce autophagy in organs such as the pancreas and liver which aide in metabolic regulation.
Therefore by adding fasting and consistent exercise into your wellness regime you’ll go a long way towards stimulating autophagy and improving your overall health in the process.
How long should I fast for?
Although intermittent fasting is great and can trigger autophagy, longer fast are more beneficial.
It’s been shown that the autophagy process kicks in after 18-20 hours of fasting and peaks at the 48-72 hour mark. So consider adding a longer fast to your wellness regime to really reap the rewards.