How Autophagy Slows Ageing and Aids Self-Optimization
If you are interested in self-optimization and health, then you need to know about a process, stimulated through a keto diet, known as autophagy.
What Exactly is Autophagy?
Autophagy is a process where your body recycles and destroys old and damaged cells. The word literally means “self-eating”. Through this process, your body can get rid of damaged cells that cause inflammation, no longer function optimally, and take up space, before replacing them with new and healthy cells. Getting rid of these cells is essential for self-optimization.
Why Is Autophagy Important for Ageing?
It is especially important for maintaining healthy mitochondria, removing junk from your system, slowing down ageing, and triggering stem cell production. Personally, I am after the benefits for skin health and longevity.
What Prevents Autophagy from Occurring?
There are a few things that can interfere with autophagy, including stress, processed foods, and eating too frequently and too much.
How do You Increase Autophagy for Self-Optimization
Cellular stress can also increase the autophagy process. This includes exercise, hot or cold therapy, and calorie restriction. My high cortisol levels are a bit of an issue, so I cannot exercise too intensively and have to use other ways to stimulate autophagy.
A few ways of stimulating autophagy for self-optimization include:
Eating foods that promote autophagy, such as citrus bergamot, Earl Grey tea, green tea, ginger, cinnamon, MCT oil, coconut oil, turmeric, and foods that contain Sulforaphane, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli sprouts.
Fasting/Intermittent Fasting. Autophagy really starts to set in after 16 hours of fasting. (at least you will be sleeping for six to eight of them.
A high fat/ketogenic diet.
Heat- or cold shock therapy.
Fasting is more ancestrally appropriate. It is what we did in a time when humans were generally healthier. We ate when the sun came up, and stopped when it went down. At times, we had to wait long periods before we could find food again, and therefore, practising intermittent fasting involuntarily.
Nowadays, our lights are always on, and we have access to food 24/7. Most people eat more than they should, and they also eat the wrong types of foods. They eat throughout the entire day (and yes, the milk in your morning coffee counts), and their bodies hardly get the chance to clean up the system.
How Autophagy Slows Down Ageing
When the rate of cell turnover in your body decreases, the rate of ageing increases. Autophagy helps the body’s cell regeneration process stay as optimum as possible.
How Autophagy Contributes to Self-Optimization
If you want your body to perform optimally, then you will need to start at a cellular level. If your cells are not healthy, then you won’t be either. Self-optimization does not happen overnight, and requires you to integrate a variety of habits and foods over a period of time, which are carefully chosen according to your needs and preferences.
Self-optimization is not just about creating the ideal body, but the ideal life as well.
How to Do Intermittent Fasting to Stimulate Autophagy
Autophagy, as a process, is a really cool discovery, and if you would like to try and stimulate it in your own body, intermittent fasting is a great place to start. There are various methods of intermittent fasting that will help stimulate autophagy and get you closer to self-optimization.
As you know, we believe that the Hart of Health is finding the right diet and lifestyle for you, so that you can become your best self. Therefore, we recommend that you choose a method of intermittent fasting that you feel you will be able to incorporate. Some options are:
Fasting for 14 to 15 hours a day, and only eating within a nine- to a ten-hour window. This is often also referred to as time-restricted eating.
Fasting for sixteen hours a day, and sticking to an eight-hour eating window. This is possibly one of the most popular methods.
Fasting for 21 hours a day, or only eating one meal a day. This one seems to be easier for men to do, as women’s bodies often cannot handle the stress of fasting for too long.
Following the 5:2 principle, which means that you eat below 800 calories for two days in a week or fast completely, and eat fairly normally for the rest of the week. However, it is advised that if you do choose to try this way of intermittent fasting, you still try to choose healthy, whole food.
Fasting for 24 hours, once a week. There are a lot of people who find it easier to practice intermittent fasting by forgoing food for one day a week.
Extended fasts of three days or longer. Especially when first trying to stimulate autophagy and get into ketosis, many people do a three-day fast. This can be a bit extreme if you are not used to intermittent fasting, but doing fasts like these sporadically can have significant benefits, and allow your body to do a proper reset and cell clean-up every now and then.
How The Keto Diet Also Stimulates Autophagy
The keto diet mimics intermittent fasting, and after following a ketogenic diet for a few days or weeks, your body will also go into autophagy. You could even try a fat fast, which is an extreme keto diet, where you only eat fat for three days. It sounds difficult, but you could make your own pork crackling or coconut oil fat bombs.
If you want to try the keto diet, search for keto dessert recipes on Pinterest. A quick search will quickly make you see why a keto diet might be the most delicious diet you try. Try it for a few weeks or months to test how you feel on your diet. The only way to achieve self-optimization is to experiment with different foods and diets, and get rid of the guidelines that you don’t respond well to.