You know how your mom always told you to eat your veggies because they’re good for you? Well, she was right. Vegetables (and other plant-based foods) are loaded with nutrients that help keep our bodies functioning properly. But there’s one nutrient in particular that’s getting a lot of attention lately: autophagy.
If you haven’t heard of autophagy, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Autophagy is a really important process that our bodies need to function properly. In this article, I’m going to explain what autophagy is and why it’s so important. I’m also going to share some tips on how you can encourage autophagy in your own body.
What is Autophagy?
Autophagy is a process that our bodies use to break down and recycle old, damaged, or excess cells. When our cells aren’t functioning properly, they can cause all sorts of problems in our bodies. For example, damaged cells can lead to inflammation, which has been linked to everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease. By breaking down these damaged cells and recycling them into new cells, autophagy helps keep our bodies healthy and functioning properly.
In addition to breaking down damaged cells, autophagy also helps rid our bodies of toxins and clears out space for new cell growth. So basically, autophagy is like a spring cleaning for our cells! And just like spring cleaning your house can be a pain, encouraging autophagy in our bodies isn’t always easy either. But it’s definitely worth it!
Why Should I Care about Autophagy?
As I mentioned earlier, autophagy is important because it helps keep our bodies healthy and functioning properly. But there are other benefits too. Studies have shown that autophagy can help boost immunity, improve brain function, slow aging, and even prevent cancer. Pretty impressive list of benefits, right?
So now that we know what autophagy is and why it’s important, let’s talk about how we can encourage it in our own bodies…
How to Encourage Autophagy
There are a few things you can do to encourage autophagy in your own body:
- Eat more plants! Plant-based foods are rich in nutrients that encourage autophagy. Aim for at least 3 cups of veggies per day (bonus points if they’re organic).
- Exercise regularly! Exercise helps increase cell turnover which encourages the autophagic process. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times per week should do the trick!
- Get enough sleep! Sleep is when our bodies do the majority of their repair work (including cell repair). So make sure you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night!
- Try Intermittent fasting! One possible way to induce autophagy within your body is with Intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is when you refrain from consuming calories over several hours or even days. Cells are starved when you engage in fasting, and autophagy kicks in to help digest damaged parts of the cell and provide the necessary energy to survive. This aids in preventing illness and disease by clearing out potentially harmful cells.
Autophagy is a process that our bodies use to break down and recycle old or damaged cells. It’s an important process that helps keep our bodies healthy and functioning properly. There are a few things you can do to encourage autophagy in your own body: eat more plants, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and fasting!