How to live longer: How does fasting increase life expectancy? What we know so far

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It is well understood that eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to living a long life, with certain foods offering protection against life-threatening health complications. With the spotlight placed firmly on what foods you should embrace and avoid, less attention has been devoted to the frequency of eating and its impact on longevity.

According to nutritionist Kim Pearson, your general approach to eating deserves equal weight.

Taking extended breaks from your day to day eating patterns has been shown to improve your health and promote longevity, says Pearson.
Pearson continues: “It’s after this period of time that processes such as autophagy and stem cell generation are triggered.”

Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells, according to Priya Khorana, PhD, in nutrition education from Columbia University.

What fasting approach offers the greatest benefits to longevity?
According to Pearson, profound regenerative changes have been shown with periodic water-only fasting but consuming nothing but water for days on end can be challenging for many.

To circumvent this challenge, professor Valter Longo, who has spearheaded much of the research in the field of fasting and longevity, developed the concept of Fasting Mimicking Diets (FMDs).

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