Which Foods Can Activate Autophagy

How can you activate autophagy through your diet?

Sachiaki Takamiya explains how autophagy can be activated not only through intermittent fasting or exercise, but also by incorporating specific foods into our diet. He provides several examples of these autophagy-activating foods and their benefits.

Prolong your autophagy activating period

Nick: On that theme of healthy foods, you've identified some autophagy activating foods you recommend consuming and you wrote about this in your book. So would you like to offer some examples and the benefits of eating them?

Sachiaki: So usually autophagy is activated by intermittent fasting or exercises, or deliberate heat exposure, or cold exposure. But there are some foods which can activate autophagy, too, which are foods like coffee, green tea, natto, miso, broccoli, olive oil, ginger, and there are quite a few of them.

And then among those, I think coffee and green tea are the most critical because you can consume them during your fasting window. So when you practice intermittent fasting, the only beverages you can drink are non-caloric beverages. So water, or black coffee, or green tea, without putting any sugar or milk or anything.

So when you intake coffee or green tea during your fast, then that can kind of prolong your autophagy activating period. But other foods, basically, you're eating. So when you eat, you break your fast. So it probably doesn't have a strong effect as coffee or green tea.

But still, the other foods are good, and they have other nutritional benefits as well. I mean, all those foods, such as natto, miso, broccoli, ginger, have so many other health benefits. So they are good to eat anyway.

Nick: So I'm a big fan of miso, I generally drink that every day. And I kind of follow your rustic miso approach, and have a lot of vegetables in my soup.

So I was putting lentils and sweet potato and broccoli and cauliflower in my soup last night, which wouldn't be a typical miso soup, would it? So you can play around with your foods and make them get really interesting and tasty.