Eating Less = Living Longer Part II

It is never easy to change our eating patterns, as they are intimately connected to our lifestyle, values, comforts, emotions, familial patterns and so forth. However, in light of the obvious benefit from reducing the amount of food we take into our bodies, we might want to consider taking even small baby steps that can help us achieve greater longevity.

The science behind WHY calorie-restriction dieting works to enhance longevity (all dieting is actually calorie-restricting – just given a formal name like “the South Beach Diet”), is fairly pragmatic and obvious. The less food we put into our bodies, the less digestive wear and tear, the less detoxification functions our liver has to perform, the less enzymes we need to produce and the less “free radicals” are bodies are subjected to.

A Short Primer on Free Radicals

Free radicals are “renegade” or unpaired electrons which are formed when weak bonds are separated during biochemical body processes. These unpaired electrons are unstable and try to capture or steal the missing electron from other materials which surround them. When the innocent molecule has its electron stolen by the free radical, it turns into a free radical itself which then begins a chain reaction. This can easily result in the destruction of living cells.

Free radicals do occur normally during the metabolic process. Importantly though, many environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides also produce and create free radicals. Under normal circumstances our bodies handle free radicals through our immune function, but if we are deficient in antioxidants or there is too much free-radical production damage occurs and HERE IS THE KICKER – free radical damage accumulates with age.

Next Installment: How to Slow Down Aging and Increase Longevity

With all good wishes,

Copyright 2010 – G. Donadio