With so many promising studies about reversing the effects of aging, why eat well and what does it mean to eat with the sun?
First, a definition is needed for the term circadian rhythm.
Our responses to the sun over centuries cause our circadian rhythm Our circadian rhythm’s job – our response to the sun – is to get our bodies to do the right thing at the right time.
Sleep is one example. Our circadian rhythm sets us up to being more metabolically active early in the day.
As it relates to consumption, that means we can take advantage of higher metabolic function in the morning by eating more early and less later, as the sun makes its arc across the sky.
Here is an important concept to keep in mind: The “what” is as important as the “when.”
We can eat any food anytime, as long as we eat 80% of our calories eight hours before bedtime or five hours before the sun usually sets, and finish eating three hours before bedtime.
Cold pasta in the morning or for our first meal is fine, as is berry crisp or a salmon burger. An egg white veggie frittata is a great choice at 6 p.m.
And remember, food is a relationship: Only eat food you love and that loves you back.
Why eat with the sun?
Emerging data in animals and humans indicate that if we eat with the sun, we will help keep ourselves younger for longer.
This way of eating changes gene function and markers of aging, stem cell repair and inflammation to all improve within four days. Studies indicate that within four days of eating in this manner we are likely to be less hungry at night, sleep better and have more energy.
In addition, personal decisions (good and bad) like how well we eat and consequently how much inflammation affects our bodies matter more when the consequences last longer.
We all want to keep ourselves, especially our brains, as young as possible. Eating with the sun is one way to help our bodies do so.
Remember, longevity is not the problem. It is the cure that gives us life. It is the cure as it will beget much more productive human capital.
Dr. Michael Roizen writes about wellness for the Cleveland and Columbus Jewish News. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic.