Posted on Nov 27, 2019, 5 p.m.
Thanksgiving has become a national day of celebration and excess, but if people were to act more like the founding fathers we might actually live longer; in America this is in November, while Canada observes it in October.
As Americans are headed off to visit with friends and family for what will for some be massive feasts perhaps this may be a good time to do a small review of fasting. The amount of food that is consumed at this time of year is rather staggering, in fact the American Council on Fitness estimates that the average American will consume 3,000 calories and 229 grams of fat. A 160 pound man would have to run for 4 hours, swim for 5 hours, or walk 30 miles to burn off these calories, that is if he can stay awake from all the turkey induced sleeping magic.
Though there may be nothing wrong to give thanks and be grateful for what you are fortunate enough to have, most people forget that this day which has been turned into a day of excess is the polar opposite of what it once was, and the truth of the history behind it. When this day was celebrated by 17th Century Americans this day was originally a day of fasting, meditation and worship, as well as serving as a replacement for the Roman Catholic holidays such as Christmas and Easter which Puritans rejected.
As opposed to the excess of today’s celebrations the original 17th century version of Thanksgiving may not sound as much fun, but fasting does have some significant medical benefits that can help to improve your overall health and support longevity.
Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute researchers found that cardiac catheterization patients that regularly practice intermittent fasting as less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure, and live longer than those who do not.
Nir Barzilai, an anti-aging and longevity expert, shared some of his top fasting tips, saying that he only eats food within an 8 hour window every day, outside of this block he only drinks fluids. Barzilai is getting ready to launch a trial to investigate the anti-aging effects of Metformin. “We haven’t fully understood and mapped out the mechanisms by which metformin acts,” he explains. “This means it disrupts slightly (not totally, like cyanide does) the process by which we break down nutrients with oxygen for energy. With this, there are less Reactive Oxygen Species being released, less inflammation, and less DNA damage.”
David A.Sinclair of Harvard Medical School recently said “...a lot more people are aware of Metformin as a potential Longevity drug. And I don’t know if this is true, but they’ve told me the sales of Metformin have gone up in the US since I’ve been running around talking about it. Every every day I have people write to me saying, who can give this to me?”
Perhaps as everyone heads off to stuff themselves with a gobble day dinner it may be worth keeping in mind that the original pilgrims had a point, at least from and health and longevity point of view in regards to fasting. Ironically, the world’s oldest turkey named Dinner has been able to dodge off his namesake for 16 years in a row, certainly the animals would likely have a longer lifespan as well.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.