Autophagy is the body’s way of cleansing itself. It is a biological process that removes the body’s toxins and recycles damaged cell components. When you cleanse your body with autophagy you are adding years to life. Below are tips and strategies on how to cleanse your body with autophagy.
How Does Autophagy Cleanse Your Body?
Fasting is one way to accomplish autophagy, as fasting stresses your body. That “good” stress is what turns on autophagy, contributing to chronic disease prevention as well as longevity.
Fasting is the process where you restrict calorie intake for an extended period of time, which brings with it remarkable health benefits. These benefits include weight loss, changes to risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, and longer life.
Benjamin Franklin may have said it best: “To lengthen thy life, lessen thy meals.”
Research suggests that fasting, or Autophagy, allows the body to cleanse itself and regenerate. From the Greek words auto (self) and phagein (to eat), autophagy is the natural, destructive mechanism that disassembles unnecessary or dysfunctional cellular components.
Health Benefits of Fasting
Fasting stimulates autophagy in the body as well as the brain. No wonder your brain feels much clearer during a fast!
In the study Short Term Fasting Induces Profound Neuronal Autophagy, the authors note that autophagy is upregulated in the brain as well as the liver. “The increased abundance of autophagosomes in Purkinje cells was confirmed using transmission electron microscopy. Our data lead us to speculate that sporadic fasting might represent a simple, safe and inexpensive means to promote this potentially therapeutic neuronal response.”
Autophagy declines with age, which is one reason fasting may be a routine you incorporate into your life sooner than later.
If the thought of going without food for a long period of time turns you off, try intermittent fasting. This is the process of shifting between periods of unrestricted eating and restricted eating – meaning you go short intervals of time without eating food.
Research suggests that 16 hours is the optimal amount of time for caloric restriction to activate autophagy, giving your cells a chance to take out the trash.
I practice this by not eating anything after 7:00 pm, skip breakfast the next morning and then ease my body back into food at noon. Consuming healthy fats like avocado (perfect on sour bread toast) or coconut oil (melted in oatmeal) is especially good to break your fast. Keep in mind that the 16 hours of fasting includes your sleep time.
3 Things To Do While Fasting
- Drink lots of water
- Add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt or Celtic sea salt to your water for added minerals that feed your cells much-needed electrolytes
- Squeeze a bit of lemon and a pinch of cayenne pepper into your water for an added boost. This spicy alkaline brew is said to stimulate your digestive system, shield your heart health, and support weight loss.
Advice From Paul Pitchford
When coming out of a fast, and for healthy eating in general, follow the advice of Paul Pitchford from his book Healing With Whole Foods.
- Use pure water and food. Freshly pressed juices are preferable.
- Chew food very well. This includes “chewing” liquids by mixing them with saliva before swallowing.
- Fast on whole fruits, vegetables, or grains and never eat to the point of feeling full
- Daily enemas are traditional with fasts. Get your complete starter enema kit here.
- Complete a series of small fasts before attempting a long one
- Start and break the fast gradually instead of using the cold turkey approach
Helpful Processes That Assist in Cleansing
- Dry-brush treatments
- Epsom salt baths
- Infrared saunas
- Walks and moderate exercise
- Daily dose of moderate sunshine to boost serotonin levels in your body