Simple strategies that activate your body’s natural detoxification process

You may have tried or heard of different detoxification techniques, such as detox diets and juice cleanses, but there is one natural detox program by the body that you can activate. Autophagy, the body’s natural detoxification process, literally means “self-eating” in Greek. It can be considered as the ultimate detox for the body because it is one of the most powerful natural processes that can reach deep into the cellular level to get rid of DNA-damaging toxins and enhance cell function. Autophagy is a process that the body goes through to eliminate dead cells and debris that have accumulated over the years. It can be induced in several ways:

  • Exercise – One of the ways to activate autophagy is to engage in intense exercise. According to studies, activating autophagy through exercise can also reduce blood sugar levels and improve metabolism – both of which are essential components of burning fat and staving it off. Engage in an intense aerobic workout, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises, several times each week to increase autophagy.
  • Intermittent fasting – Fasting can be considered the best way to induce autophagy. During fasting, you force your body into a clean-up state. When the body uses up all of cell “fuel” in the form of food, it starts to consume other components, such as fat and debris for energy as a substitute. And because the body is smart, it only burns things that are not necessary first, which includes any kind of lingering waste or toxins. You can start fasting by practicing an easier method known as intermittent fasting. This type of fasting involves eating within a particular window of time during the day, then not eating for the rest of the day. An example of intermittent fasting looks like this:
    • 7 a.m.: Wake up.
    • 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.: Break your fast.
    • 3 p.m.: Have a snack or small meal, if necessary.
    • 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.: Eat your last meal for the day.
    • Fast until 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. the following day.

This particular method is one of the most common ways to practice intermittent fasting. It will give you approximately 16 to 17 hours of fasting time every day to activate autophagy.

The benefits of autophagy

Here are some of the health benefits that autophagy offers:

  • Removes toxins – Because autophagy encourages the immune system to eliminate foreign invaders in the body, it effectively removes all kinds of harmful substances that could cause inflammation and damage to cells. Because autophagy can strengthen the immune system in a way and remove harmful substances in the body, it can also fight infections and ward off diseases.
  • Prolongs life – Cells start to gather toxins as people age, and over time, these toxins can affect the normal functioning of the cells and damage DNA. In turn, this results in the typical signs of aging, such as wrinkles and degenerative diseases. According to studies, autophagy can prolong life as it helps prevent diseases caused by DNA damage and mutations, like cancer. (Related: Strict eating and fasting schedule cleans the blood: Study finds it could clear out proteins that cause Huntington’s disease.)

Other ways to induce autophagy

Autophagy can also be activated through the intake of certain foods, herbs, and supplements. The food and herbs that can induce autophagy include coffee, green tea, coconut oil, ginger, galangal rhizomes, and Reishi mushroom; while resveratrol, curcumin, vitamin D, nicotinamide, and ginseng supplements are some of the natural supplements that can help stimulate autophagy.

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