How to Detox Your Body Fast, Say Doctors
Feeling bloated, tired, and generally worn out? Even though your body is fully capable of detoxing itself, there are certain things you can do to help speed the process along and support your health. Here is how to detox your body fast—and take control of your health. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.
Did you know that intermittent fasting—also known as time restricted eating (TRE) encourages cellular renewal? When you deliberately abstain from food, a process called autophagy (which literally translates into "self eating") is initiated where the body recycles old, damaged cells in order to create new, healthy ones. "Parts of our cells become damaged, and that's the garbage," says Dr. Roberta Gottlieb, director of Molecular Cardiobiology at the Cedars-Sinai Smidt Heart Institute. "Our cells chew up that material and recycle it. That's how they take out the garbage. If you eat a 30-inch pizza before bed, you're not going to have any autophagy. That means you're not going to take out the trash, so the cells begin to accumulate more and more debris." So what is the optimum amount of time to fast for health benefits? "I'm interested in the idea that fasting once a week might be sufficient and manageable to help you live a longer life or extend your number of healthy years," says Dr. Gottlieb. "Or there might be something to not eating after a certain time of day and stretching out your nightly fasting period. Right now, we know going 16 to 24 hours without nutrients is beneficial in animals."
Exercise is a highly effective way to help reduce chronic inflammation in the body and support optimum health. "Each time we exercise, we are truly doing something good for our body on many levels, including at the immune cell level," said senior author Suzi Hong, PhD, in the Department of Psychiatry and the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine. "The anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise have been known to researchers, but finding out how that process happens is the key to safely maximizing those benefits."
According to Harvard Health, using a sauna is invigorating and beneficial for heart health, with the average person losing a pint of sweat during even a brief stint (although people with uncontrolled high blood pressure and heart disease should check with their doctor first). "Analyzing data from the Finnish Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Study, the authors found that men who took more frequent saunas (4-7 times per week) actually live longer than once-per-week users," says Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc. "Although we do not know why the men who took saunas more frequently had greater longevity (whether it is the time spent in the hot room, the relaxation time, the leisure of a life that allows for more relaxation time, or the camaraderie of the sauna), clearly time spent in the sauna is time well spent."
Giving up alcohol even for a short period of time can help improve liver function and decrease enzymes linked to liver damage. "When people stop drinking, even if it's a month, this alcohol-induced inflammation will have the chance to improve," says liver specialist Jamile Wakim-Fleming, MD. "It's like you're giving that wound a little bit of time to heal itself. It may not heal all of the way back if you've been drinking a lot before and your liver has been severely damaged by alcohol. But it will still help. If you stop to take a Dry January because you drank during the holidays and now you're going to give your body a rest, that is awesome," she says. "That's very good compared with someone who did not stop in January. But we'd like to see if the dry month could be extended to a dry three months or six months."
Say No To Sugar
Too much refined, added sugar is terrible for our health, and one of the best ways to improve health is to exclude it entirely. "Eliminating foods sweetened with refined sugar is a worthy goal," says Jennifer Rooke, MD, Assistant Professor of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine. "But don't think of it as a "detox" – it should be a permanent lifestyle change. The safest way to go on a refined sugar 'detox' is to increase your intake of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Once you eliminate refined sugar, you'll likely find that your taste buds become more sensitive to – and appreciative of – the natural sweetness of fruits." And to ensure your health don't miss these 101 Health Habits You Didn't Know Were Deadly.