Auto stands for ‘Self’
Phagy stands for ‘To Eat’
Autophagy =Self Eating

When you fast or starve, your body starts eating itself. This is known as Autophagy when your body uses itself as fuel to clear all its junk. Autophagy is a process through which your body clears its cellular garbage. 

Cellular Garbage
Cellular Garbage

What Is Cellular Garbage?

These are food particles, viruses, bad bacteria, and inflammatory molecules. Imagine a dirty room, cluttered with clothes, objects, and trash. This is the case of each of our cells. We kep eating, loading ourselves all the time without hunger or thirst. We do not give space to our Gut for digestion. There is also no discipline in the diet followed. The disciplinary diet stands to keep a gap of a minimum 5-6 hours between each meal. 

Diet Discipline

Disciplined Diet
Disciplined Diet

The gap between breakfast to lunch- 4 hours.
The gap between lunch to evening snacks- 4 hours.
The gap between evening snacks to dinner- 3 hours.
Dinner to next day breakfast- 12 hours.

During this gap even if you munch even a small piece of biscuit will create a big obstruction in your digestion. You can drink water, lemon, or green tea in between. So, your indisciplined habits in diet create undigested garbage in each cell. Each cell looks like a dirty room. This results in fatigue, brain fog, skin blemishes, pigmentation, puffy eyes, hair fall, fatty liver, skin allergies, acne, diabetic symptoms start occurring with a bloated and inflamed body which appears as swelling. 

Autophagy Is A Clean-Up For Your Cells

Cleaning up of cells
Cleaning up of cells

Disciplined eating gives space to Autophagy.
Do we have to eat all the time?
Some people think that skipping meals is bad.
Some advice to have 6 meals a day. So everyone gets confused and wonders what is right?

Almost all of us are in desperate need of Autophagy. It is a self-eating process at the cellular level, every cell has its own healing power. Autophagy turns on the healing power in each cell in our body and activates each cell to repair itself. The part of the cell in which autophagy occurs is the lysosome. The lysosome contains about 50 different enzymes that help to break down protein, DNA, RNA, Polysaccharides & lipids. Anything which is considered garbage in cell will merge with the lysosome creating Autophagosome.
Lysosome + Cellular Garbage = Autophagosome.
Now the breakdown and recycling takes place. So Autophagy is a process of removing, recycling and regenerating. The cellular garbage is removed through autophagy. Autophagy removes- consumed garbage, recycles it and regenerates it into body fuel/energy. 

I gave an example of a dirty room being cleaned. When your room gets clean, you feel good. Similarly, when you follow Autophagy you give your body an opportunity to clean itself out of all the garbage. Then you feel more energetic and have fewer symptoms of inflammations, you lose weight, get back your mental sharpness, the glow comes on your skin and you live longer. Our liver is the biggest detox organ in which we store lots of toxins. Autophagy converts your fat-soluble toxins to water-soluble toxins and they get excreted through your bile and urine. Autophagy is extremely good for our heart health. Our heart cells lose their ability to divide soon after our birth. Autophagy repairs and remodel our hearth cells.

In our brain, Autophagy has a crucial neuroprotective effect. Autophagy helps to improve the health cells called neurons, it also takes care of your GI tract, controlling leaky gut, IBS, and bloating. Autophagy cleans up Mitochondria- These are the energy powerhouses of our cells. Autophagy makes Mitochondria more powerful. 

I think the inflammation is sufficient to understand Autophagy. In ancient India, लङ्घनम् was practiced to cure viral fevers, heart malfunction, chronic cough, and various viral/bacterial infections. Sages underwent कल्प-वास wherein they practiced लङ्घनम् for months and got back their youth and lived a healthy life for a long time. I thank our Indian herbal heritage and also all the knowledgeable Ayurvedacharyas of ancient times for creating the wealth of knowledge and health. I am also thankful to Dr. Yoshimuri, a Japanese cell biologist for his breakthrough discovery on Autophagy. For his discovery on Autophagy, he received Nobel Prize in 2016.

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Karwa Chauth Etymology | Origin | Solah Shringar | Autophagy | Fast-Vrat | Chhath Pooja | Festival

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