Could you just take a moment to thank your liver for everything it does? It is a vital organ that works hard everyday to filter out toxins and waste from the body, and carries out hundreds of other functions. The primary function of the liver is converting toxins into safe waste that can be excreted from the body through urine, sweat, etc.
The liver has more than 400 functions in the body, from storing essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, digesting fats, processing nutrients that have been accumulated in the intestines and breaking down drugs and alcohols.
If you are not providing the body with the right nutrients, you can burden your liver, which becomes sluggish and backed up with loads of toxic work.
How does the liver actually deal with toxic substances?
The liver has two ways of detoxification:
The poisonous substances or toxins can result in damage to cells and they are first taken on by Phase 1 of Liver Detoxification. The first phase includes using enzymes to transform these lipid-soluble toxins into less harmful substances that Phase 2 can now handle.
In addition, Phase 2 of Liver Detoxification includes pairing these battered up toxins with other molecules that increase their water-solubility and they can be safely eliminated from the body through the means of elimination.
Make an effort in proactive liver support
Although some of us make a great effort to follow a healthy lifestyle that involves pure water, organics, regular exercise, usage of toxin-free personal care and cleaning products, but we are still exposed to toxins from our environment, such as water, air, soil, factories, cars, plastics, etc., which cannot be controlled. Speaking for myself, even as a Holistic Nutritionist, I will continue to practice routines on a daily basis on top of eating healthy, exercising and living in my little toxin-free home – as I know I need to, and it makes me feel wonderful!
Does your liver become sluggish?
In fact, when the liver becomes sluggish, toxins are no longer able to leave the body and are accumulated in fat tissue as they are lipid-soluble. Moreover, they will hang out there until liver function improves and they can be safely removed.
Regardless of the degree of your symptoms, there are various tell-tale symptoms of a stressed out liver. However, by taking holistic approaches and preventative steps you can improve your liver function and your life quality.
In case you experience these symptoms, don’t stop reading since there are some tips to follow for improving liver function which I suggest to practice in your daily routine.
– Negative emotions
– Chronic fatigue
– Brain fog/ feeling drained/ lethargy
– Dull headaches improved with rest or headaches or migraines behind eyes
– Excessive perspiration
– Trouble digesting fats
– Chronic joint or muscle pain
– Gall bladder removed
– Acne or other skin issues
– Gas, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea and constipation
– Anxiety and depression
– Hormonal imbalances
– Chronic stinky breath
– Unexplained weight gain
– Chemical sensitivities
Tips for the kitchen (where the magic happens)
Of course, your health starts in the kitchen, so you cannot expect your body to thrive on supplements alone. You should create a healthy body through healing meals and habits. Keep in mind you don’t need to diet, restrict or remove entirely – but the key here is balance. Start by decreasing or eliminating your exposure to processed foods and fraudulent “health” foods and switch to healthy alternatives, in case you’re craving a brownie, give a black bean brownie, made with cacao and coconut sugar, instead of using white flour, and refined sugar.
Remember, eating healthy doesn’t have to be complicated, so just focus on the following steps:
– Eat a balanced diet that contains whole foods, sprouted ancient grains, high quality plant and animal proteins, fermented foods, raw nuts and seeds, healing fats, etc.
– Buy organic, avoid GMO and shop clean using the dirty dozen or clean 15
– Drink enough pure water: Take your weight in pounds, and then divide it in half – bear in mind, this is the amount of water you should be drinking in ounces (150lbs = 75oz). Afterwards, source out your best pure accessible water, no matter if it is reverse osmosis (re-mineralized) or self harvested spring water.
– Avoid inflammatory oils: soybean, canola, corn, vegetable oil, sunflower, safflower, and cottonseed
– Choose foods high in fiber: consume 35g daily minimum from whole food sources like artichokes, chia seeds, avocado, golden flax seeds, brussels sprouts, and broccoli
– Increase healthy healing fat consumption: coconut oil, ghee, sustainable red palm oil, avocado, hemp, and grass-fed butter
– Avoid refined sugars: cane sugar, brown or white sugar, beet sugar, cane juice, cane juice crystals
– Increase leafy green vegetable consumption: they are high in vitamin B, magnesium, folate, and vitamin C
– Reduce daily fructose consumption to 20g – 25g: glucose-fructose, agave, high glycemic or fructose fruits
– Focus on foods rich in sulfur: kale, pasture-raised eggs, brussels sprouts, garlic, broccoli, asparagus, and onions.
– Choose animal and plant-based sources to include amino acids in your diet: collagen, bone broth, pasture-raised chicken and eggs, parsley, raw spinach, beets, cabbage, and so on.
– Limit or avoid alcohol consumption: in case you are experiencing 3 or more of these symptoms, you should find a healthy replacement for this habit, like grape kombucha.
The top 3 alternatives for a healthy liver:
– Turmeric: It is the most clinically tested herb for inflammation. To be more specific, its active ingredient, curcumin has been associated with many healing benefits that include assisting the enzymes responsible for flushing out known dietary carcinogens! It contributes to enhanced protection against liver damage, and even affected liver cell regeneration as a result of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities. Always comine turmeric with a source of healthy fats and black pepper for maximum absorption, as well as look for these two keys for best absorption in a supplement. You can take a high quality turmeric or curcumin supplement and give golden milk a try, which is a drink with freshly grated turmeric root, coconut oil, plant milk, black pepper and warming spices.
– Globe artichoke: This vegetable comes from the same family as Milk Thistle, with the main difference that you can include this in your diet! It can protect and support your liver function and increase bile production. Furthermore, its high fiber content also promotes flushing out bile and lowering LDL cholesterol. That’s not all, even when cooked, artichokes do contain more antioxidant potential than raw garlic, broccoli and asparagus. You can steam artichokes and combine them with some coconut or ghee oil, raw garlic and Himalayan salt as an excellent liver supporting meal.
– Milk thistle: So far, it is actually the most recommended herb for liver health. Milk thistle got so much attention in the health food world, so that I put it third just to give the other superstars a chance.
Its active component, siymarin, has anti-fibrotic, antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory properties. Namely, Milk thistle can protect the liver cells from damage triggered by toxins, viruses, alcohol and drugs like acetaminophen.
You can take a high-quality milk thistle supplement that is GMO-free, as well as free of unnecessary binders and fillers. Plus, you can also find fermented milk thistle in a liquid form that can be added to a cold-pressed vegetable juice or taken alone.
The liver does a lot for you, and these are just a few things that you can do to support its function. I recommend cleansing with the change of seasons, since the colon stimulating component of cleansing is of much value to the liver as well as for the other detoxification systems. Remember, no one can live without a liver, so give it some love!