Revitalise your Liver!
Author: Lia Pellizzeri Date Posted:13 February 2018
The New Year is often seen as the time to shift the kilos accumulated over the Holiday season, cleanse the internal organs, overhaul the body and just get thoroughly Zen and carry this through to the next New Year!
But really there is no reason to start thinking detox, as our body’s primary detoxification organ, the Liver, does the tough work in filtering and removing all the toxins exposed to it, from environmental to the food and drinks we consume, and medications we use.
It’s easy to see how we can do some serious damage to our poor old liver, which can really struggle to take on this massive day-to-day load. Here are some indications your liver isn’t functioning as well as it could be:
- Loss of Appetite
- Weight Loss/Gain
- Bruising easily
The GOOD NEWS is that you can help RELIEVE these symptoms by giving your liver some solid TLC! You can do this temporarily as a cleanse, but to really help regenerate healthy liver cells, incorporating these measures in your daily life will create an optimally functioning detox organ!
Nutrition is EXTREMELY important:
Everything you put in your mouth goes to the liver for processing, so it goes without saying that if you eat processed, refined, antibiotic and pesticide-treated foods – the liver will have to remove these substances before they enter the bloodstream. Inevitably leading to sluggish liver function. On the flip side, a diet contributing to liver health can optimise the detoxifying capabilities of this major organ and in doing so create a much healthier body.
FOODS TO INCLUDE:
- Sour and Bitter Foods which suggest the presence of special enzymes and essential nutrients that nourish the liver and help eliminate potential toxins and heavy metals. Think freshly squeezed lemon in hot water in the morning, and eat plenty of green leafy and cruciferous veg daily such as bitter greens, rocket, broccoli, chicory, and spinach, to raise glutathione levels – our number ONE liver antioxidant!
- Fruits high in antioxidants and low in fructose such as BERRIES provide awesome nutrition to the liver in the form of Vitamin C and antioxidant flavonoid compounds which help improve circulation and lower inflammation – which is so important for a healthy liver.
- Choose ORGANIC where possible – yes it's expensive, but for good reason! A lot of love, care and attention has been given to growing small crops of fruit and veg (and livestock) without the nasty chemical pesticides that make conventional farming viable for large scale production. This means you’re getting your produce as nature intended it, and the best part? Your liver doesn’t suffer through the laborious process of removing these toxic substances in order for nutrients to be delivered to cells.
FOODS TO AVOID:
- Reducing or eliminating foods and drinks that are taxing to the liver is JUST as important as including the good stuff.
- Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates have to be avoided to help regenerate an over-compensating liver – these ingredients cause insulin levels to spike and decreases glucose sensitivity in the cells, creating a highly inflammatory environment in which the liver has to work even harder.
- Drinking Alcohol in large amounts is one of the fastest ways to damage your liver, whilst small amounts are OK and can even be beneficial, we are looking at red wine here, it is important to remember alcohol is essentially a toxin that needs to be metabolized and neutralized in the liver in order for it to become a safe molecule for the blood stream. Please always remember to drink responsibly.
- Packaged foods containing refined vegetable oils, artificial ingredients, sweeteners and colours should be eliminated, anything in a box will undoubtedly contain something used to preserve it (or a number of things) and all of these substances put unnecessary strain on the liver.
Herbs and Supplements can work wonders on the Liver!
Alongside dietary changes, boosting your liver’s detoxifying capacity with regenerative and cleansing herbs and nutrients can go a long way in repairing some of the damage caused by years of poor eating, alcohol use. These are some of the best supplements to make a big impact on your liver health:
- St Mary’s Thistle contains the amazing Silymarin constituent, a powerful antioxidant that has been repeatedly shown to regenerate liver cells, lower oxidative stress and inflammation within the liver, and optimise its detoxifying function.
- Dandelion Root has been traditionally used to stimulate digestion through its effect on the liver, especially its ability to increase the important Phase II detoxification enzymes. It also contains bitter components that help increase bile production and flow, thereby supporting liver and digestive health.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. Supplement together with Vitamin C and regenerate the master antioxidant Glutathione to lower inflammation and clean up free- radicals.
An important life style recommendation
Exercise! Its more about consistency than quantity, sweating it out in the gym 5 days a week may not be achievable and is most likely not an option for the majority of us. Walking or other gentle exercise such as swimming at least 30 minutes daily increases our circulation and improves sensitivity to blood sugar – vital for liver health.
Improved liver function can result in greatly improved health and wellbeing… you can expect:
How are you going to show some love to your liver today?
|Written by Lia Pellizzeri|
Lia is a qualified Naturopath who believes in the power of nature to heal many of today’s acute and chronic conditions. She’s not only passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, but about educating people on nutrition and the amazing benefits of herbs and supplements in addressing symptoms and their underlying issues.
Lia loves to cook, bake and read… when she isn’t busy telling people to enjoy their egg yolks and other healthy fats, she can most likely be found on the lounge with a latte and a tattered copy of Lord of the Rings.