The liver is a very important organ – it is responsible for over 400 processes in the body and it acts as a filter for every toxic material that enters our body. It is mainly responsible for filtering toxins besides controlling numerous other functions.
Besides digesting fats and storing vitamins and minerals, the liver also processes nutrients from the food you consume, which is why we need to keep it in perfect shape at all times.
The liver has two pathways for detoxification:
- Phase 1 of liver detoxification – This phase involves using enzymes to transform these lipid-soluble toxins into less harmful substances that Phase 2 can now handle.
- Phase 2 of liver detoxification – It involves pairing these battered up toxins with other molecules which increase their water-solubility so they can be safely removed from the body through the means of elimination.
Even if you follow a healthy lifestyle, drink pure water, eat organic foods, use toxin-free cleaning and personal care products, you are still exposed to toxins. Toxins from the environment, (air, soil, water, cars, factories, plastics) are factors that cannot be controlled.
Is your liver sluggish?
When the liver becomes sluggish, toxins are no longer able to leave the body and are instead stored in fat tissue (since they are lipid-soluble) and they will hang out there until liver function improves and they can be safely eliminated. This can be a huge factor as to why you aren’t shedding extra weight even with a healthy diet and exercise.
There is a variety of tell-tale symptoms of a stressed out liver, regardless of the degree of your symptoms, by taking holistic approaches and preventative steps you have the ability to improve your liver function and improve your quality of life (because you deserve to feel good).
If you experience the following symptoms, don’t – there are some tips to follow for improving liver function which I encourage you to practice in your daily routine:
- Negative emotions
- Chronic fatigue
- Migraines/headaches behind the eyes
- Dull headaches improved with sleep
- Feeling drained/Lethargy/Brain fog
- Chronic, Muscle or Joint pain
- Difficulty digesting fats
- Excessive perspiration
- Removed gall bladder
- Diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, bloating, gas
- Skin conditions or acne
- Depression and anxiety
- Hormonal imbalances
- Chronic stinky breath
- Sudden weight gain
- Chemical sensitivities
The health begins in the kitchen
Eating a healthy diet and acquiring healthy lifestyle choices is vital for proper organ function. Eliminating processed foods from your diet and replacing them with healthy alternatives is a must. Avoid eating pre-packaged foods and try making your own meals at home in order to keep your liver healthy.
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated, focus on the following steps to get on the right track:
- Buy Organic and avoid GMO.
- Consume a balanced diet which consists of whole foods, high-quality animal and plant proteins, sprouted ancient grains, fermented foods, healing fats, raw nuts and seeds.
- Eliminate inflammatory oils such as canola, corn, soybean, vegetable oil, cottonseed, safflower, sunflower.
- Drink enough pure water. If you take your weight in pounds and divide it in half, this is the amount of water you should be drinking in ounces (150lbs = 75oz). Source out your best pure accessible water, whether it be reverse osmosis (remineralized) or self-harvested spring water.
- Increase consumption of healthy healing fats such as coconut oil, sustainable red palm oil, ghee, grass-fed butter, avocado, hemp.
- Get in enough fiber. 35g daily minimum coming from whole food sources such as chia seeds, artichokes, golden flax seeds, avocado, broccoli and brussels sprouts.
- Eliminate refined sugars: brown/white sugar, cane sugar, cane juice, cane juice crystals, beet sugar.
- Restrict fructose consumption to 20g – 25g per day. agave, glucose-fructose (high fructose corn syrup), high glycemic/fructose fruits
- Increase leafy green vegetable consumption as they are high in magnesium, folate, vitamin C and B-vitamins.
- Include animal-based and plant-based sources for amino acids (bone broth, collagen, pasture-raised chicken & eggs, raw spinach, parsley, cabbage, beets).
- Focus on food sources of sulfur (pasture-raised eggs, broccoli, brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, asparagus, kale).
- Limit or eliminate alcohol. If you are experiencing 3 or more of the above symptoms find a healthy replacement for this (toxic) habit, such as grape kombucha.
The powerful threesome for the liver
1. Globe Artichoke
Globe artichoke comes from the thistle family and it is excellent for protecting the liver and improving its function. Moreover, it increases bile production and reduces the LDL cholesterol. Artichokes contain more oxidants than broccoli, asparagus, and raw garlic even when cooked.
Turmeric’s active ingredients, curcumin has a number of benefits. It protects the liver from damage and also regenerates damaged liver cells thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric should be paired with black pepper and healthy fats for optimal absorption.
3. Milk thistle
Milk thistle is hands down the best food for your liver. It contains silymarin, a compound with powerful anti-fibrotic, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that will protect your liver from damage. Consume milk thistle in liquid form or find a supplement.