The liver is your body’s largest detoxification organ. It protects us from toxins in the environment or toxins we ingest, such as alcohol, processed foods, and refined sugars.
Therefore, if we consumed a little more of these substances during the holiday season than usual, our liver would function normally.
Now is a good time to love your liver and help it do its job. You can’t do a “liver detox” because the liver detoxifies every minute of every day. What you can do is to support a specific detoxification pathway to improve its function and efficiency while reducing your strain and stress.
Why is the liver important for health?
Your liver is like a factory that receives all substances, filters them, and then repackages them for use by the body, or for safe disposal of harmful substances. Any substance we receive through food, air, or skin passes through this pathway. The liver also plays an important role in digestion.
Your liver detoxifies toxins in two steps. The first step, called Phase 1 detoxification, involves the use of enzymes and oxygen to burn toxins, partially break them down, and make them water-soluble. A second step, called phase 2, combines these partially processed toxins with amino acids to reduce the damage and remove them from the body in watery fluids such as bile and urine.
It is very important that both steps are balanced and work effectively. In phase 1, free radicals are produced, and if there are too many, they can damage liver cells.
If stage 2 is slow, these partially processed toxins don’t get flushed out, so they accumulate in your body. These semi-processed toxins are free radicals and are more harmful than the original toxins.
When the body is exposed to alcohol, smoking, processed foods, or environmental toxins (pesticides, household chemicals, toxins, etc.), this second phase slows down, prevents the liver from handling the load, and systematically increases the toxins.
SYMPTOMS NEEDED TO SUPPORT LIVER HEALTH
When your liver is overwhelmed by a heavy toxic load, you begin to feel the effects throughout your mind.
Acute symptoms of your liver may include:
Feelings of constant tiredness, fatigue, and exhaustion
White or yellow-coated tongue and/or bad breath
Weight gain – especially around the abdomen
Cravings and/or blood sugar problems
Nausea after eating fatty food
Intolerance to strong smells such as perfume
Pain in the right side of the stomach
Skin rash; acne and rashes
If your liver is stressed for long periods of time, it can cause fatty liver. Fatty liver refers to the accumulation of excess fat in the liver. It is a common disease affecting 1 in 10 people in Western countries. Fatty liver is followed by serious diseases such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, liver cirrhosis and cancer.
THREE TIPS TO SUPPORT LIVER TOX MANAGEMENT
Avoid foods that are especially harmful to your liver
Cut out all refined and processed foods, including simple carbohydrates and refined sugar. This includes all cookies, cakes, white bread, soft drinks and baked goods.
Replace harmful, low-quality fats and oils like canola oil, corn oil, margarine, and trans fat with good quality oils like ghee, butter, coconut oil, and rice bran.
Reduce animal products, especially red meat and processed meat.
Eliminate or greatly reduce alcohol consumption. If you experience 3 or more of the above symptoms, remove immediately.
Reduce/ Avoid coffee
Include foods that support the liver and digestive system in your diet
Eat fresh, seasonal, whole foods, fruits and vegetables. If it’s an option, it’s better if it’s organic.
Start your day with a glass of warm water and fresh lemon juice. Drink enough water throughout the day – 1 glass every hour.
Liver detoxifying foods:
Beets, turmeric, onions, garlic, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables (especially bitter types such as rocket, endive, dandelion greens), wheat germ, legumes, grapefruit, lemons
Daily consumption of fresh juices such as beetroot, ginger, carrot and celery helps a lot.
St. Mary Thistle
St. Mary’s thorn is also called milk thistle. It is the best herb for liver cell regeneration. Of course, the liver is an organ that can easily regenerate itself. Milk Thistle balances the two stages of detoxification, thus stimulating detoxification. It also helps the liver handle fat better. Studies have shown that Milk Thistle is effective in treating fatty liver disease (Cacciapuoti, et al, 2013). It is a strong antioxidanttrapped toxins through phase 2 to be eliminated from the body more efficiently. Increased bile flow also assists in strengthening digestive function and helps to relieve constipation. Dandelion leaves are eaten as a bitter green in a salad. The dried root also makes a tea and is often used as a coffee substitute.