How To Keep Your Liver Healthy


Have you been feeling sluggish?  Are you having trouble losing weight?  Well, it could be your liver.  As toxins build up in your body from everyday living your livers natural cleansing ability can get a little overwhelmed.  The liver can effect almost every metabolic function in your body.  So, making sure it’s in tip top condition is vital to your overall health.

Facts about your liver

  • It’s about the size of a football
  • Second to your skin it is the largest organ of the body
  • It’s located on the right inside your abdomen, up under your ribcage
  • It weighs about 3-4 pounds
  • Has two large sections, called the right and the left lobes
  • The gallbladder sits under the liver
  • It’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, before passing it to the rest of the body
  • Secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines
  • Stores some vitamins and iron
  • Stores the simple sugar glucose
  • Converts stored sugar to usable sugar when the body’s sugar (glucose) levels fall below normal.
  • Breaks down hemoglobin as well as insulin and other hormones
  • Converts ammonia to urea, which is vital in metabolism
  • Destroys old red blood cells
  • Makes proteins important for blood clotting and other functions
  • Up to 25% can be removed and in a short time grow back to it’s original shape and size

Your liver performs so many vital functions that it’s easy to see how it can be prone to disease.  To keep your liver healthy it’s important to stay away from processed foods, excess alcohol, prescription drugs ( if you can), food additives and excess intake of omega 6 fatty acids (cooking oils).  There are also environmental toxins as well that can be taxing on your liver like herbicides, synthetic chemical fertilizers, and even tap water.  Obviously some of these things are out of your control but, there are some thing that you can do to keep your liver healthy.

Love Your Liver          

Get a water filter

There can be a lot of nasty stuff floating around in you tap water like fluoride, chlorine, lead, bacteria, nitrates and other chemicals. The three types of filters that can remove fluoride and other contaminants are reverse osmosis, deionizers (which use ion-exchange resins), and activated alumina. Each of these filters should be able to remove about 90% of impurities. Filtering your water before your liver does will give it a huge break.

Eat Probiotics

Whether it’s kombucha, kefir, yougurt, or any fermented food you need good bacteria.  I would have to say that kombucha is a super star for your liver.  This health elixir has been around for over 2000 years.  The detoxifying capacity of kombucha has been observed  to counteract liver cell toxicity.

Go Organic

Conventionally grown food can be genetically modified and/or harbor pesticide and synthetic chemicals residues; all of these place a heavy burden on your liver.  Organically grown food has also been shown to usually have more nutrients.

Have Healthy Fats

Stay away from cooking oils like corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and others.  Instead, try more unprocessed natural oils like coconut and ghee.

Drink Tea

Green tea is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function.  Dandelion root tea assists the liver in breaking down fats, producing amino acids and ridding it of toxins

Eat Liver Detoxing Foods

 Citrus Fruits like Grapefruit can boost the natural cleansing processes of the liver by increasing production of liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins. Citrus fruits are rich in  vitamin C and antioxidants.  Vitamin C stimulates the production  glutathione the primary antioxidant your liver needs for detoxification.  Drinking fresh Lemon or Lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver..

Garlic Is a powerful bulb full of liver cleansing compounds like selenium and allicin; it has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins.

 Apples are high in pectin and liver detoxing phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids. Phlorizidin in particular, helps stimulate bile production, which helps the liver get rid of certain toxins through bile.

Turmeric is more than just a curry spice it stimulates the gallbladder to produce more bile, which the liver uses to eliminate toxins.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.

Avocado is another super food that increases production of glutathione, the compound that is necessary for the liver to clean out harmful toxins.

Walnuts contain the amino acid arginine, which is necessary to help the liver detoxify ammonia.  They also contain high levels of  glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, both known to support healthy liver detoxification.

Cruciferous Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy are known to increase the amount of glucosinolate.  Your body is stimulated by glucosinolate to rev-up enzyme production in the liver that flushes out carcinogens and other toxins.

Beets contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that support detoxification. The redish-purple pigment of the beetroot is called betacyanin, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps support liver detoxification.

Carrots are another vegetable rich in glutathione and antioxidants such as lutein, lycopene and zeaxanthin.

Leafy Greens Have a high content of plant chlorophylls that neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides.  Arugula,  dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced which will help increase the creation and flow of bile.

To keep a healthy liver you want to incorporate these liver loving foods into your diet daily.  And if you are looking to do a so-called spring cleaning on your liver you might want to try a liver detox by juicing and using supplements.  If you’re looking into doing a juice cleanse here are some of my juicing recipes that I like to drink even when I’m not doing a liver detox. (If you want to benefit from the fiber or extract all nutrients  you can always use a high powered blender and add water instead of juicing)

Purple Poison Puller

1 Apple
1/2 a Large Beet or 1 small beet
2-3 Kale Leaves
1/2-1 Juice of Lemon
1/4 Cup of Cranberries (optional)
Dash of Himalayan Sea Salt
Add Raw Honey (optional) to taste

Simple Green

1 Apple
1 Cup Spinach
1/2 a Small Cucumber
1/2 Celery Stock
1 Small Slice of Ginger
Dash of Himalayan Sea Salt

Carrot Cooler

3 Large Carrots
1/2 MediumApple
I/2 Small Cucumber
1 Tangerine
Dash of Himalayan Sea Salt

Tell me your favorite juicing recipe or how you like to keep your liver clean and healthy.

 
 Photo Credit:freedigitalphotos.net “Stomach And Liver” by dream designs
 

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