Our bodies are exposed to toxins daily. We create waste in our bodies that we must detoxify and excrete, and we absorb toxins from our environment. These toxins can accumulate and cause significant health problems such as interfering with healthy lipid metabolism, impairing glucose management, reducing our thyroid function, and causing sex hormone imbalances. Our whole body plays a role in supporting our good health, but when it comes to detoxification, it is the liver that has the most crucial role. Do you know if yours is functioning as well as it could be? Read on to find out how you can give your liver the love that it needs.
Knowing your liver
Located under the right ribcage, the liver is the largest and heaviest internal organ, weighing around 1.4kg. It is also the largest gland and the only organ with two distinct blood supplies: one from the intestines, and one from the heart. The liver is responsible for processing nutrient rich blood from the 消化系统, and preventing toxic substances from entering the blood stream. It makes bile which helps the body to metabolise fat and it stores glucose, a sugar used in energy production. The liver also stores some vitamins and minerals during excess intake, releases them in times of deficiency, and creates enzymes needed for detoxification. With so many functions in the body, a healthy liver is central to good health because, above all, the liver’s primary role in the body is detoxification.
Does your liver need some love?
Years of consuming sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and processed/refined vegetable fats can strain the liver. If you are experiencing fatigue, queasiness, digestion problems, head tension, afternoon sugar cravings or cellulite, are waking around 2am or have periods of intense anger; your liver needs some love. There are many herbs that can support your liver. These can be consumed in your diet or taken as a tea or supplement. Keep an eye out for rosemary, dandelion, globe artichoke, schisandra, burdock, turmeric, yellow dock, and St Mary’s (milk) thistle.
Supporting your digestive system
Healthy and unhealthy microbes colonise the digestive system producing helpful and harmful chemicals. Eating a range of prebiotic and probiotic foods (or taking a supplement) can support the microbiome so that there are more beneficial microbes, and less toxicity. Some nutrients needed for detoxification are also absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, so for good liver health, we must also look after the gut.
While eating liver-loving food, especially choline-rich foods – liver (lamb’s fry, chicken livers, etc), other organ meats, egg yolks, whole dairy, meats, fish, and shellfish, is a great way to support your liver, simple steps during the day can promote good liver health.
Ensure you are drinking enough water, reduce or eliminate liver loaders such as coffee and alcohol, and don’t forget to breathe! Simply relaxing the body and sitting and chewing thoroughly, stimulates the ‘rest, digest and repair’ nervous system so that the body can digest, absorb, and detoxify more easily. Small steps throughout the day can make a huge impact on your liver, and your everyday health.