A cleansing, springtime detox feels wonderful for your body and it can also be delicious! Your liver is your premiere detox organ, and all too frequently, factors interrupt its healthy functioning.
Examples include highly refined foods, nitrates, hormones and preservatives, along with environmental xenohormones, caffeine, alcohol, hormone birth control, overuse of antibiotics, prescription drugs, smog, secondhand smoke, and even metabolic residue from your foods.
When these elements come into play, your liver no longer performs normally, causing toxins to build up in your system, where they provoke chronic health conditions – but there are plenty of natural remedies available!
Love Your Liver
Your liver, as the center of action, also purifies the bloodstream, maintains sugar levels, produces enzymes and amino acids to metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins, produces bile during the digestive process for fat metabolism, then houses the bile in the gallbladder, and helps keep your body in hormonal balance.
Simply put, the liver is the key to life. When your liver is sluggish, every organ in your body becomes affected by it. Your blood vessels enlarge, and blood flow becomes restricted. The congested liver starts to propel toxins into your circulatory system, producing a dull ache under your lower right rib cage – particularly after a rich meal.
With toxins running amok in your body, secondary problems are usually not far behind it. The liver – which produces enzymes and amino acids to aid in digestion – becomes overwhelmed and throws the whole body out of balance, which weakens the gastro lining and releases more toxins into the system.
And as higher amounts of these poisons are released, even more make their way into your liver, which starts the insidious circle all over again.
As the seat of energy flow for the body, your liver is susceptible to stagnation problems. Unresolved or prolonged anger and depression – the emotional markers of a compromised liver – prevent the body’s energy from flowing as it should. You may have a deep vertical crease between your eyebrows as a result, or a dark reddish complexion.
You could also experience a myriad of secondary symptoms such as acne, itchy rashes, petachiae (red spots), splitting or breaking fingernails, and digestive problems.
Hormonal imbalances could also come into play. These symptoms range from premenstrual irritability, mood swings and cramping, to perimenopausal irritability, mental fog, anxiety and depression, to menopausal hot flashes, palpitations and night sweats.
In fact, contending with years of a stress-damaged liver has also been known to bring about earlier menopausal symptoms.
Feed Your Liver
These are fantastic foods to feed your liver what it critically needs for peak performance.
• Dandelion root is just dandy for stimulating liver function and detox because it’s loaded with nutrients and minerals. One such is inulin, a fiber-like substance that functions as a prebiotic to help nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut. The humble dandelion root is also good for lowering blood sugar and boosting the overall health of the microbiome. It’s the perfect swap or trade-off to have in place of coffee for those of you on a detox. Another easy and delicious option is to add it to your daily smoothie.
• You can’t beat beets, which are full of betaine, a prominent protector of the liver against the damaging effects of alcohol. Betaine also thins the bile and helps it move freely within the bile ducts, and is an incredibly rich dietary source of nitric oxide and antioxidants. Beets tend to have a bad reputation when it comes to taste, but I find them to be quite delicious when grated and sprinkled over a salad.
• Flaxseeds are fabulous for fiber, which keeps toxins moving out of your body – where they should be. They’ve also been found to power up the immune system and even be an effective cancer fighter. They can be of particular benefit to post-menopausal women because the lignans in the fibrous shell counteract the cell-proliferating power of excess estrogen. From flaxseed crackers to an excellent smoothie add-in, there are many ways to work flax’s healthful crunch into your routine.
• Burdock root rocks as a liver cleansing agent by encouraging the body to remove waste and metabolize built up fats, old cholesterol deposits, and toxins. As an added bonus, it can be very helpful for skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. My favorite way to prepare it is to peel it and use it plentifully as an ingredient in a slaw. Yum!
Detox Your Liver With These 19 Super Foods
1. Beets and Carrots: Carrots are rich in Glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver. Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene. Eating beats and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function. (Source) (Related CE Article:The Mother of All Antioxidants)
2. Tomatoes: They have abundant amounts of Glutathione (see article above) which again, are a great detoxifier for the liver. As a side effect Lycopene in tomatoes will protect against breast, skin and lung cancer.
3. Grapefruit: Another source of the liver cleansing glutathione. It’s also high in vitamin C and antioxidants, this boosts the production of the liver detoxification enzymes and increases the natural cleansing process of the liver.
4. Spinach: Raw Spinach is a major source of glutathione that triggers toxin cleansing enzymes of the liver.
5. Citrus Fruits: Lemons and Lime contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which helps stimulate the liver and aids the synthesizing of toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water.
6. Cabbage: The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from cabbage’s glucosinolates provides liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins.
7. Turmeric: Turmeric is the liver’s favorite spice and helps boost liver detox. It does this by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.
8. Walnuts: Walnuts are a good source of glutathione, omega-3 fatty acids and amino acid arginine, which support the normal liver cleansing actions, especially in detoxifying ammonia.
9. Avocados: The nutrient-dense superfood, avocado helps the body produce glutathione
10. Apples: They are high in pectin and other chemicals essential to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. Apples make it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.
11. Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are high in sulfur and antioxidant glucosinolate, which forces the liver to release enzymes that block damage from environmental or dietary toxins.
12. Garlic: Garlic is loaded with sulfur that activates liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
13. Dandelion: Dandelion root tea assists the liver in breaking down fats, producing amino acids and generally ridding it of toxins.
14. Leafy Green Vegetables: Green Veggies are extremely high in plant chlorophyll’s that absorb environmental toxins, increase bile production, neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, which lowers the burden on the liver.
15. Cruciferous Vegetables: Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase production of enzymes glucosinolate in your system that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.
16. Asparagus: Asparagus is a great diuretic helping in the cleansing process and sharing the detox load of the liver and kidneys.
17. Green Tea: Green tea is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function.
18. Olive Oil: Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great support for the liver, providing the body with a liquid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body.
19. Alternative Grains: Gluten rich grains such as wheat, flour, or other whole grains increase the load on the liver’s detox function and enzyme production. Switch to alternative grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat.
Support Your Liver
In addition to dietary sources, I also recommend supplementing with Liver-Lovin Formula – particularly if these foods don’t appeal to you, so you can ensure you’re getting adequate liver-lovin’nutrients.
This uniquely formulated supplement contains:
• Artichoke (300 mg) – a well-known liver healer, loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through the liver’s detox pathways and boost bile production.
• Chlorophyll (500 mg) – oxygenates and energizes the system, plus is rich in purifying magnesium to further enhance elimination.
• Taurine (250 mg) – an amino acid that boosts the liver’s production of bile to aid in fat digestion and absorption.
May your appetite love these foods as much as your liver will!