Your liver is a busy organ. As our body’s main player for detoxifying blood, metabolizing nutrients, and acting as an overall filter for toxins and waste products, this vital organ is an undeniable workhorse, working hard to keep your blood clean, skin clear, eyes bright, energy up, moods happy, and a whole host of other functions.
Regardless of its constant exposure to essentially everything your body absorbs, the liver is highly resilient and regenerative. The liver, of course, isn’t invincible, and like anything that’s put to constant use, your liver would benefit from some proactive care to keep it functioning optimally and in turn, keep your body healthy.
This is particularly important amidst our modern lifestyle where dietary and environmental toxins can be found everywhere. Modern stressors from pollution, chemicals in skin care, artificial ingredients and pesticides in food can all cause a dangerous buildup of toxic substances in our body that our liver has to work on detoxifying overtime to keep us from feeling tired and sick.
Check in with yourself to see how you feel and assess if your liver could use a detox.
Signs your liver needs a detox:
- You often feel sluggish and ‘foggy’
- Stubborn excess weight that’s difficult to lose
- Your body odor is stronger or smells bad
- Dull skin
- Dull hair
- Frequent headaches
- Poor bowel movements and/or constipation
- Sugar cravings
- You frequently eat junk food
- Pain around the liver area
To keep your livers detoxification function running smoothly and to prevent your liver from getting bogged down by too many toxins which in turn stay longer in our systems, ditch liver-harming habits and incorporate the following healthy habits to keep your liver happy.
1. Lose weight
If you’re overweight, work on losing the extra pounds for the sake of your liver’s health. Toxins such as pesticides and plastic are stored in fat tissue, putting your body in constant exposure to toxins.
Pair a balanced wholefoods diet and ditch or minimize chemical-laden processed foods. With just regular exercise and a healthy diet, weight loss should follow, removing the excess fat and toxins and putting less stress on your liver.
2. Cut down on sugar
Sugar is surprisingly very damaging to your liver. Excessive amounts of sugar increase your chances of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which leads to other dietary lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and high cholesterol.
3. Mind your medication
Over the counter medications such as pain killers are extremely taxing on the liver. Only take them as needed at the prescribed dose and never pair them with alcohol. To spare your liver from unnecessary medication, educate yourself about natural treatments that can be effective and healthier for you in the long run. Ingredients such as turmeric can be an excellent alternative to pain management.
4. Care for your gut
Your liver and gut health are connected as they work in tandem to deliver your body the energy and nutrients it needs while clearing out any harmful toxins. Keep your liver healthy by looking at your gut health as it is a source of toxins that tax the liver.
If you have any food allergies (dairy, gluten, artificial ingredients), are taking antibiotics, and frequently eat junk food, know that these release toxins that inflame and tax the liver. Keep your gut healthy, your liver will thank you.
5. Incorporate ingredients that promote your livers health
Complement a healthy whole foods diet with ingredients that are especially beneficial for your liver’s health. Look for:
- Milk Thistle to encourages liver regeneration and protection.
- Dandelion to promotes liver detoxification.
- Burdock Root to protect your liver from toxins and promote bile secretion.
- Red Raspberry to help prevent NAFLD.
- Chicory Root to stave off oxidative stress on your liver and prevent liver cell damage.
- Yarrow to support overall healthy liver function.
With a clean diet and avoiding unnecessary dietary and environmental toxins, your liver should be able to do its many jobs well.