‘Tis the season to show your liver some love!
Spring is almost here, though it might not feel like it in many areas of the country. This season is a wonderful time of year. In the Spring, the world is reawakening and blooming with a renewed energy. And, since our beloved Spring holidays are also all about freedom and renewed life, the transition to springtime is the perfect time to turn your attention to the liver and its cohort, the gallbladder. That’s right, it’s liver cleansing time!
Sadly, the liver doesn’t get the same kind of attention that the heart and brain do. But it is so important, as it performs close to 400 varied functions in the body — from transforming food into energy to controlling hormonal balance, and even producing the bile that supports healthy digestion.
The liver is the largest internal organ in the body, and it is a very potent detoxifier. In fact, that could be its most valuable function. However, the amount of “detox” required by the constant bombardment of toxins our bodies face today can make the liver vulnerable.
“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is present in 30% of adults in the United States,” says Manal Abdelmalek, MD, MPH, associate professor of gastroenterology/hepatology at Duke University Medical School. And another study in the International Journal of Obesity shows that 11% of overweight and obese kids have NAFLD!
NAFLD is a leading cause of systemic inflammation, which can result in Type 2 diabetes. A Swiss study in the journal Nutrition shows that eating too much sugar can lead to a fatty liver, as well as insulin resistance and increased body fat. And research in Hepatology links high-fructose corn syrup—common in today’s processed foods and drinks—with liver scarring or fibrosis.
While it is true that the liver is perfectly designed to detoxify itself, if it becomes overloaded with toxins from our food, meds, water, the air we breathe, the homes we live in, and the products we use, it simply can’t perform its vital functions to the fullest —maintaining blood sugar levels, synthesizing and normalizing blood proteins and even helping keep the body in hormonal balance.
Freeing up this vital organ to do all its jobs may be the single most important step you can ever take in improving your overall health. Detoxification is a very nutrient-dependent process so your body needs to be well-fortified in order to detox your liver effectively.
Here are 7 ways to give your liver the Springtime clean-up it needs:
- Cut the corn syrup and say no to sugar! Nix food, drinks, salad dressings, and energy bars that contain high-fructose corn syrup. Eliminate other forms of added sugar as much as possible.
- Start the day with hot lemon water. Sip a cup of hot water with the juice of 1/2 lemon, to help thin bile and tone liver function.
- Eat liver-loving foods. In particular, cruciferous veggies (think broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower) help speed the breakdown of fat-storing toxins from the phase 2 detox pathway. Enjoy a minimum of two servings daily.
- Drink cran-water all day. My signature antioxidant/phenol-rich cranberry juice and water mixture is something you can drink throughout the day to keep detox pathways clear. Mix 1 ounce unsweetened cranberry juice to 7 ounce of purified water. Enjoy up to 64 ounces daily!
- Up your fiber intake. Consume plenty of fiber (my favorites are chia, ground flax, or psyllium, as well as fruits and veggies) to keep toxins moving out of the body.
- Power up with protein. Take in sufficient, healthy protein at each meal. Also, enjoy up to two eggs daily which are high in sulfur and lecithin to support detox and to aid in the formation of bile salts. Whey protein is another one of my favorite protein sources for detox — the amino acids in whey are precursors to glutathione—the liver’s premier antioxidant.
- Cut back on fruit. A liver cleansing word to the wise: Too much fruit can be contraindicated for the cleansing process because of its high fructose content! Stick to 1 or 2 servings daily and focus on low glycemic fruits like berries.
Take liver cleansing to the next level with extra support:
To nourish your liver naturally and give your body a cleansing boost this time of year, I highly recommend Liver-Lovin Formula.
This very popular supplement by UNI KEY has been with great success by many individuals with elevated liver enzymes and it tends to work quickly. Liver-Lovin Formula contains:
- Artichoke, a well-known liver healer that’s loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through detox pathways and to boost bile production.
- Chlorophyll to further enhance elimination.
- Taurine, a major amino acid detoxifier that boosts the liver’s production of bile, aiding in fat breakdown.
If you no longer have a gallbladder, have a history of gallstones, or have known issues digesting fat, I also highly recommend Bile Builder.
Since Spring is a time for renewal, and our Spring holidays are a great reminder of freedom and a renewed sense of hope, let’s also embrace the renewal of our health, and freedom from this toxic world with a much-needed liver cleanse! You can start incorporating these steps now and stay turned for a group challenge coming soon over on my Fat Flush Nation facebook group — come join us there.