The liver is the largest internal organ we’ve got – but few of us understand the importance of a healthy liver until we’ve got a serious health problem. While we continue to live our busy lifestyles our liver is continually managing hundreds of bodily functions, including supporting metabolism, hormonal balance, controlling blood sugar and regulating fat storage to name a few.
One of its biggest jobs is to break down what you eat and decide whether something is a nutrient to be absorbed or a toxin to be sent on a one-way trip out of your body.
What affects your liver?
If you feed your body many substances which are known as ‘Liver Loaders’ it can get overwhelmed with toxins and have problems processing nutrients. Liver loaders include alcohol, refined sugar, synthetic substances (pesticides, medications, skin care) and trans fats. Your body also makes substances itself which also need to be transformed by the liver so that they can be excreted. These include cholesterol, steroid hormones, untreated food sensitivities, substances causing by improper digestive processes and more. Other factors that can affect the livers functioning include; poor digestion, OCP’s, PCOS, poor dietary choices.
How to treat your liver right:
It’s simple, feed it well! Don't wait until your doc says you have a serious liver or health problem. Show your liver some loving right now — and it will return the favour.
In addition to laying off the bad stuff, be sure to supply your liver with a steady stream of nutrient-dense, plant-based foods, good fats, and high-quality animal protein. Here are my top liver-lovin' foods that I recommend to my clients:
Leafy greens and algae– rocket, arugula, spinach, silverbeet, dandelion, wheat grass, spirulina, chlorella.
These foods are extremely high in chlorophyll, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood to help with blood purification.
Brassica/cruciferous veggies – broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, bok choy.
These foods increase the amount of glucosinolate in our system, which add to enzyme production in the liver aiding the removal of toxins from the body.
Carrots & beetroot
Both high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene which can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.
Lemons, limes & grapefruit
These sour foods trigger nerve and hormone activation to the liver and digestion system. These foods are also high in vitamin C, which also boosts the production of liver detoxification enzymes.
Spices - Ginger, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, turmeric.
They all help support liver health, so add them into everything!
Green tea in full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function.
Another great way to show your liver some love is to do a cleanse once or twice a year. This is a great way to give your liver and digestive system a well-earned respite and hit the reset button!