In this article I would like to talk about our liver. How it works, how hard it works to detoxify our body and how to detox your liver naturally by consuming the proper things that support liver functions.
How your liver detoxifies itself
Your liver is the main detoxifying organ in your body. One of its main function is cleaning toxins and other wastes from your blood. Your liver has many other functions too.
After your food is broken down in your digestive system, the small particles enter your blood and they are on the way to your liver for filtering. In this stage, your liver separates the nutrients from the waste chemicals that need to be removed from circulation. This big important organ converts amino acids into proteins to build lean muscle mass and enzymes. It also produces bile that is essential to digest fatty foods. The liver also stores energy. It is like a factory that receives, filters and repackages substances and removes toxic waste.
Your liver performs a couple of hundreds of functions, but one of the most critical function is to ensure that toxins are safely removed from your blood. Toxins are not only enter your body when you are exposed to harmful substances like pesticides, but they are also a result of digestion.
Detoxification of harmful substances happens in two steps. The first step uses enzymes and oxygen to burn toxins, making them easier for the body to eliminate. The second, final step combines partially processed toxins with amino acids and sulfur so they can be removed through urine or bile.
It is very crucial that the above mentioned steps to be in balance, with sufficient nutrition for each step to work well. If toxins are not broken down well and fast enough in the first step, they will be recirculated via your blood until the liver has enough of the needed material to process them.
The other scenario is if toxins are broken down too fast in the first stage, the “packaging” in the second stage won’t be able to keep up and as a result, the partially-processed harmful toxins build up in your body. When you are exposed to harmful toxins for longer period (through bad died or environmental factors), the nutrients essential for the second stage can be exhausted, preventing your liver to properly handling the load.
Among other functions your liver also breaks down or deactivates a couple hormones – like insulin, estrogen and cortisol, the stress hormone – and removes them from your blood. The liver also converts Vitamin D into a more usable form that activates the immune system, helps calcium absorption and other essential functions.
So you see, a healthy balances liver is essential to your life and health, that is why you need to support its natural functions as much as possible. Nutrition from fresh produce and herbs are critical for all liver functions including detoxification.
Foods that naturally detox our liver
Our liver gets overloaded and overworked at times due to modern diet and to our lifestyle. There are many foods that are great helps in assisting our liver’s natural ability to cleanse toxic wast from our body. Here are some important ones:
LEMON and LIMES
They contain high amount of Vitamin C that helps our body synthesizing toxic waste into substances that are easily absorbed by water thus easier to remove.Start your day with a freshly squeezed lemon in a glass of lukewarm water to stimulate your liver.
Very high in vitamin C and antioxidants which makes it a perfect food to increase the natural cleansing function of the liver.Consume a glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice to help to boost the production of the liver detox enzymes that help to flush out toxins and carcinogens.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away? The high pectin content of apples helps the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive system. The process helps the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.Just simply eat 1-2 apples a day for your overall help and as a support for your detox.
OLIVE AND OTHER OILS
Cold pressed organic oils, -such as flax seed, hemp, grape seed and olive oils- are great for the liver when used in moderation.They provide a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins thus take some burdens off the liver.
Turmeric is a perfect supplement to detox your liver naturally. This bight yellow spice has been used for thousands of years in the Indian ayurvedic medicine. Today’s studies demonstrate that turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects as well as a strong liver protecting function.Besides protecting the liver from toxic compounds, turmeric acts as strong antioxidant, it reduces inflammation, promotes cardiovascular health, reduces pain and stiffness of rheumatoid arthritic and osteoarthritis and many more>
For perfect liver detox it is recommended to take 500-1000mg dose a day in 2 -3 servings.
CRUCIEFROUS VEGETABLES and CABBAGE
Eating broccoli cauliflower and cabbage will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system. It helps the productions of toxin removing enzymes of the liver thus reducing the risks associated with cancer.Try eating more broccoli, kimchi, sauerkraut, coleslaw and cabbage soup.
BEETS AND CARROTS
Both of these vegetables are rich in plant-flavonoids and beta carotene. Carrot is rich in glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver.Eating beets and carrots helps to improve the overall health of your liver.
Garlic has high amounts of allicin and selenium, two compounds that aids your liver cleansing. It is also very rich in sulfur that activates liver enzymes to help your liver to flush out toxins.
LEAFY GREEN VEGETABLES
These vegetables are high in natural plant chlorophyll that neutralize heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, absorb environmental toxins and increase bile production, thus lowers the burden on the liver.Add more green vegetables to your daily diet whenever it is possible.
More ways to improve liver functions
Below there are 11 ways you can support your liver in its important and crucial task of detoxification:
1. MAINTAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT
if you are overweight, you increase your chance of having fatty liver that can lead to liver disease (non–alcoholic fatty liver disease NALFLD). Reducing weight is important in helping to reduce liver fat.
2. EXERCISE REGULARLY
regular exercise helps to burn triglycerides and it can also help to reduce liver fat
3. EAT BALANCED DIET
Try to avoid high calorie foods, saturated fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta. Do not eat under cooked shellfish. Obtain sufficient amount of fiber through your diet by eating fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and brown rice. Limit the amount of red meat, daily and fats. Hydrate your body by drinking a lot of pure water.
4. AVOID TOXINS
Toxins are the main enemy of liver cells. Limit your contact with toxins from aerosol and cleaning products, insecticides and other chemicals. If you must use aerosols, make sure that the room is well ventilated and wear a mask.
Do not smoke.
5. CONSUME ALCOHOL RESPONSIBLY
Alcoholic beverages can damage (or even destroy) liver cells. If you are not sure amount the safe amount of alcohol for you, please talk to your health consultant.
6. WASH YOUR HANDS
wash hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom, diaper change or before preparing food or eating.
7. PRACTICE SAFE SEX
Unsafe sex increased the risk of Hepatitis B and C.
8. DO NOT SHARE OR USE CONTAMINATED NEEDLES
Dirty needles are not only associated with intravenous drug use. Unsafe injection practices may occur at hospital setting. Also, make sure to use clean needles for tattoos and body piercing.
9. AVOID THE USE OF DRUGS
Use of illicit drugs is a big problem in many countries. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine, crack, heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics used non-medically.
10. DON’T SHARE PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS
Razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers can carry microscopic levels of blood or other body fluids that may be contaminated.
11. GET VACCINATED
There are vaccines for hepatitis A and hepatitis B. There’s no vaccine against the hepatitis C virus.
So even though there is no proven scientific evidence that liver cleanses work, you can always make positive lifestyle and diet changes to support your liver in its functions by following the tips in this article.