Which toxins pose the greatest threat to our hard-working liver and which foods and herbs can help us protect it and keep it healthy?
Protecting Our Liver
In order to prevent our liver from being overworked, we should know what is the main cause of over working it in order to make conscious choices to limit such intake.
Alcohol – excess alcohol causes the liver to metabolise fat less efficiently, so that it is stored in the liver and other organs instead. This will result in having an a fatty and inflamed liver which functions less efficiently. Avoiding alcohol is the best way to prevent damage to the liver, but drinking responsibly also helps. Read on the Natural Boost of Alcohol Detox and Planning your Hangover Detox in preparation for the festive season.
Medication – Many prescription drugs and over the counter remedies can damage our liver. Make sure you actually need the medication, as sometimes proper rest and a healthy lifestyle heals many common symptoms. Natural alternatives can be another option.
Environmental – this is an impossible one to avoid completely especially toxins such as pesticides and food additives, but we can limit our intake such as avoiding any processed, ready made food and buying organic foods where possible and wash fruit and vegetables well before cooking and eating them.
Fatty Foods – a high fat diet overworks the liver and limits it ability to detox. Since many toxins are fat-soluble, they will be stored in fat rather than being excreted. Limiting our intake of processed food can help us combat it.
de-caffeinated drinks stress the liver less
Boosting our Liver
Along with reducing our toxin intake, we can supplement our diet with boosting foods which includes:
Avocado – a rich source of glutathione and lecithin, which helps to clear the body of harmful fats, which in turn reduces the burden on the liver. Avocado are also a rich source of antioxidants/
Artichokes – a well known liver tonic, artichokes detoxify the body and help to increase bile production
Beetroot – this helps regulate the digestive system and support the liver function because it contains betaine, which aids fat metabolism. Beetroots are also rich in potassium which makes its juice a blood cleanser and tonic.
Herbs – herbs such as dandelion, liquorice and milk thistle helps in detoxing, preventing and also reversing liver damage
Incorporating such foods in our diet can help in keeping our liver healthy
The Morning After
Everyone knows that drinking alcohol have a negative impact on our bodies, but we can still enjoy the occasional drink without causing much damage. The following tips can help in doing so:
- Never drink on an empty stomach
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with non alcoholic ones
- Make sure you do not get dehydrated
- The liver is able to process a pint of beer every hour, so do not drink too much too quickly
- Drink plenty of water before going to bed
- Resist the coffee the morning after, as this will dehydrate you further! Try the following tonic instead
Place the following in a blender:
- 1 glass of water
- 1 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 the rind of the lemon
- a piece of fresh ginger root
Blend for 1-2 minutes, strain the mixture and drink on an empty stomach
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The Detox Series – Detoxing the Liver [Part 1]
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