Your liver has many, many functions, such as helping to digest food, activating enzymes by releasing bile into your intestines, activating immune cells, metabolising excess cholesterol, producing and metabolising hormones, storing and regulating vitamins and glucose.
Signs of liver toxicity include fatigue, indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, heartburn, PMS, acne, psoriasis, pain on the right side of your abdomen, mood issues, bad breath and yellowing whites of your eyes. Your liver processes and detoxifies chemicals, heavy metals, drugs and hormones from your body.
10 steps to a loving liver
1 – Remove/reduce inflammatory foods. This includes wheat/gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol. Avoid excessive sugars and refined carbohydrates too as these raise insulin levels which may cause fatty deposits in your liver.
2 – Include liver-friendly foods such as bitter foods which stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile. Include antioxidant-filled foods such as basil, beetroot, ginger and berries, as well as herbs such as coriander, fennel and cumin. In addition to this, include foods high in sulphur, such as broccoli, cabbage, bok-choy and garlic, which will all help with phase 2 liver detoxification.
3 – Also, include green leafy vegetables which are high in folate and which enhance methylation; red cabbage and buckwheat for both phases of liver detoxification; ginger for bile flow and insulin balance; and last but not least lemons which help to break down fat and improve digestion.
4 – Increase fibre to help eliminate toxins from the gut. Soluble fibre adds bulk to the stool and binds toxins, while insoluble fibre will help speed up elimination and may help clear up debris as it passes.
5 – The use of some supplements may help with liver detoxification, but always check with your GP or Nutritionist first. NAC is an antioxidant which helps produce glutathione, the master antioxidant. You could take either of these in supplement form. SAM-E (with B6, B12 and folate) is a neurotransmitter which helps to produce serotonin, dopamine and melatonin as well as protect the liver. Taurine is anamino acid that helps with phase 2 liver detoxification, as well as reducing cholesterol and is even beneficial for brain and heart health.
6 – Fasting is beneficial to your liver, because it gives it a break from continuously having to process nutrients and chemicals from the gut. Toxins and general metabolism create inflammation too, so giving the liver and body a break from eating helps to create a process known as autophagy whereby the cells are able to ‘clean’ out debris and rejuvenate themselves. There are many different ways to fast: you can start with a 12 hour overnight fast and work your way up to a 16/8 fast (16 hour water only fast per day), for example.
7- Movement is key. Deep breathing pushes your diaphragm to massage your liver, creating a massage effect and a flushing effect. It also activates the Vagus nerve which helps induce a state of rest and digest across many functions of the body, including the liver. And it goes without saying the exercise is an important part of any wellness routine, but in particular continuous movement, so as not to stagnate the body. Not only will this increase lymph node clearance and blood flow to keep things moving, but it helps with blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity, which are important factors for the liver, which stores the majority of our glucose stores.
8 – In addition to this, an effective hack is to have nice warm Epsom baths as many evenings as you can. Adding magnesium to a warm bath helps your body in many ways as magnesium is calming and relaxing for the muscles and nervous system, but also magnesium helps to draw out toxins from the skin.
9 – It’s important to let go of negative emotions, hurt, resentment, regret and grief, for example. We don’t want to be letting these things manifest inside of us. The liver can be a store for these emotions which the body sees and treats just like any other toxin or burden to the system. Finding ways to release these through yoga, meditation, cold water therapy or simply talking it through with a loved one or someone who is neutral is highly beneficial for our health.
10 – Finally, consider running some tests. If you’re worried about liver damage or just want to improve your health by looking under the bonnet, then the tests I would recommend are firstly a liver enzymes test, which is useful to assess if there is any damage to the liver, plus a fasting glucose test to see if your liver may be burdened with high glucose levels, and also a DUTCH hormone test which shows the phase 2 methylation pathways and can help to assess whether this function needs support.
The information above will help you to get started when it comes to improving your general health and well-being. To learn more healthy tips and make a real change in your life, reach out to our best nutritionist Poole clients can get in touch with our experts by filling out our online contact form, where we’ll get back to you shortly. Be sure to check out our online eBook, which will give you a clearer idea of the types of health improvements that you can make in your day-to-day life. email@example.com