Health Facts

Love Your Liver!

The liver is the largest and heaviest organ in the body weighing in at approximately three pounds! It performs over 200 functions on a daily basis, which include removing toxins, synthesizing non-essential amino acids and proteins, activating vitamin D, regulating hormones, converting vitamins and minerals to usable forms and helping the body resist infection by removing bacteria from the bloodstream. Everything you swallow that is absorbed into the bloodstream passes through the liver. Keeping our liver healthy is essential to optimal health! The liver LOVES fresh fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, herbs and spices and peaceful relations.

-Consistent & balanced meals
-Eat smaller, more frequent meals
-Chew food well to release digestive enzymes
-Avoid eating after dinner. Drink herbal tea for satiety
-Go to bed by 11pm, so your liver has time to rest, repair & rejuvenate (11pm-2am is “liver” healing time!)
-Limit exposure to toxins (body products, chemicals in household cleaners) so your liver doesn’t have to work harder to remove toxins
-Release negative emotions, manage stress, practice meditation and mindful eating, feel gratitude, relax!
-Exercise regularly, use a skin brush and use the sauna to release toxins

Foods and herbs that support liver function:
-Organic fruits, veggies & herbs in general: beet kvass (recipe in previous post), lemons/limes, carrots, parsley
-Healthy fats: olive, coconut and flax seed oils protect against gallstones and strengthen the liver
-Leafy greens are high in plant chlorophylls and neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides.
*Examples: romaine lettuce, spinach, arugula, dandelion and mustard greens.
-Cruciferous veggies contain fiber, antioxidants and phyto-nutrients, which help detoxify the liver.
*Examples: broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts (make sure you cook/steam them & limit if hypothyroid)
-Sea Veggies have trace elements & protein and help with detoxification.
*Examples: chlorella, spirulina, kelp, dulse.
-Bitter foods stimulate the liver to put out more bile and expel accumulated toxic waste.
*Examples: unsweetened dark chocolate, cocoa powder/nibs, bitter melon, olives and citrus peel.
-Sulfur are chemical detoxifiers that activate liver enzymes to help your body flush out toxins.
*Examples: onions and garlic.
-Lecithin helps thin bile and make it more alkaline.
*Foods include: eggs, miso and avocado. You can also buy lecithin and mix into water or smoothies. Great for people with poor digestion of fats)
-Bitter herbs enhance the flow of bile and improve the liver’s ability to clear toxins.
*Examples: Milk Thistle, dandelion root, chicory root, gentian root and yellow dock. There are many teas that contain these herbs.
-Drink half your weight in ounces of filtered, clean water daily

What damages the liver?
Some foods and additives flood the liver with chemicals, interfering with its ability to adequately clear the body of toxins.
· Genetically modified foods (GMOs)
· Trans fats and hydrogenated oils
· High fructose corn syrup
· Sodas with chemicals, aspartame and artificial sweeteners
· MSG, a food additive and flavor enhancer found in almost all processed foods
· Alcohol, especially if you have liver disease
· Processed and fast foods devoid of adequate nutrition
· Medications

Bauman, E. & Friedlander, J. (2012). NC102 Digestive Physiology. Foundations in Nutrition. Penngrove, CA: Bauman College
Murray, M., Pizzorno, J. & Pizzorno, L. (2005). The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books
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