My last post discussed how important our livers are and how some of the everyday ingredients in our food can do irreparable harm (see blog post How I Love my Liver (Pt 1)). In this second post, I will be talking about some ways we can help keep our livers happy and healthy – after all, a happy liver makes for a happy life!
Our livers are responsible for everything we put in our bodies – food, drink, prescription medications, and supplements. It stands to reason then, that if we put GOOD things into our bodies, it will keep our liver from becoming toxic. But what IS good for our liver?
Note: please remember, I am not a doctor and any opinions discussed in my blog are the result of research and personal experience. Because I encourage everyone to do their own research, I have provided links to back up my writings and I advise my readers to read them. Before changing habits or lifestyles based on the information provided, check with a trusted doctor to confirm that any changes you make are going to be beneficial to your health.
Let’s discuss some basic guidelines for eating and drinking habits that have proven to be helpful to our livers:
FOODS THAT MAKE YOUR LIVER HAPPY
Vegetables (especially dark, leafy greens)
Greens neutralize heavy metals and chemicals, soak up toxins in our blood stream, support enzyme production and increase productivity of your bile; vegetables eaten fresh, cooked, or juiced are incredibly powerful in helping to cleanse and protect our liver.
Berries (without any added sugar)
Many berries, including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, are high in phytonutrients, which help promote liver health.
Seeds (including chia, flax and hemp) AND nuts
Seeds and nuts provide your body with amazing vital fatty acids. While being easily digestible, they bring with them powerful antioxidants that help cleanse the liver. Many refer to nuts and seeds as “superfoods” for your liver.
This antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal oil can help protect against liver disease through the fatty acids it provides, while also keeping fat from accumulating in the liver by transforming into energy (instead of entering the bloodstream).
Olive oil (unrefined and cold-pressed)
This oil helps provide a base for eliminating toxins and thus, is a powerful protector for our liver.
Ginger helps to protect the liver from damage and liver fibrosis, while fighting parasites that attack the liver and intestine.
This amazing bulb is good for so many things but when added to the diet, stimulates enzyme production to help flush out toxins.
This spice is one of the best ways to detoxify the liver; adding it to foods or finding a reputable supplement will go a long way towards keeping our livers happy.
High in Omega-3 fatty acids, fish provides not only an excellent protein source but also brings with it the enzymes needed for detoxification.
Lentils, chickpeas, and beans (including black, kidney and pinto)
Legume powerhouses can help keep toxic buildup of bile out of your system, which in turn keeps the liver functioning at a higher level.
DRINKS THAT MAKE YOUR LIVER HAPPY
Water is absolutely essential to our daily lives. Adding some freshly squeezed lemon juice to our water every morning is wonderful for aiding in the detoxification process. For myself, I aim for at least one hundred ounces of purified water every day.
This tea carries with it an antioxidant called EGCG, a powerful agent in protecting liver cells against everyday damage.
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV does wonders for the liver; it reduces inflammation, helps get rid of fat, aids in weight loss and promotes good function.
Read more on foods/drinks that are beneficial to our livers:
Other than eating liver-healthy foods and drinking more water, what else can we do to keep our livers in tip-top shape?
Having struggled with liver issues in the past, I have found several supplements and activities that have dramatically improved my liver. Check out the following ideas:
- Infrared saunas
These saunas are amazing for aiding in the detoxification process. Infrared saunas are becoming more and more popular and can often be found in spas or gyms. Another option would be to purchase one for yourself and keep it in your home. For myself, I use my infrared sauna in my home at least once a week.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/21/dr-clement-on-detoxification.aspx
- Castor oil packs
Around a year ago, my CBC panels indicated high liver enzyme numbers. I began doing castor oil packs over my liver several times per week and after a month, retested my numbers. They had dropped by half in just that one month! Castor oil packs are cheap, easy, and effective in helping the liver detox. Check out more info on how to do a castor oil pack here: https://wellnessmama.com/35671/castor-oil-packs/
- Milk thistle
Hailed as a wonder herb for liver health, milk thistle contains antioxidants that have proven to be beneficial in helping to block toxins from binding to the liver, and its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties are extremely helpful in fighting liver disease.http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/09/14/milk-thistle-benefits.aspx
This supplement is one I keep on hand and take daily, as I have personally found it very effective. Lecithin’s compounds help to keep fat from accumulating in the liver and supports metabolism.http://www.livestrong.com/article/447597-lecithin-liver-function/
Taking care of our livers is equivalent to taking care of our health. By sticking to a good diet, drinking tons of water and supplementing our lives with supplements, saunas, and castor oil packs (to name just a few), we can go a long ways towards keeping our bodies as healthy as possible!
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