In today’s age, life is a hustle and bustle. People have a lot going on, I know I do. From working longer hours, to taking care of kids, to finding time for loved ones and friends. Life has become a big juggling act. Eating healthy and exercising regularly can be the least of your worries. Convenience is everything. Fast food may relieve stress about lunch and dinner but takes a toll on your liver.
What is the liver and what does it do?
Your liver is the largest internal organ in your body. It weighs roughly 3 pounds and is vital to your health. The liver has many duties, but it has three major functions. It cleans the blood in your body, it produces an important digestive liquid called bile, and it stores energy in the form of glycogen. The liver cleans your blood by removing toxins caused by food metabolism, medications, alcohol, and other sources.
It cleans blood that has been enriched with nutrients during digestion. Once you eat something, the nutrients from the food pass from the intestine into the blood, and then to the liver before going out to the rest of the body. The liver will process the nutrients into forms that the rest of the body can use. Waste your body doesn’t need is carried by bile back into the intestine and out of the body through bowel movements. Your liver will process other waste and pass it to the kidneys through your blood, and out through your urine.
When you get carbohydrates through foods such as bread, fruits, and milk, the liver helps the body use carbs. The body breaks down carbs into a type of sugar called glucose and it is the main source of fuel for our cells. Our liver stores glucose in it and is called glycogen. These are some of the liver functions, but your liver does many more things!
What causes an overworked liver?
When there are more toxins and fat than the liver can metabolize, it can undergo strain. In turn this can affect the liver from functioning normally. Drinking too much alcohol, eating fried and processed foods, and not exercising enough can lead to negative impacts on your liver. These lifestyle factors are even more damaging for people who already live with liver diseases such as hepatitis infections and fatty liver.
How to cleanse your liver
Eating a healthy diet is one way to relieve an overworked liver. Processed foods contain hydrogenated oils, and refined sugars that are toxic to your liver and your overall health. Replacing deli meats with roasted chicken or turkey breast for lunch is a great substitute for processed meats. Replacing chips and other processed snacks with whole-grain foods, and nuts will support a healthy liver.
Substituting soft drinks with raw vegetable juice can also help with liver a cleanse. You can get a number of vegetables your body needs through vegetable juice. Cabbage, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts are ideal for liver cleansing and detox. Orange carrot ginger juice is also great for improving liver health. Oranges add vitamin C, A, and B6 which help flush out toxins in the liver. Ginger helps with the digestive track, reduces intestinal gas, and has strong anti-inflammatory compounds.
Milk thistle, dandelion root, and turmeric are great botanicals that support liver cleanse and protection. Milk thistle also known as the “king” of detoxifying herbs, is essential for a liver cleanse. It helps with the metabolism of heavy metals, alcohol, prescription medications, and environmental pollutants in the liver. Dandelion roots contain vitamins and minerals. They also flush out toxins through urination. Turmeric supports healthy liver tissue and liver metabolism. All these botanicals can be found in liver supplements.
Having a healthy liver is key to good health and longevity. It helps to limit the consumption of processed foods and alcohol, and supplement it with liver-friendly vegetables and herbs. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Your liver will thank you for it.