Keeping your liver healthy

April 3, 2018

 

The liver is such an important part of the body – it controls so many functions within our digestive system – and yet, it’s often an organ we don’t give much thought to. But we should, because how we treat our liver directly impacts our wellbeing. 
 
The liver is your body’s second largest organ and its primary job is to produce bile*. Bile is a thick, greenish substance that breaks down fat so it can be digested^. Bile is stored in the gall bladder until it is needed. When you eat a big, hearty meal loaded with fat, your liver prepares for the assault be producing bile and storing it in the gallbladder.
 
As well as breaking down fats into smaller units, your liver also has other functions*:

  • processes carbohydrates, lipids and proteins;

  • helps in your blood’s detoxification;

  • stores nutrients, vitamins and minerals that help produce vital proteins; and

  • keeps your immune system strong. 

Essentially, your liver “takes out the garbage” from your body, and that’s why it can easily become overloaded with toxins*.  
 
You can often tell how your liver is functioning by how you’re feeling. If you begin to feel sluggish and tired, it might be a sign of liver congestion*. A sluggish liver can also lead to other physical symptoms, like eyes that are swollen, inflamed or pulled out of focus. Also, the toxins stored in your muscles get released into your liver when you exercise, so the more you exercise, the more important it is to ensure you’re eating a lot of liver-cleansing fruits and veggies*.
 
The easiest way to keep your liver healthy is by watching what you eat. Here are some simple suggestions:

  • Get rid of anything that can cause stress on your liver, eg. processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol and medications (but talk to doctor first before stopping any medications)*.

  • Eat foods that boost your liver’s functions, including: avocados, asparagus, walnuts, organic spinach, grapefruit, raw tomatoes, carrots, garlic, Brussel sprouts, onions and kale* - in fact, pretty much every type of green vegetable!

Speak to our practitioners about a healthy liver detox that could work for you. 
 
Sources:
* Healthy & Free, Beni Johnson, p98-99
^ Restoring your digestive health, by Jordan S. Rubin & Joseph Brasco, pg 38-39

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