The Importance Of The Liver
Think of the liver as your body's filter: Everything you eat, everything you drink, and even all of your blood eventually passes through the liver so that harmful substances may be extracted and flushed out. It is within the liver where food is processed, broken down, and made ready for excretion, and where blood goes to be cleansed. Because it helps remove toxins and harmful waste, a clean liver is key to a clean, healthy body.
Be Mindful In Your Diet
Proper nutrition and exercise are both important to healthy liver function. The food you consume can either help or hurt this vital organ, so it is important to be mindful in what you are eating, and to choose organic when given the option. Here are a few foods which benefit the liver:
Garlic: Garlic activates certain enzymes in the liver that contribute to the removal of toxins. It contains allicin and selenium, which are both natural compounds that help in overall liver cleansing.
Leafy Greens: Leafy green produce like kale, watercress, and spinach help to neutralize heavy metals that may make their way into the liver. They also contain special plant chlorophylls which help to eliminate environmental toxins from the bloodstream. The less heavy metals and toxins the liver has to remove from the blood, the better!
Avocados: Avocados help the body produce a naturally-occurring chemical called glutathione, which is necessary for proper liver cleansing.
Turmeric is well-known for its ability to optimize liver function. It boosts detoxification of the liver and help enzymes to flush out certain carcinogens. (Try out our Turmeric capsules
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Some other foods for supporting liver health and function are grapefruit, beets, carrots, lemon, walnuts, and green tea. Green tea, in particular, contains catechins that promote healthy liver function and reduce body fat.
Lay Off The Booze
An important part of keeping the liver healthy is avoiding excess alcohol. Although enjoyed by many, frequent alcohol indulgence may have extremely negative affects on not only the liver, but all of the body's organs. Alcohol is recognized by the body as a toxin, so it naturally wants to break it down and excrete it almost immediately; However, the liver often cannot keep up with the rate at which many people drink. This causes the liver to become "backed up" in a sense, and the alcohol to spread to other parts of the body. This often results in alcohol making its way to other vital organs, such as the brain, and cells easily become damaged.
Excess alcohol also hinders the liver's ability to process fatty acids, so frequent alcohol intake may lead to problems such as fatty liver disease, or cause liver cells to become damaged and turn to scar tissue - A serious problem known as cirrhosis.
For those who enjoy social drinking but do not want to damage their liver or other organs, moderation is key. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism recommends that the maximum amount of alcoholic drinks you should be having in a single day is no more than 2 drinks for women, and 4 drinks for men.
The liver is responsible for storing and processing blood, so circulation is key to cleansing. Increasing your heartbeat through physical activity helps blood flow to the liver where it can be cleaned of any harmful pesticides, synthetic hormones, or antibiotic residue from food. (This is why it is best to choose only organic meats and produce, so that these nasty chemicals do not make their way into your body in the first place!)
What You Can Expect
Taking the proper steps to improve the health and function of your liver is followed by a wide range of rewards. For instance, energy levels may increase, skin may start to become clearer, the menstrual cycle may become more regular in females, the immune system may strengthen, digestion may become more regular, and both the mind and memory may sharpen.
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