During my recent health challenges—with stress, prediabetes, weight gain, estrogen dominance, adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues—it became apparent I needed to do some internal housekeeping. It was time to clear the toxins out of my body and provide it with an environment safe and ready for healing.
When we think of removing harmful substances from the body, we think of the liver. The liver is THE mistress of clean! It is the organ responsible for eliminating waste from the body!
Wow, that’s a tall order! Of course, the liver doesn’t detox the body entirely on its own—it does have some help from other organs, like the skin, lungs, and kidneys. But the bulk of the work is done by the liver.
In fact, the liver is responsible for more than 200 functions in the body. Some of them are:
Cleans your blood at the rate of about 50 ounces per minute, removing toxins from the bloodstream. The liver is a super detoxifier!
Breaks down and metabolizes medications and alcohol
Stores iron, other minerals, and fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and D
Gets rid of old red blood cells
Makes essential proteins
Produces cholesterol (yes, some cholesterol is good and necessary because it is involved in making your hormones and managing brain and nerve function)
Helps with energy production
Regulates your metabolism
And lots more!
Why do a liver detox?
The liver works super hard at keeping all of its many tasks operating at optimal speed. When it comes to removing toxins from the body, it has to deal with a lot of garbage in the form of heavy metals, air pollutants, water pollutants (like mercury, fluoride, lead), food additives, medications, plastics, toxins in household cleaning products, chemicals we absorb from personal care items, and more!
When the toxic exposure becomes too great, the liver gets overworked, and it needs help to clear the garbage. A liver detox is the answer, and I’ve got some great ways to help!
In an ideal world, we would not let ourselves reach the point of experiencing the symptoms of an overworked liver. Yet we are all so busy and stressed, it happens all the time. What are those symptoms? Here are just some of them:
PMS and/or severe menopausal symptoms
Type 2 diabetes
Frequent illnesses such as flu, colds, bronchitis
Anger and irritability
Brown spots on the face and hands
High bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides
These symptoms are an indication that your body is running on waste! It’s time to clean house!
I don’t know about you, but I identified with a lot of these symptoms. Detoxing your liver is a great way to manage a number of important issues that affect so many of us, especially bloating, weight gain, fatigue, feeling depressed, menstrual complaints, and sugar cravings.
Wow! Can doing a liver detox help reduce or eliminate all of these annoying problems? YES!
I knew it was time for me to start cleaning my internal house and give my liver and other organs a chance to do the work they do best.
What is a liver detox about?
You may have heard a lot about liver detox on the internet and in ads and from your friends, but what does it really mean?
Does it mean you have to lock yourself away for days and days while taking all kinds of supplements that will purge your body of things that can make you sick or throw all of your systems out of whack? NO!
Will doing a liver detox totally disrupt your life? NO!
Do you really need a liver detox? YES!
You can easily incorporate a liver detox into your daily routine. Yes, it can take a few extra minutes a day, but if you start with just a few routines and add one or two every other day, you will soon have a great liver detox program going. I strongly suggest beginning with the first three to get the ball rolling, then adding the others. Your liver and your body will thank you!
How to detox the liver
Here are some easy ways to help rid your liver of its toxic burden and begin to experience better health and well-being.
Apples or lemons? Start each day by drinking an 8-ounce glass of warm water with 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Do not eat for at least 30 minutes. Lemon and apple cider vinegar both aid digestion by improving stomach levels, detoxify the body, and help maintain the proper pH balance in the body.
Fiber up! Include 2 to 3 tablespoons of insoluble fiber in your diet daily to boost your fiber intake and help cleanse the liver. An added bonus is that the fiber can keep you regular! Insoluble fiber options include ground flax seed, chia seeds, or psyllium husk. Stir them into a smoothie, oatmeal, soup, or use as a salad or vegetable topping. Start slow; begin with 1 tablespoon for the first few days, then increase to 1 ½, 2, 2 ½, and 3 over a period of several weeks.
Avoid fried foods. Besides the high saturated fat content, which stresses the liver, many fried foods, such as French fries and potato chips, as well as coffee and grains can contain acrylamide. This chemical can cause nervous system damage, muscle weakness, and poor muscle coordination.
Maintain good magnesium intake. Magnesium is a mineral that promotes detoxification of the liver. Some terrific food sources are leafy greens (e.g., spinach, Swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, kale), cashews, avocadoes, almonds, bananas, and pumpkin seeds.
Get bitter. Foods such as dandelion greens, arugula, mustard greens, cranberries, dill, kale, turmeric, sesame seeds, and artichokes are bitter plants that promote natural cleansing. How many of them can you include in your diet on a daily basis? The greens are great when steamed and served with dill and sesame seeds!
Support the process. Certain foods contain substances necessary to support the detoxification process. They include foods rich in choline (e.g., eggs, avocados, peanuts, spinach, beets) and sulfur (e.g., broccoli, leafy greens such as kale and spinach, garlic, onions, asparagus, walnuts, peaches, apricots). Include several of these foods in your diet daily when possible.
Eat the peel. Don’t toss the lemon peels after you add fresh lemon juice to your water every morning. They contain a substance called d-limonene, which is a potent detoxifying agent.
Seek selenium. This mineral supports liver function. The number one food source of selenium is the Brazil nut. Just two per day provide enough selenium! If these are not your favorites, try sunflower seeds, oatmeal, mushrooms, and spinach.
Go green. Superfoods such has chlorella, green matcha tea, and spirulina are known for the liver detoxifying abilities. The best way to get chlorella or spirulina is to add them to a smoothie. Matcha tea is great anytime—enjoy several cups daily. Here’s a smoothie recipe to get you started.
8 oz coconut or almond beverage
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 pitted date or 1 tsp raw honey
2 tsp spirulina
Pulse in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Try turmeric. This spice contains a substance called curcumin, which stimulates the gallbladder to release bile, which in turn improve liver function. Turmeric improves the flow of bile, which cleans the liver and helps prevent toxins from damaging the liver. Add turmeric to your favorite vegetable recipes, or try this turmeric liver detox drink.
8 oz coconut or almond beverage
1 tsp matcha tea powder
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
Warm up the plant-based beverage and quickly whisk in all of the remaining ingredients.
Soak in Epsom salt baths. This is a great way to get more magnesium and also relieve stress. Play some soothing music and allow yourself to relax for 10 to 15 minutes several times a week.
Be sure to get Bs. The entire family of B vitamins is critical for supporting liver detoxification. Consider taking a vitamin B complex supplement.
Skip late snacks. The liver undergoes a regeneration process from approximately 11PM until 3 AM, so avoid late night snacking.
Are you ready?
Are you up for the challenge! I am confident you will begin to reap the benefits of a healthier liver once you begin practicing these liver detox tips. I know they are helping me tremendously. Keep us updated on your progress and feel free to share your questions and comments.
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Wishing you all much love and health,