Our liver is so important to our overall health. It is our main organ for detoxification (along with the kidneys, lungs and skin). This means it is constantly working to clear away toxins, wastes from the blood and cellular metabolism and excess hormones. It processes nutrients that have been broken down by the digestive system, separating toxins for waste (such as pesticides and herbicides) from the nutrient which go on to become building blocks of our body. It also stores sugar as glycogen, especially if there is too much glucose in the blood stream and not enough insulin to process it.
It can easily be damaged by too much visceral fat (fat that is stored around organs in the body), alcohol, excess sugar and particularly fructose (fruit sugar or high fructose corn syrup), toxic damage from chemicals added to food, certain medications (such as paracetamol) and toxins in the environment, viral infection, excess iron and copper, and tumours.
Foods that HEAL the Liver
- Grapefruit (if not on medications, especially blood pressure meds)
- Dark Green leafy vegetables including; spinach, dandelion leaves, beetroot tops, rocket and kale
- Citrus fruits. Lemon juice in warm water is great first thing in the morning.
- Artichoke Hearts
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussel sprouts. If you have an underactive thyroid, it’s better to cook these.
- Dandelion Root Tea
- Green Tea
- Olive Oil
- Liver supportive herbs
Foods, drinks, drugs and diseases that HARM the Liver
- Sugar and Fructose
- Artificial Sweeteners
- Soda drinks especially Coca Cola etc
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Pharmaceutical drugs
- Trans fats (found in baked goods, pastries, pies, fast food)
- Excessive use of salt
- Fast Food
- Excessive synthetic vitamin A
- Infections such as Hepatitis
Eating a diet that is rich in fresh and predominantly raw food (especially those from the list above), and keeping the list of harmful foods, etc, to a minimum, is the best way to a healthy liver.
Doing a regular Detox, is a great way to take the burden off your liver. Call me if you think it’s time to give your liver a break!
The great news is that the liver is one of the few organs in the body that has the ability to heal itself (if the damage isn’t too extensive).