When it comes to your liver, what come to mind? For many of us it’s the effects of too much alcohol on our liver and the life-saving supplement Milk Thistle!
However, your liver really deserves more recognition and I’m here to share on just how important a role it plays in almost every aspect of your health. I truly love this little guy and truly understand why it’s often referred to as the master gland in the body. In Chinese medicine it is undisputed king!
The liver weighs roughly 3 pounds and is the largest glandular organ in the body. It is also
the only part of the body that is both an organ and a gland. It literally is the sieve in our body.
Functions of the liver:
- Produces bile needed to digest fats.
- Detoxifies the blood to rid it of harmful substances such as alcohol and drugs.
- Stores some vitamins and iron.
- Stores glucose and converts it when needed.
- Destroys old red blood cells ….which in turn produces waste that gives faecal matter its brown colour.
- Regulates hormones – so ladies with hormone havoc look to your liver.
- Deals with all the chemicals you are exposed to (perfume, chlorine in tap water, medications, and household products.
- Has to deal with excess Estrogen produced through the western world due to rampant stress, environmental toxins, pesticides and hormones in the foods we eat.
- The liver is where your thyroid hormones get converted into active mode, so if your liver is already struggling, low active thyroid can slow down your metabolism, hang onto fat stores and crash your energy levels.
- The liver plays a vital role in blood sugar balance. If your diet is too carb heavy or you have a lot of stress going on, your liver can struggle to regulate your blood sugar which can cause fatigue, sugar cravings, fat storage (belly) mood swings and brain fog.
Tips to strengthen your liver:
- Yes, alcohol really gives the liver a job to deal with. So being mindful about this is a good idea, followed by taking action and moderating the amount of alcohol you consume. Ideally, you should not exceed the 14 units of alcohol a week and more importantly do not binge drink as this really upsets your liver. Aim for 4/5 alcohol free days a week.
- Eat more cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, rocket, and watercress. They are all loaded with Indole 3 Carbinol – which helps to detoxify excess estrogen.
- Ditch sugar, refined carbs, and processed fats. Stressing your liver with these raises Insulin, Cortisol, and Estrogen levels, and these are the hormones that make you fat!
- Get your bowels moving – toxic waste will build up and estrogen will get recycled.
- Eat plenty of fibre, supplement with magnesium citrate, drink plenty of water and exercise regularly.
- Watch out for medications; your liver has to detox any kind of medication, including painkillers, birth control pills, and indigestion tablets.
- Reduce stress to control and balance your cortisol levels.
- What you put on your skin goes straight into your bloodstream so be mindful about all household and beauty products.
- Reduce exposure to harmful pesticides/hormones. Wash fruit and veggies in water with a tablespoon of white wine vinegar.
- Get a sweat on. Sweating is a great way to get rid of toxins since the skin is one of the most important detoxification pathways.
- Start every day with warm water and fresh lemon juice. This stimulates the liver into action.
- Supplement with Milk Thistle.
Top 10 liver cleansing foods:
Garlic, turmeric, green tea, walnuts, grapefruit, beetroot, apples, broccoli, avocados, lemons.
HAPPY LIVER = HAPPY HORMONES = HAPPY YOU