The liver is one of the largest organs in the human body. Its function is to help the body digest food, store energy, and remove toxins. Some of the environmental toxins that the liver detoxifies include air pollution, chemicals in water, pesticides, and harmful ingredients in skin-care products. Having too much stress in our lives also taxes the liver. When it gets clogged up with too many toxins, you will feel sluggish, your skin is not as healthy, your immune system is overworked, and your digestion slows down.
Diseases of the liver occur when it is stressed which stops the liver from working or prevents it from functioning well by processing too many drugs, alcohol, medications, and poisons. Examples of liver disease include fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, and virus-caused diseases such as Hepatitis A, B, and C. Diseases such as hemochromatosis and Wilson Disease are passed on from our mothers and fathers through genetic traits. Symptoms of liver disease include abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin also known as jaundice.
- Be physically active helps the body to improve its fitness, reduce health risks, and supports the feeding and fueling of the body with healthy foods
- Increase water intake especially first thing in the morning, try warm water with some fresh lemon to help detox the liver for the day
- Drink moderate amounts of coffee, green and black tea, and tea with Milk thistle
- Eat foods that are cool, dry, light, sweet, and bitter such as:
- Dark-green leafy vegetables which also help to detoxify the body including kale, spinach, mustard greens, and collard greens.
- Beets eaten raw, cooked, or juiced and beet greens (soup or sauté’)
- Berries specifically blueberries, mulberries, and cranberries help to fight off liver cancer
- Bitter greens such as dandelion and nettles are usually consumed in a tea and arugula eaten in a salad or sautéed
- Cruciferous vegetables include Brussel sprouts and broccoli
- Foods with Omega-6 fatty acids including nuts such as almonds, walnuts cashews and avocado oil
- Food with Omega-3 fatty acids including fatty fish from the sea including mackerel, salmon, herring, oysters, sardines, anchovies, and flax seeds or some quality fish oil supplements.
- Avoid foods that:
- Contain sugar and refined carbohydrates
- Oils that contain polyunsaturated fatty acids such as vegetables, peanut, corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, and canola oil.
- Fried foods
- Foods that generate too much heat in the body such as hot spices, tomatoes, coconut oil, and too much red meat or coffee
- Avoid or limit intake of alcohol and other drugs and taking them together
- Reduce the stressors in your life and learn how to have positive coping skills to manage your response to stress
- Get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep a night
Making healthy choices daily will help you improve your liver’s health. Many people do a liver detox a few times per year, where the change of seasons is a common time in many cultures around the globe. If you feel like you have any of the symptoms above, please visit your healthcare provider sooner than later. If you do not have a health insurance or a life insurance plan, RF&G Life can help you find the plan(s) to fit your specific needs.