15 Ways to Boost Your Liver for Great Health, by Michelle Schoffro Cook, 23 February 2012
Your liver must perform over 500 functions, making it potentially one of the most overburdened organs in your body.
Our modern lifestyle + air pollution + food additives + high amounts of stress can cause the liver to become sluggish. The sluggish liver can be a factor in many health conditions, e.g. allergies, arthritis, asthma, bad breath, chronic fatigue syndrome, cravings for sweets, depression, environmental illness/multiple chemical sensitivities, fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches and migraines, hepatitis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, hypoglycemia, hormone imbalances, immune system disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, overweight or obesity, poor digestion, recurring nausea and/or vomiting, skin diseases, and ulcerative colitis.
Of course there are other factors involved in these conditions so it is important to see a physician if you suffer from any of them.
Strengthening the liver is one of the ways to boost energy, balance weight, and strengthen overall health. Here are 15 ways to give your liver a boost:
1. VITAMINS and MINERALS- high amounts of vitamins and minerals are required by the liver.
2. FOOD ADDITIVES ARE FILTERED BY THE LIVER- When you eliminate processed foods, artificial food additives, colours and preservatives from your diet you give your liver a break.
3. CARROTS, BEETS, GREEN FOODS- Eat plenty of these powerful liver cleansing and rebuilding foods.
4. GROUND FLAXSEED- Eat two heaping tablespoons sprinkled on cereal, toast, salads, or blended into smoothies. By eating flaxseeds and flax oil you are helping your liver to filter excess hormones more effectively.
5. HERBS that help strengthen the liver: milk thistle, dandelion root, globe artichoke, turmeric, slippery elm, greater celandine, balmony, barberry, black root, blue flag, boldo, fringetree bark, vervain, and wahoo. If you are pregnant, have a serious health condition, or are taking medication, consult a qualified health practitioner before using herbs.
6. REDUCE REFINED SUGAR and AVOID SYNTHETIC SWEETENERS altogether.
7. LECITHIN helps the liver metabolize fats and reduce cholesterol; prevents fatty deposits; reduces high blood pressure. You can get lecithin in organic soyfoods like soy milk, tofu, and miso, as well as organic eggs.
8. AVOID VITAMIN and MINERAL DEFICIENCIES by taking a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement. The liver depends on many nutrients to detoxify properly. Even a single nutrient deficiency can be harmful.
9. TAKE 1000 to 2000 mg of Vitamin C daily, even if there's vitamin C in your multivitamin.
10. GARLIC, ONIONS and BROCCOLI contain sulfur that is required to increase enzyme activity that boosts liver cleansing, so eat plenty of these. Without adequate levels of sulfur, the phase 2 of liver detoxification cannot keep pace with level 1, meaning that many toxins can become MORE dangerous in your body.
11. AVOID LARGE MEALS. Instead, eat small meals made up of easy-to-digest foods.
12. Eat steamed vegetables, raw salad greens, raw fruits, and bitter greens. The bitter greens, especially, help to cleanse the liver.
13. EAT WHOLE RAW UNSALTED NUTS and SEEDS for their essential fatty acids and protein.
14. AVOID HEAVY FATTY FOODS as they just create more work for the liver. Avoid margarine, shortening or commercial oils or any foods made with them.
15. AVOID EATING for at least THREE HOURS before BEDTIME to allow the liver adequate time during the night to perform its many functions, unimpeded by other bodily processes like digestion.
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