Getting rid of toxins in your system is an essential function of decelerating aging, preventing illnesses and diseases, and decreasing allergic reactions or immune system responses. Your liver plays a large part in that role. Therefore, it stands to reason that keeping your liver healthy is quite important. There are 10 things you can do to help your liver detox.
Your liver and all that it does for you
Your liver is the largest organ contained within your body. It also acts as a gland due to its production of certain chemicals which are sent to other organs. Under healthy conditions, you don’t even feel its existence as it is positioned behind the ribcage, near the gallbladder, pancreas, and intestines. Together, these organs aid each other in the complete digestive process.
The liver serves many functions, including:
- Producing protein and other chemicals which aid in the clotting of blood
- Produces albumin, which is a chemical that aids in the balancing of fluid in our circulatory system.
- Creates carbohydrates that are released and then will convert glucose into glycogen, which is then stored in the liver and our muscle cells for energy.
- It is the screener for the blood coming from the digestive tract before it moves onto the rest of your body. This filtering includes breaking down various chemicals and medication which we ingest.
- Release triglycerides and cholesterol
- It creates urea through the detoxing of ammonia which it then sends to our kidneys to be disposed of in our urine.
- Stores vitamins
- Insulin and other hormones are broken down in our liver
- Produces bile to help digestion
Symptoms of Liver Decline
As you can see, our liver is vital to the functioning of our entire body and our overall health. When it ceases to function properly due to disease or damage, we will see certain symptoms such as:
- Feeling weak and extremely tired
- Lose weight for no apparent reason
- Feel nauseous and/or vomiting
- Our skin and eyes develop a yellow appearance.
- Enlarged breast tissue in men. Possibly impotence
- Bleeding and bruising easily
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in the area of the liver
- Advanced stages can create fluid retention in the abdominal region or leg swelling
- Mental confusion as ammonia isn’t filtered properly.
There are a lot of health issues that hinge on your liver being healthy and capable of functioning well. It is no wonder that detoxing your liver is a popular subject. The internet is filled with suggestions of detox methods, diets, and potential herbal supplements. The goal is to not only clean out our own “detox machine” per se, the liver, but to also aid in losing weight through a better functioning liver.
11 things you can do to detox your liver
The medical field states that it is not possible to detox your liver for the purpose of ridding it of toxins, undoing the damage, or curing a disease.
Additionally, in many instances, the methods recommended potentially create harm to your body, even if just for a short time. Most methods of detox entail living on a liquid diet, taking unverified supplements, or living on one type of food for a few days. For those with diabetes, this can be especially hazardous.
As for supplements, most have not been approved by the FDA. While components of milk thistle can aid in decreasing liver inflammation and turmeric has shown itself to act to protect the liver from injury, thus far, no studies have shown that regular use is beneficial.
With all of the above stated, there are still ways in which you can aid your liver to keep it healthy and decrease the chances of it being damaged or diseased so that it can fully function.
1 – Maintain a healthy weight.
Obesity contributes to a disease known as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Repeated excess fat in your diet can create inflammation which then leads to cirrhosis and fibrosis. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is fast becoming the #1 cause of liver implants.
2 – Keep alcohol consumption moderate.
Drinking large amounts of alcohol can create more fat build up, inflammation, and scarring of the liver. It is recommended that women only consume 1 drink per day and men are limited to two drinks. Avoid illegal drugs or at least do not share needles.
3 – Drink water.
Water is one of the best ways to flush out toxins from the body, along with keeping our joints flexible, maintaining proper body temperature, helping in digestion and absorbing nutrients. It is recommended that women drink 2.7 liters of water, and men drink 3.7 liters of water.
4 – Limit or eliminate processed foods and sugars.
Processed foods and sugar are the highest contributors to obesity, which, as stated above, can cause liver damage.
5 – Decrease salt intake.
Excess salt causes the body to retain fluids and decreases urination. Urination is one of the methods of ridding the body of toxins. The best way to counter this is to drink more water and decrease your salt. Water will create more urination, therefore, pushing out the excess toxins.
6 – Eat enough potassium.
Potassium is a good counterbalance to the effects of salt. Foods high in potassium include:
- Kidney beans
7 – Exercise.
Exercise is also a great way to keep your body clear of toxins. Exercise decreases inflammation, which is proving to be a large factor in the cause of many diseases. Additionally, sweating is a form of releasing toxins from the body. A minimum of 2.5-5 hours a week of moderate exercise or 1.5-2.5 hours of intense exercise is recommended.
8 – Consume prebiotics.
Be conscious of your gut health by eating prebiotics. Many have heard of the importance of probiotics, the bacteria in your gut which aids in the breakdown and elimination of food. Prebiotics are a type of fiber which the probiotics feed off of to manufacture the nutrients necessary to fulfill their role.
9 – Antioxidants are important.
Eating fruits and veggies is important for many reasons, one being that they are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for ridding our cells of free radicals which are formed naturally in our body. We gain an excess of free radicals when we drink, smoke, overeat, or eat unhealthily.
Our bodies will rid itself of the natural forming radicals. But when excess is created, it wears on our systems. Foods with antioxidants are very important, as are other foods which provide additional nutrients or enzymes, such as:
- Broccoli sprouts
- Garlic and onion
- Citrus fruits
- Apples, preferably with the skin
- Fermented foods
- Vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower
- Green tea
10 – Decrease the number of toxins that surround you.
Choose natural cleaning products for cleaning your home, your body, and brushing your teeth. Surrounding yourself with fewer toxins decreases the amount absorbed or taken in by your body.
11 – Get plenty of sleep.
Your body does not function properly when you’re exhausted. A lack of proper sleep also creates stress, increases inflammation, and encourages a diet high in sugar or processed foods.
These 10 things that you can do to detox your liver do not require you to starve for a week, take expensive supplements or powder drinks, nor eat the same foods every day for a week. Detoxing your liver should look more like supporting your body through healthy food choices, activity, plenty of water, and respecting your body’s need to rest and recuperate.
There is no fast fix for years of being negligent, but every little change can make a huge difference in how it affects your body. Prevention is the best cure for any disease, and a healthy lifestyle is the best preventative measure you can take to detox your liver.