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Weighing about 3 pounds, the liver is probably the hardest working organ in our bodies. It’s the body’s primary way of expelling toxins; it produces bile to aid digestion, stores essential vitamins, iron, and minerals, and processes nutrients among many other functions. Liver cleansing and detoxification is, therefore, important and necessary to keep it functioning optimally. When your liver is healthy and happy, so is your body.
Your personal health and overall wellbeing is highly dependent on how well your body is able to remove toxins from your system. However, we are constantly exposed to stress and numerous environmental toxins in our homes, work place, and even our food supply on a daily basis. This causes the liver to become stressed, overburdened, and overworked as it tries to keep up with the toxic load. Once your liver is overwhelmed, its ability to function is diminished (becomes sluggish) and toxins begin to accumulate in the body. As a result, your entire body system is thrown off balance due to toxic overload and this in turn negatively affects your health.
When your liver is not functioning optimally, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Bloating and gas
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic indigestion
- Acid reflux and heartburn
- Inability to lose weight
- Poor appetite
- Skin and/or eyes that are yellowish
- Moodiness, depression, or anxiousness
- Dark urine
- Bruise easily
- Excessive sweating
- Pain in your right side
A holistic liver cleanse helps to get rid of the toxic overload in your body, thus improving the liver’s functioning and consequently enhancing your body’s performance. It leaves you feeling much better in just a couple of weeks.
Steps for a Holistic Liver Cleanse
1. Eat The Right Foods
Consider incorporating the following liver cleansing foods in your diet:
Garlic contains two powerful nutrients for your liver; allicin and selenium, which help in the cleansing process as well as protecting the liver from toxic damage. Garlic also activates liver enzymes that help with flushing out toxins from your body.
Grapefruit is rich in both vitamin C and antioxidants, which are powerful liver cleansers. It also boosts the manufacture of liver detoxification enzymes that aid in flushing out carcinogens and other toxins.
- Green Tea
This beverage is loaded with plant antioxidants known as catechins, which promote proper liver function. Green tea also protects your liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances like alcohol.
- Leafy Green Vegetables:
Leafy greens such as spinach, arugula, kale, bitter gourd, dandelion greens, chicory, and mustard are great liver cleansing foods. Packed with plant chlorophylls, greens absorb environmental toxins from your blood stream, purifying the blood. They also help neutralize heavy metals, pesticides, and various toxic chemicals in your body system, which bear heavily on the liver. Leafy green vegetables act as a protective mechanism for your liver and you can eat them raw, cooked, or even juiced.
Beets naturally cleanse and purify your blood, which boosts overall liver function. They are high in antioxidants and contain several other essential nutrients, which have been shown to be detoxifying and cleansing. In particular, a fiber found in beets called pectin helps the body to flush toxins removed from the liver so that they are not reabsorbed back into your body. Also, betaine, a substance present in beets, encourages the liver cells to eliminate toxins and protects the liver and bile ducts.
- Cruciferous Vegetables:
Adding cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, in your diet increases the amount of glucosinolate in your system. This is an antioxidant that encourages the liver to produce certain natural enzymes that aid in flushing toxins such as carcinogens from the body and also helps in digestion. Cruciferous vegetables are readily available and can be eaten raw, sautéed, steamed, or roasted.
- Lemons and Limes:
These citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which enhances liver function and helps the body to transform toxic materials into substances that are more easily absorbed by water. Taking freshly-squeezed lime or lemon juice in the morning will help stimulate your liver.
Turmeric is probably the liver’s most favorite spice. It is, also, a powerful body and liver cleanser. This spice stimulates the natural production of bile, which is then used by the liver to eliminate toxins and the bile also rejuvenates your liver cells responsible for breaking down harmful compounds.
This fruit contains high levels of pectin and other natural chemicals that are necessary for the body to cleanse and remove toxins from the blood. As a result, it becomes easier for your liver to handle the toxic load for the duration of the cleansing process. This helps the liver big time!
2. Eat the Right Fats
Your liver cells are responsible for breaking down fats to produce energy. It also produces bile, which is important for the breakdown and absorption of fats in your body. Therefore, the types of fats incorporated in your diet is very important. Eat healthy fats that are highly beneficial for the liver such as; almonds, walnuts, coconut, pumpkin seeds, olives, chia seeds, avocado, as well as sunflower and flax seeds. Walnuts and avocados are particularly rich in certain properties that helps the body to produce more glutathione, a compound that is used for the filtration of harmful toxins. Ensure you avoid animal fats and most vegetable oils like soy and corn, which can be hard for the liver to process.
3. Remove Toxic Foods from Your Diet
Consuming diets high in processed foods, puts the health of your liver at risk. You should avoid toxic foods such as; hydrogenated oils (also called Trans fats), food additives, caffeine, refined grains, and sweeteners, which are notoriously toxic for your body and place a huge burden on your liver.
4. Kick The Booze
The truth is, alcohol in any form is bad news for your liver and should be avoided. It forces the liver to use large amounts of energy as it tries to get rid of it in order to purify your blood. In fact, alcohol is a common cause of liver damage and excessive drinking can result in health conditions such as; fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking enough water helps your liver to flush out toxins. You should, therefore, aim to take as many glasses as you can on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can opt to drink caffeine-free herbal tea.
6. Take Supplements:
High-quality B vitamins (plant-based brands) and selenium are very important as these help to metabolize substances in the body, which aid in keeping your liver healthy. Also, herbs like milk thistle, dandelion, and artichoke leaf, help to cleanse the liver.