The liver is a critical organ that transforms toxins and waste so your body can safely expel them. With all the processed foods, additives and preservatives we consume through fast foods, canned foods and modern manufacturing, alcohol consumption, plus environmental pollution we face each day, the liver becomes overwhelmed and sluggish. Rather than doing its job and getting rid of these toxins, it stores them in fat cells. This sluggish liver is largely responsible for many illnesses, including the listed below, to name a few:
Unexplained weight gain / Difficult weight loss
With a sluggish liver, calorie reduction and hours spent at the gym will mean nothing and the weight will continue to pile on. Since the liver is also responsible for metabolizing fat, when it’s running with difficulty it will simply hang on to the fat within its cells.
Allergies / Headaches
A properly functioning liver creates antibodies that attack allergens. When it gets sluggish, though, the body stores those allergens. Your brain responds by producing histamine – a chemical meant to ‘mark’ allergens for removal. When too much histamine builds up in your body over an extended period of time, you wind up with allergy symptoms like headaches, itchiness and fogginess. This point is especially important if you’ve only recently developed seasonal allergies; your body may have temporarily lost its ability to process those allergens.
Chronic fatigue / Adrenal fatigue
Chronic fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of liver toxicity. Toxins disrupt muscle metabolism, producing aches, pains and physical fatigue. Over time, this chronic fatigue can give way to moodiness, depression and angry outbursts. Accumulation of toxins within the liver can also be responsible for neck and back tension, acne, eczema, joint and muscle pain, insomnia, digestive issues, dizziness, lowered vitamin B12 absorption – all due to the adrenal glands becoming exhausted in a continuous effort to put out such increased demands on the anti-stress hormone cortisol.
Solutions and remedies
There are many liver detox plans, but they must be monitored (note: please consult your family doctor, then consider visiting a naturopath for added & monitored professional assistance).
Listen to your body, and rest when feeling tired
Stop drinking alcoholic beverages, even if it means temporarily
Increase intake of Vitamins B
Increase water intake – this is very important, as it will act as a cleanser to flush out impurities, and conductor of fresh nutrients to support proper liver function
Eat clean – skip processed foods: no more sweets and pastries, processed meats, canned goods, artificial sweeteners, etc., and stubbornly begin a fresh, home-cooked meal plan.
Consume plenty of garlic – containing selenium that increases the antioxidant action, and arginine that relaxes the blood vessels, plus Vitamin B6 which is anti-inflammatory in the liver, and Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant defender against cellular oxidation
Steam those veggies – Leafy, green vegetables neutralize metals, chemicals and pesticides from your body. Best are arugula, spinach and chicory. Slightly steam and eat often (do not overcook, use a steamer). Beets, broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts also help the liver produce powerful enzymes that aid in the liver’s removal of toxins.
Avocados are king! The healthy fats in avocadoes actually help to improve cholesterol levels, plus they have an abundance of Vitamins C, E and K, which act as anti-inflammatory to the liver. Try them for breakfast, in wraps, and salads.
Turmeric – Its main active ingredient, curcumin, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and acts as a liver cleanser. It also rejuvenates liver cells by preventing toxins and alcohol from being converted into harmful compounds. Sprinkle on foods. •
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