Some signs that your liver may not be happy - irritable bowels, skin issues, poor appetite, bad breath, headaches, poor immunity, hormone imbalances, joint pain, fatigue, irritability just to name a few.
Our liver works really hard to detoxify all the waste material our body no longer needs. There is waste that the body produces within the body and those that the body takes in via drugs, food, environmentally and what we breathe. There are three main phases that occur during detoxification and if even one of these is not working optimally this can lead to the body accumulating toxins and this may cause many health issues.
With our current lifestyle choices in what we eat and drink, the added preservatives, pesticides and additives to our foods and the enormous amount of environmental toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis we need to give our liver some extra help in making sure it has all the needed nutrients to maintain adequate detoxification.
Water - Drinking enough water and keeping yourself properly hydrated is a great way to support your liver. Water helps flush out toxins from the body, assisting the normal cleansing process and promoting optimal liver function. Dehydration on the other hand, can impede the body’s ability to detoxify itself, making the liver slow and sluggish. Avoid energy drinks, alcohol and excess caffeine as these can cause or worsen dehydration. You can add in herbal teas or lemon to your water to help increase the amount you consume.
Balancing Act - A balanced diet can make all the difference when it comes to improving your liver health. Make sure you’re eating whole foods rich in nutrients, antioxidants, fibre and good fats. Foods like garlic, brussels sprouts, broccoli, rocket, fish, and fresh citrus fruits are great liver supporters. Avoid consuming processed foods and meals that are high in sugar, saturated fats and refined carbs (eg. white bread and pasta). While other cells in the body can metabolise glucose, only the liver can break down fructose, and if you have too much the liver can become fatty. Try also limiting your alcohol consumption as excessive drinking can severely damage the liver.
Move your body - Exercise and physical activity, in general, support the body’s natural detoxification pathways. Regular exercise is essential to maintain overall health and well-being. A minimum of 45 minutes of physical activity, three times a week, combining both aerobic exercise like walking or swimming, as well as anaerobic exercise like weight training, is recommended to support a healthy liver and general wellness. Getting up a sweat is great to help remove toxins from the body as well.
Gut balance - The good bacteria in your gut can impact many areas of your health, including your liver. Eating fermented foods and taking good quality probiotic supplements can encourage a healthy and balanced gut microbiome. Avoid eating foods that can cause inflammation in the gut such as refined sugars and alcohol.
Mind your medications - Most drugs will be broken down in the liver after being consumed. Always speak to your healthcare practitioner about any medication or supplement you are currently taking.
Clean living - Where possible avoid breathing in toxins These could be cleaning products, chemicals or cigarette smoke. Always try to opt for more natural alternatives. Avoid the use of toxic room sprays and fragrances as well as chemicals used on our skin in the form of deoderant, creams, washes and make up. Women should also be mindful about sanitary products and look for the chemical free options.
So take care of your liver with a few of these healthy tips!
In health and happiness