The Lowdown on Your Liver
Your Liver & Detoxification
Your Liver is the second largest organ in your body (after your skin), and works tirelessly to keep you healthy, doing a myriad of endless tasks each day.
The liver filters everything you consume. It helps to filter your blood and remove toxins, regulates blood sugar levels, stores extra glucose in the form of glycogen, and converts carbohydrates and proteins into forms that can be stored for later use (1).
So, it’s fair to say the liver is a pretty important organ for cleansing our bodies, keeping us healthy, and amazingly does actually regenerate itself! However, if the liver becomes overloaded with dietary and environmental toxins, it may not be functioning as it should. We are going to give you some tips to support your liver and its detox functions.
How can you support your detox pathways?
- Getting plenty of fibre rich foods ensures you are supporting your detoxification pathways. A variety of fruits, veggies, legumes and whole-grains will help your liver and digestion too.
- Make sure you are staying hydrated and drinking at least 2 litres of water per day.
- Think about switching your cooking oils to better quality oils; coconut, avocado (at high temperatures), olive oil, flax seed oils (should not be heated). Always look for cold-pressed oils which have not been treated with heat, so the nutrients are intact and the oils have not oxidised.
Your Liver & Fat Breakdown
One of the jobs of the liver is converting fats into an energy source for the body. It breaks down fats that are eaten, converting excess carbohydrates and protein to other forms that are stored for later use, while synthesising other fat, like cholesterol.
The liver also produces bile to help break down and absorb fats, and helps to transport toxins so they can be removed from the body. So, an impairment of bile flow can result in a build up of toxins in the body and put pressure on the liver’s functioning (2).
How can you support your liver & bile production?
- Artichoke contains derivatives that have been used for centuries to stimulate bile flow and protect the liver
- Before breakfast, drink a glass of water with lemon
- Consume bitter foods (cabbage, kale, radishes, rocket)
- Eat garlic, onions, and carrots
- Drink dandelion, peppermint, green or ginger tea
Your Liver & Immunity
The liver plays a large role in keeping us well during the autumn and winter months by supporting the immune system.
The liver is key to your overall immunity. It is positioned in your body ideally to detect pathogens entering the body via the gut, before they can become harmful to you (3).
Liver Loving Foods:
- broccoli sprouts
- citrus fruits
- fermented foods
- green tea
- leafy greens