Detox your liver!
The liver is one of the most vital organs in the body. Any food, beverage, medication, anything consumed must be processed by the liver and over time, diets high in toxins such as alcohol, drugs (prescription and other), fried fatty foods, for example, place strain on the liver and can lead to liver disease and eventually, liver failure. In fact, liver disease and cirrhosis rank in the top 5 leading causes of death among men and women ages 40-55 and cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death among all ages.
Taking these action steps can help maintain a healthy liver:
*Abstain from or limit alcohol intake – There is always a reason to party, celebrate, or unwind with a drink. Wine, cocktails, beer are consistently associated with relaxation and fun. It is important to remember to give your body a break from alcohol and instill good habits in limiting alcoholic beverages to no more than one per day or less.
*Avoid prescription drugs – Naturally, the need for prescription drugs will vary by individual, but before taking even aspirin for a headache or cold medicines, consider trying natural healing options as found in certain foods, teas, herbs, and perhaps get some much needed rest. As for non-prescription drugs, find another way to take the edge off… participate in an intense workout, hike, swim, read a good book, see a movie, phone a positive, supportive friend, play a fun game of cards, put together a puzzle. Health and healing is all around you if you open your eyes and mind to it.
*Boost your metabolism through exercise
*Avoid excess consumption of soda and coffee
*Drink more water and eat foods that are fresh, lean and prepared in a low-fat manner such as steamed, poached, baked without heavy creams, cheeses, excess butter and fats. See below for specific foods that detoxify the liver.
While the liver is remarkable in its ability to recover from strain and damage, feeding it detoxifying foods on a regular basis is a good habit to develop for longevity.
The liver detoxifying A-List foods:
*Asparagus – high in glutathione which is one of the most important detox phytochemical
*Beets – high in betaine which is a molecule shown effective in healing the liver
*Spinach – also high in betaine
*Eggs – contain high levels of choline which detoxifies the liver. Other foods high in choline: shrimp, salmon, cod, tuna, broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach. Avoid too much cod or tuna because of the mercury content. Eat with cilantro which is known to chelate mercury from the body
*Brussels sprouts – help increase phase 2 detoxification
*Turmeric – increases glutathione production in the body
*Cordyceps mushrooms – known to improve liver function
Adding more of these foods prepared in a simple, “clean” manner will show your liver a lot of kindness and help keep you feeling your best for the long term.
Try these simple Spring Rolls to jump start your liver detox, Recipe: Spiced Veggie Spring Rolls
A few signs your liver may be over-toxed:
*Loss of appetite
*Unexplained abdominal weight gain
*Yellowing of the skin and/or eyes
These are just a few of the symptoms of a damaged liver. If you are experiencing some or all of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. And, consult your doctor before changing any medications or altering your diet.
United States Mortality Report, 2013
Conquering Any Disease by Jeff Primack
Mayo Clinic, WebMD, MDAnderson