I can’t talk enough about the importance of liver health. To function at its best, however, it has to be free of debris. As an example: you’d clean the filter on your AC to keep it from breaking down in the heat of the summer; you’d change your car’s fuel filter to keep your car from breaking down. This is the thing… There are many kinds of liver diseases, but anything that keeps your liver from doing its job efficiently could put your life in danger.
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms, you may be suffering from impaired liver function: fatigue ~ anxiety ~ depression ~ constipation ~ high blood pressure ~ fatty liver disease ~ joint pain ~ acid reflux ~ heartburn ~ rosacea/other skin conditions
Further warning signs of liver disease are: abdominal pain/swelling ~ dark urine ~ nausea ~ chronic fatigue ~ jaundice ~ swelling ankles/legs
Some of our liver functions are:
- Removes toxins from the blood
- Metabolizes fat converting it to energy
- Metabolizes medications by a special enzyme, controlling the rate to be activated and then eliminated out
- Cleanses/Destroys old blood cells
- Converts both excess glucose and fructose to fat and stores them in our fat cells
- Regulates protein, carbohydrate and fat in the blood
- Stores fat soluble Vitamins A and E, minerals and glycogen
- Manufactures hormone production; eliminating excess hormones
As you can see, the liver has quite a responsibility with over 500 functions! When damaged, the liver can metabolize medications/vaccines into the bloodstream at a higher rate. The majority of drug-related liver problems are caused by acetaminophen, certain antibiotics, heart medications, statins, and anti-seizure medications. Artificial food coloring/flavoring and preservatives cause some people to be unprotected from their bad side-effects. In the early stages, symptoms of a weakened/damaged liver is often overlooked. The good news is that our liver can regenerate, as long as it has at least 25% function left. But take action before that happens! Love your liver to stay disease-free and healthy. Making lifestyle choices is the best way to take care of our liver:
- Get 4-5 servings of vegetables in soups, stews and salads. These dishes can bring about ways to incorporate more veggies in your diet, putting your liver at ease. Liquid chlorophyll promotes liver cleansing and increases circulation to all our organs by dilating blood vessels.
- Drinking raw vegetable juice is beneficial in relaxing all the digestive organs including the heart, by absorbing and assimilating nutrients instantly! Cabbage, beets, cucumber, carrots and greens, including mint and parsley, are excellent blood (liver) purifiers!
- Supplement with a B-Complex. Vitamin B’s are used for helping the cells process, assisting the breakdown of fats and sugars, including those in the liver. In other words, B’s help to make our cells more efficient at breaking down nutrients to produce energy and will help prevent fat accumulation around the liver. Overall, increasing energy! Foods high in B’s are bananas, apricots, apples and brown rice; eggs, chicken, red meat/organ meat; green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight inflammation, giving Vitamin C a significant advantage that will help protect your liver from toxins and free radicals. Foods high in Vitamin C: all citrus fruits, mango, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries; dark leafy greens and cabbage. Supplementing with 2000 mg Vitamin C’s can help guarantee your daily intake.
- Consume potassium-rich foods. Potassium intake is important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, lowering bad cholesterol, and lowering systolic blood pressure. Low potassium is linked to fatty liver disease. Foods highest in potassium are ripe bananas, dried apricots and raisins; sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, avocado, cooked spinach, beet greens, and lentils/beans; salmon and sardines.
- Iron is a key nutrient in the development of red blood cells to transport oxygen in the body via the liver. The liver plays a large role in how much iron is released into the body. If your diet is deficient, this causes a condition called anemia. Excessive amounts can cause inflammatory chemicals to be released and could cause a large degree of liver damage! Foods high in iron are spinach (cooked), raisins, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and blackstrap molasses. A good iron supplement from a food source is Floradix by Flora, but be sure to follow the direction of your doctor to ensure healthy liver function. Eating foods high in Vitamin C while eating an iron rich food, or taking a Vitamin C supplement, improves the body’s ability to absorb iron.
- Avoid processed foods and refined sugar, and give your liver a break! Processed foods contain preservatives, synthetic ingredients and are high in sodium, making the liver work overtime. Another culprit of processed food is the lack of enzymes in the food, making it impossible to digest the sugars, putting the liver and other organs at risk of becoming overworked, weak and sick. Eating whole grains and juicing fresh fruit is the only way to prevent this stress on the liver.
- Eat organic fruits/veggies labeled “the filthy fifteen” found only in my book, The nofad Weight Loss program. These foods, along with coffee, are highly toxic with pesticide residue that will burden your liver.
- Stop spraying chemical room deodorizers and using DEET mosquito repellent directly on your skin, making the liver work very hard filtering out these dangerous chemicals, trying to protect you! Instead, work with essential oils to find the best fit for you and your family.
- Taking a digestive enzyme with a meal is the fastest way to ease the burden off your liver. Digestive enzyme production starts decreasing by the age of 35; chronic sickness, emotional stress, processed foods speed-up enzyme reduction! Digestive enzyme supplements help promote digestive health and the complete digestion of fats, carbs and proteins. On an empty stomach, enzymes effectively gobble-up and eliminate undigested proteins in our blood and as a result decreasing inflammation in our arteries and joints, and offering immune support.
- Drinking fresh lemon water to support and cleanse the liver has shown to reduce inflammation, Alzheimer’s and aging brain caused by brain lipid peroxidation, and liver damage by reducing oxidation. In addition, it helps to dissolve gallstones and improve colon health.