If, after eating your fair share of fatty foods, sugary treats and of course, booze over the festive season, your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and get healthy then a liver detox diet is a good place to start.
It’s a brilliant solution to the lethargy, bloating and weight gain many people experience in January.
Your Liver Can Only Handle So Much
It is important to understand how vital your liver is to your health. It is the one organ that cleans and filters your blood around the clock.
It also removes and processes nutrients, manufactures materials for export to other parts of the body, and destroys toxins or stores them so that they don’t circulate throughout the body. It never gets a break, and it can only handle so much work.
If your diet consists of processed, refined and fast foods and alcohol you may lack the necessary vitamins, minerals, amino acids ad other nutrients your liver needs to do its job.
When you combine the lack of nutrients with the overwealming exposure to toxins it is not difficult to see how the liver can struggle.
At a certain point toxins can start to back up in the body, and when that happens, a ton of health issues can occur.
Physical issues can include constipation, fatigue, and even cardiovascular disease. Mental issues can include irritability, anxiety, and depression.
What To Eat (And Not Eat) To Support Liver Health
Some health practitioners will recommend going on a liquid diet for a period of time in order to detox the liver. This is not a bad idea because it forces you to incorporate vegetables and fruits that support the liver detox system.
Try drinking this ultra liver cleansing juice every morning before breakfast.
Ultra Liver Cleansing Juice
1 medium organic red beet
3 medium organic carrots
1 small organic mouli radish
2 organic garlic cloves
large handful of organic parsley
Put all ingredients through your juicer. Sip slowly. Enjoy!
But if you have a demanding job or don’t have time to go on a liquid diet, a liver detox diet can be as simple as avoiding foods that are hard on the liver, such as foods that contain processed fats, sugar, chemicals, preservatives and eating foods that support good liver health instead.
Sugar according to the The American Liver Foundation may just be the new alcohol of 2014.
Sugar is made up of glucose and fructose and both are metabolized in the liver. When too much sugar is consumed, the liver converts it to fat. Consumption of large amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup can damage your liver and cause fatty liver disease.
Recently sugar has been identified as a major contributor to heart disease, cancer, diabetes. If sugar is your main problem maybe you need a sugar detox.
Fruits and vegetables contain naturally occurring complex sugars that are healthy.
A good eating plan would include the following liver detox foods: garlic, broccoli, cabbage, artichoke, asparagus, kale, beets, carrots, onions, olive oil, whole grains, cauliflower, lemons, limes, walnuts and the spice turmeric.
All of these foods are known to support liver health in some way and will supercharge your liver as it gets a break from foods that are hard on it.
You should decrease your consumption of fatty meats and preserved meat such as Italian sausage, ham, smoked meats, sausages, frankfurters, corned beef and bacon choosing a limited amount of grass fed meat and free range poultry instead.
This is because a damaged liver cannot metabolize proteins properly and break down the amino acids that are produced after eating meat, or any foods that come from animals. In other words, meat and dairy can be hard on the liver.
Other Things To Consider
While you are on the liver detox diet, eat only when hungry. Even though you are consuming foods that support liver health, eating causes the liver to work harder, and eating when you are not hungry is taking away from the healing process.
Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure water. Water helps to dilute the toxins and hydrates the bowel to keep it moving. Your liver eliminates toxins through the bile which has to be removed from the body through bowel movements.
95% of your blood is water and because your liver filters blood, the viscosity of the blood has an influence over the liver’s ability to detoxify it. The more water in your blood, the easier job your liver has.
So, is a liver detox diet necessary after the holidays? If you feel as though you ate or drank too much, then yes, it is a good idea to give your liver a break and let it catch up to its normal routine. The detox will help flush out any stored toxins and encourage your liver to work at its optimal level.
Learn more about detox and detox diets in my Recharge and Energizing Detox Guide.
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