Let's talk about one of the most underrated organs- the liver. This incredible organ manages over 500 tasks, including metabolism upkeep, nutrient storage, immunity, and digestion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is thought to regulate the smooth flow of qi, or the vital energy necessary for health and well-being. Spring is considered the season when the liver's energy reaches its full height. This means it's the perfect time to cleanse and nourish it with natural, detoxifying foods.
Beta-carotene- packed carrots remove toxins and heavy metals from the liver. Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower are high in fiber, and studies show that beets also contain beneficial compounds. These compounds can reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which actually can lead to liver disease. By handling your gut health, you are reducing one of the primary causes of liver inflammation. These cruciferous vegetables are great sources of fermentable fiber.
Lemons are the go-to here! They contain especially high levels of vitamin C, which elevates the body's glutathione- a powerful antioxidant that activates detoxifying enzymes in the liver. Lemons also help flush out uric acid and other buildups. Blueberries are also a great choice. They contain a minimal amount of natural sugar and a high amount of antioxidants.
There are several herbs that can help support your liver. Dandelion root is a natural diuretic and helps flush toxins from organs, including the liver. Another great choice- milk thistle. Several studies suggest that this herb protects the liver from toxins. Good ol' turmeric can boost the liver's protective and regenerative properties as well. And, we can't forget garlic! The antioxidant properties keep the toxins, filtered by your liver, from reaching other organs.
Walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil and avocado are high in omega-3 fatty acids- these acids reduce liver fat. Excess fat in the body exhaust the liver and impedes its performance.
The fermentable fiber in sulfur-rich foods can provide gut microbiota nutrients to assist in a repair of a leaky gut. This repair can reduce liver inflammation. Sulfur also facilitates the conversion of water-soluble toxins for rapid elimination. Garlic, artichokes, leeks, onions, and shallots are a few sulfur-rich foods.
Our liver is so important, and it has a huge job to do! We should all be doing what we can to help it along. Hope you found these tips useful! How do you love your liver?