Your liver is so important for many functions in your body, beyond just processing sugars and alcohol.
Its’ roles include breaking down alcohol and fats, breaking down hormones to be removed in your waste, producing bile (which helps remove waste and break down fats during digestion), producing blood proteins, producing good cholesterol to help move fats through the body, storing glucose (blood sugar) and releasing it as it’s needed, storing iron, converting ammonia to urea to be removed via urine, clearing drugs and other toxins from the blood, managing your blood clotting, immunity, removing bacteria from your blood which reduces infections, clearing substances such as bilirubin from your body (this turns your eyes and skin yellow).
Phew! that’s a lot of functions. So when your liver is overworked and using all it’s energy to process too much alcohol or processed food, saturated fats and sugars, guess what’s falling through the cracks? all of the above.
The below tips can help to boost your liver function :
– Alcohol can impair your liver function, reducing estrogen breakdown and increasing the amount circulating in your body. Make sure you have a diet high in B vitamins and stay hydrated
– Consuming foods and drinks high in antioxidants, especially those found in vegetables, reduces liver & system inflammation
– Plant foods high in flavonoids and beta cartoons can improve liver function : beetroot & carrots (remember that beets can turn your wee pink, don’t be alarmed it’s harmless).
– Green tea is great for detoxing the liver – however avoid the extract version and stick to a few cups of the real thing, as research is still out on potent amounts and liver damage.
– Garlic is an antioxidant which helps protect the liver against damage, contains B6 which is great for lowering liver inflammation, and selenium to help detox the liver.
– Other selenium rich foods are brazil nuts, turkey, crab, fish, beef and wheat. Avoid supplements as potent amounts can build up and cause nerve damage, hair loss, fatigue, irritability etc.
– Drinking room temperature water with freshly squeezed grapefruit, lemon or lime first thing in the morning is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which will improve your liver detoxification. Grapefruit also contains glutathione which increases liver detox enzymes. Finally, it’s great for kickstarting your digestion,
** You can always prepare a bottle of water with half a squeezed lemon juice inside before you go to sleep and leave it next to your bed. If you drink this first thing upon waking you will feel re-energized before your morning coffee.
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