Your liver, located just under the ribcage, is the largest organ in the human body. The liver is responsible for many bodily functions namely metabolising drugs, creating proteins and filtering blood. These are vital to the successful function of the human body. Unfortunately, many people suffer from poor liver health.
One of the easiest ways you can help your liver to function optimally and to avoid slipping into a serious condition like Fatty Liver Disease is to detox! Here are six things that you can include in your day-to-day life to improve your liver health:
1. The first, and arguably most important thing you need to do for your liver detox is to cut the junk out of your diet. Specifically, cut the processed foods from your diet. This includes soft drinks, microwave meals, deli meats and many other items you can buy and eat on-the-go. While it is well known that processed foods are generally bad for you, in this case, it’s their long shelf life causing the damage. Processed foods contain preservatives, these prevent food from spoiling by inhibiting bacteria growth. That may be well on the food, but preservatives inhibit bodily functions and depress your liver health.
Cutting out processed foods may seem like a hassle, particularly in a busy lifestyle, but it is more than achievable with a little planning. A little weekend or evening meal prep makes for some delicious on-the-go lunches. Lemon and rosemary grilled chicken breast with cherry tomatoes and steamed broccoli make for a hearty, healthy and tasty alternative to a supermarket deli sandwich. Chia puddings can be easily tailored to your personal cravings and make a delicious sweet treat for all ages. For the little ones, homemade muesli bars make great lunch box fillers, and when in doubt, you can always reach for the fruit bowl!
2. The second thing you should do for your liver is to drink raw vegetable juice. With the norm being three meals a day, two of which usually contain vegetables, it’s no wonder that most people struggle to keep up with the recommended four to five servings of raw vegetables a day. Drinking raw vegetable juice is a fast and easy way to get the nutrients you need from a range of vegetables. The vegetables that you should be including in your liver detox are cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Blend these with more flavoursome vegetables like carrots, beetroot or even some mint you’ve got yourself a tasty beverage that your body will love you for.
One of my favourite combinations is to mix a little cauliflower and cabbage with some fresh mint, lime juice and ginger. Blended together with some water this makes a tangy and refreshing quick breakfast to get you up and going. If you find this combination a little tart, you can always add a little molasses to sweeten it, just remember to watch your fructose intake. In the best interests of your liver, you should limit your fructose intake to fifteen grams each day. This is because fructose can only be metabolised by the liver, so too much can be harmful. Something to consider adding to your raw vegetable juice is our M&R Essentials Intense Detox Tonic. This tonic is designed to support the body’s natural ability to detox. It is a natural homeopathic method, which means it does not have the same harsh side effects as some chemical detox treatments.
3. The next part of your liver detox is to hit that potassium. Bananas, broccoli, and lentils are all rich sources of potassium which will assist in cleansing your liver. More than that, potassium is also crucial to the chemical balance within your body, for a healthy cardiovascular system, and it helps control metabolism. With all these benefits, it’s a no-brainer to include more potassium rich food in your diet. The recommended daily intake for potassium is 4700mg. This is easily achievable by incorporated the previously mentioned foods and other potassium rich foods into your meals.
One food to consider is blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is what remains after the sugar has been extracted from raw sugar cane. It is incredibly nutritious with a high content of iron and calcium, which each have their own benefits. Most importantly, it contains ten percent of the recommended daily intake of potassium. Blackstrap molasses is delicious blended into a smoothie, used in place of your regular sweetener and can even be used in savoury dishes. I would highly recommend picking up a jar on your next supermarket trip.
4. The next step is to do coffee enemas. While it is not diet-related, it is still equally as important. Coffee is known to be beneficial to the liver, some sources even recommend drinking two cups a day. However, one of the best ways to get all the benefits from coffee is to do an enema. A coffee enema involves placing an organic coffee solution in your enema kit and retaining it for ten to fifteen minutes before releasing it.
The benefits of a coffee enema are great. It works to aid constipation, reduce fatigue and support liver detoxification. This is because when coffee is retained in your bowel, fluid can enter the liver through the intestinal wall. This ultimately helps to jump-start your liver. The fluid encourages bile flow, which sparks the production of glutathione, a chemical that helps release the build-up of toxins in your system. This process is key to a liver detox as it cleanses the liver of toxins that linger in your system.
5. For an effective liver detox, there are certain supplements you should consider taking. There are a plethora of plants out there with restorative benefits, but for your liver, you should consider turmeric, milk thistle and dandelion. Turmeric is well known for its vast range of health benefits, from curing joint pain to improving mood. Turmeric supports healthy liver tissue and fast liver metabolism. Milk thistle helps to clear your liver of build-up of heavy metals and medications. Dandelion works as a diuretic, allowing the body to rid itself of toxins faster. Dandelion root is packed with minerals, this is important in a liver detox as it activates detox pathways and creates good stomach acid.
In New Zealand, turmeric is mostly found as a powdered spice, however, fresh turmeric can be found at some produce stores and will be more beneficial than the powder. Turmeric has a poignant flavour and is a great addition to many savoury dishes, or perhaps blended into your raw vegetable juice. If you’re not a fan of the flavour or cannot find fresh turmeric, here at M&R Essentials we also offer organic turmeric capsules which make an excellent alternative. Milk thistle and dandelion root are both commonly found in teas, often together. This is an easy and soothing way to add milk thistle and dandelion into your life. If tea is not your thing, both can also be found in powder form which you can add to a beverage or meal.
6. The last step in your liver detox is to in fact eat organic liver. Liver is highly nutritious, incorporating beef or chicken liver into your diet is an effective and efficient way to top up on the nutrients your liver needs. By eating liver, you are topping up your vitamin A, vitamin B, folate, iron and more. This will not only support your liver but also give your entire body a boost.
Liver can be a bit unusual to cook for some people. Though it is more common in French cuisine, experimenting with a few recipes and flavours can lead to some quite tasty discoveries. For something more basic, I think beef liver pairs quite well with onion and mushroom and chicken liver pairs well with garlic and lemon. If you still can’t quite stomach the idea of eating liver, you can take liver tablets, just be sure to check that they are free of hormones, pesticides and antibiotics.
The liver fills with toxins every day, so to be effective, you should detox every day by including these six steps in your daily routines. It may seem like a task at first, but little by little it can be very manageable and the results are certainly worth it. With a healthy liver, your body can live up to its potential and so can you!