The Importance of a Liver Cleanse
Our health and wellbeing depends on how well our bodies can remove the toxins that we come into contact with everyday – environmental pollution, processed foods, beauty products and chemicals. With all of those contaminants in our system, we are all in need for a through detox.
The liver is responsible the detoxification process. Its functions include:
- Processing nutrients absorbing through the intestines.
- Regulating the composition of your blood – making sure the balance of sugars, fats and proteins in the bloodstream remain optimal.
- Destroys old red blood cells.
- Breaks down alcohol and medications
- Removes toxins like bilirubin and ammonia
- Stores iron, vitamin A and other minerals.
Symptoms of Impaired Liver Function
Below is a list of symptoms that indicate that your liver is not working properly.
- Bloating or gas
- Unable to lose weight
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety or depression
- Dark colored urine
- Chronic fatigue
- Unexplained bruising
- Lost appetite
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Skin and/or eyes that with a yellow tinge which is a sign of jaundice
Luckily you can improve your liver function through a lifestyle cleanse which should result in improved health all around.
6 Step Liver Cleanse
1. Remove Processed Foods
Hydrogenated oil and refined sugar are a pairing found in almost all convenience foods and are notoriously toxic. Chemicals are added to preserve the foods taste and appearance but are linked with a variety of diseases. Examples are the nitrates and nitrites commonly added to processed meats like hot dogs or salami which have been linked with cancer.
Hydrogenated oils are also called ‘trans fats’ which contain higher levels of saturated fat, which raises the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol. These oils are used as a cheap alternative to butter but the health effects can be devastating. Researchers have found that ingesting 2 grams of hydrogenated oils daily results in a 25% increase in heart diseases.
Instead, opt in for healthy choices. Learn to cook and enjoy a range of non processed foods like vegetables, fruits and wholesome organic meats.
2. Drink Vegetable Juice
Raw vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that boost your liver cleansing abilities. Eating the required amount of vegetables can be difficult, so try raw vegetable juice. Here is a post on how to do a juice fast.
If your liver function is already impaired, the juicing process makes the vegetables easier to digest and the nutrition more available to be absorbed.
The best vegetables for a liver detox are cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Mix them with carrots, cucumber, beets and greens for a liver cleansing juice.
3. Eat Potassium Rich Foods
Potassium works to lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well as support a liver cleanse. It’s recommended to consume 4700 mg of potassium daily however you do not necessarily need to take a supplement if you have a varied diet. Foods particularly rich in potassium include:
Tomato Sauce – Potassium is concentrated in sauces and purees; go for one low or free of refined sugar
Sweet Potatoes – a single, medium sized sweet potato contains 700mg of potassium making it the best source.
Spinach – High in potassium and other vitamins and minerals, cooked spinach is easier to digest.
Bananas – these have about 400mg of potassium as well as aiding digestion and helping to release toxins from the body making it perfect for a liver cleanse.
4. Try a Coffee Enema
Coffee enemas have a stimulating effect which increases bile flow and improves the health of your gall bladder and liver. This process jump starts the production of glutathione which is a cleansing compound to release the buildup of toxins in your system.
These enemas also help with constipation, result in improved energy, and assist in your livers natural detoxification processes.
For the enema, mix 2 tablespoons of organic coffee grounds with 3 cups of filtered water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes then let it cool completely. Strain the grounds and use the liquid in your enema kit.
5. Supplement with Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Turmeric
Milk thistle can help to eliminate the buildup of heavy metals and other contaminents. The active ingredient called silymarin which works to strengthen the cell walls in the liver to support a healthy and ongoing regeneration.
You might know the dandelion as a pesky weed but the entire plant is packed with minerals and vitamins. Its natural diuretic effect allows your liver to eliminate toxins more quickly.
6. Eat Animal Liver, Or Take Liver Supplements
The liver from healthy, grass fed, organic cattle or chicken is nutrient dense with vitamins A and b, folic acid, iron, copper, zinc and chromium. Consuming the liver is actually one of the best ways to support your own liver health.