Its National Love Your Liver Awareness Month! Our liver is an absolute powerhouse of an organ and is responsible for over 500 functions of the body. Amongst its many important roles, the liver filters, cleanses and breakdowns everything that passes through our body. Quite simply, it is our body’s natural detoxifier. When the liver becomes overwhelmed with toxins, its natural working cycle slows down. This happens when our body becomes overloaded with things such as alcohol, drugs, processed and fatty foods and chemicals (such as pesticides left on produce). The good news is, there are lifestyle habits you can make that will keep your liver healthy and help stimulate its natural ability to expel toxins from the body.
Here are 3 simple steps to improve your liver health:
- Drink less than 14 units of alcohol & have 3 consecutive days off alcohol every week.
- Eat a healthy diet & exercise more.
- Know the risk factors for viral hepatitis & get tested or vaccinated if at risk.
Here are 8 powerful foods to eat to keep your liver healthy:
1. Citrus Fruits: Fruits like grapefruit, oranges & lemons all boost the liver’s cleansing ability as citrus fruits help the liver to produce the detoxifying enzymes that flush out pollutants.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables: Such asbroccoli, cauliflower, kale & cabbage as they contain glucosinolate, which helps the liver to produce detoxifying enzymes. They also contain sulfur compounds that aid with liver health. Leafy vegetables are high in chlorophyll, which leaches toxins out of the blood stream.
3. Beetroot: Beets assist with increasing oxygen by cleansing the blood, & can break down toxic wastes to help them be excreted quicker. They stimulate bile flow and boost enzymatic activity. Beets also contain fiber & Vitamin C, which both are natural cleansers for the digestive system.
4. Turmeric: The compounds in Turmeric have been found to improve liver function & reduce the levels of toxicity in the body by stimulating the lymphatic system & removing toxins efficiently.
5.Walnuts: Walnuts are high in the amino acid arginine & assist the liver in detoxifying ammonia. They’re also rich in glutathione & omega-3 fatty acids, which aid the natural liver cleansing functions.
6.Garlic: Garlic is packed with sulphur, which activates liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. It also is rich in selenium, whichis an essential micronutrient that has been shown to help boost the natural antioxidant enzyme levels in our liver.
7. Avocado: Avocado’s are rich in glutathione, which is a substance that is present throughout the body. It’s function is to protect cells against oxidation & to help the liver rid itself of toxins.
8. Apples: Apples have high levels of pectin, which helps the body facilitate the process of cleansing and releasing toxins from the liver. Apple juice (organic) is also recommended for liver detoxification
9. Green Tea: Green Tea is rich in catechins, which is a powerful antioxidant known to improve liver function.