Have you been thinking about the health of your liver lately? The answer is probably no, but the information in this article might make you reconsider your liver and give it the love that it deserves!
What is the Liver and What Does it do?
The liver is the second largest organ in the body (your skin is your largest organ) and acts like a border inspection station. Virtually every food or liquid we consume must pass through the liver for inspection. If your diet consists of mostly healthy foods and almost no toxic foods like caffeine, alcohol or medications, then your liver has a relatively easy time of inspection. On the other hand, if you put processed foods and more toxic substances into your body, then chances are your liver is working overtime. Unfortunately, even if you have a pristine diet, the environment that you live in contains pesticides and industrial chemicals that can enter your body through food, water and even the air. All of these toxins can become trapped in our body’s organs and tissues, which over time can negatively impact health, reduce vitality and even contribute to chronic disease. So how do you know if you need to consider health of your liver?
Here is a checklist of symptoms that could suggest that your liver needs a little love:
- digestive problems
- bad breath
- itchy skin
- skin rashes
- joint pain
- problems losing weight
- poor concentration
So you need to improve the health of your liver? You have a few options.
1. Use a detox/cleanse program like the one we recommend at Back to Function. The Designs for Health 14-day liver cleanse program uses a two-phase system in detoxifying the body of harmful substances. The cleanse program comes in 2 different forms. The traditional program is a kit that includes a PurePea protein powder (improves energy and fuels detoxification pathways), PaleoCleanse powder (promotes optimal liver function and elimination), Amino-D-Tox capsules (prepares liver to safely detoxify chemicals and other toxins), Hydrolyzyme capsules (improves digestion and absorption of protein) and a shaker cup.
The second option is the PaleoCleanse Plus as described below:
You use 2 shakes per day and include one meal (usually lunch) and snacks as needed so that you don’t feel hungry. The meals are set to be very low allergen, which reduces inflammation and helps heal the digestive system and liver. This 14-day program will leave you feeling refreshed, with more energy and better concentration. Most people lose 5-12 pounds during the 14 days as they consume fewer calories and make their digestive system more efficient. BTF recommends using a cleanse program 2-4 times per year.
2. Avoid foods that overwork the liver. This includes grains, gluten-containing foods, sugars, artificial sweeteners, dairy products, alcohol, caffeine, soy protein, desserts, processed foods, fried foods, hydrogenated oils, margarine, peanuts and peanut butter. Instead, focus on eating:
- organic, hormone-free, free-range, wild caught proteins (meat and eggs)
- all vegetables
- all beans
- fruits (apples, berries, cherries, pears, plums, pomegranates, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocadoes)
- nuts and seeds (almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, sesame)
- condiments (olives, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, fresh herbs and spices, sea salt, stone ground mustard, grated horseradish)
- sweeteners (stevia, truvia, xylitol)
The following list is considered the superstars of liver detoxifying foods:
- Brussel sprouts
The best liver cleanse program would include the Designs for Health 14-day Detox (available at BTF by calling 310-534-1900) and using the nutrition principles outlined in this article. Your liver will thank you!