An optimally functioning liver is critical for ALL aspects of health. The liver is a major organ in the detoxification process and requires multiple substances and nutrients to operate efficiently. It is often thought that the liver’s purpose is to detox, so why would you need to detox your liver? The answer is that, like any organ, it can become sluggish, clogged, or bogged down. The reality is that many things we are exposed to regularly, such as environmental toxins, endocrine disruptors, pesticides, parabens, artificial fragrances, etc., cause the liver to get bogged down, which inhibits its ability to detox well. Besides dealing with toxins, your liver is also responsible for methylating B vitamins, regulating blood sugar, creating cholesterol, storing glycogen, making bile, and much more. When your liver is compromised, it affects virtually every other organ and system in your body! So what are things you can do to support your liver and help it function optimally?
LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION:
Our liver can only process or break down a small amount of alcohol every hour.
Water flushes toxins and removes wastes. Starting the day with a glass of warm lemon water is great for your liver. Filtered water is preferred, when possible, to help eliminate the toxic burden on the liver.
Antioxidants are beneficial because they help remove toxins and free radicals. Some antioxidants found in supplements include Milk Thistle, Vitamin C, Glutathione, NAC, Selenium, Artichoke Leaf, Turmeric root, and Dandelion root. Examples of antioxidants found in food are green tea, berries, dark chocolate, artichoke, spinach, broccoli, and cabbage.
CONSIDER GETTING ACUPUNCTURE:
Acupuncture is another great way to support and balance your liver. A licensed acupuncturist can evaluate your overall health and, with a tailored approach, support the body’s natural detox processes and promote optimal functioning of all of your organ systems. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver system is associated with the Spring, making it an ideal time to work with the energies of the season to tidy up your internal landscape and ease the stresses on your mind and body.
LIMIT TOXIC EXPOSURES:
Toxins burden the liver. Common sources of toxins include plastics, phthalates, parabens, pesticides, perfumes, bisphenol A (BPA), perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), and more. These toxins are commonly found in hygiene products, candles, cleaning products, cups, and cookware. The more toxins we avoid, the better our liver is at removing the toxins we cannot avoid.
Exercise enhances blood and lymphatic flow and facilitates the clearance of toxins from tissues. The lymphatic system moves when the body moves, so a sedentary lifestyle will allow toxins to remain trapped, putting a toxic burden on the liver. Sweat is a detox pathway that helps eliminate toxins. If you don’t sweat well, this could be a sign your liver is burdened.
Please note that this is not medical advice. Please consult with your physician before starting supplements. With the principles of functional nutrition as the foundation, our nutrition team at Sundara Wellness can help manage hormonal balance and much more. To contact Cody, you can email her at email@example.com.
Cody Giovannetti, RDN, LDN, IBCLC is a Registered Dietitian specializing in GI issues, thyroid dysfunction, prenatal/postpartum nutrition, autoimmune disease, metabolic syndrome, nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities, hormone imbalances, and more.