Do you realize how dependent your overall health and your body are on your liver? The liver has a big job to do. As part of the digestion process, nutrients must pass through the liver to be changed into forms the body can use. What can’t be used is either then sent out as waste or stored as fat. The liver is the organ that is responsible for sorting all this out. Since the liver is our main detox organ and is responsible for clearing toxins out of the body, it needs to be kept in good working order. If the liver isn’t able to do its job, all the other body organs suffer for it.
What Hurts the Liver?
So what kinds of things cause the liver to be stressed or over-worked? Eating a diet of processed and refined foods, foods with artificial ingredients and preservatives, toxic substances we ingest from the air and hygiene or cleansing products with chemicals absorbed through our skin all contribute to liver stress. Some of the environmental conditions are beyond our control to eliminate totally, but when it comes to diet, there are things you can do to be good to your liver. Two of the most important are to stop eating foods with high fructose corn syrup and with trans fats. One research study done at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center reported fatty liver disease and obesity developing in mice that were fed foods with trans fats and a fructose/sucrose mixture. Fatty liver disease occurs when fat deposits build up in the liver. This can cause inflammation, liver scarring and can eventually result in liver failure. If you read food labels, you will find high fructose corn syrup listed in many, many products. Start being aware of what foods you buy that contain it and trans fats and look for healthier alternatives. Anything deep fried of course has lots of trans fats which the American Heart Association recommends should be less than 1% of your daily dietary intake. And when reading food labels if you see partially hydrogenated vegetable oil then you know it has trans fat. Not only are these detrimental to your liver, they also raise your LDL cholesterol level and lower the HDL cholesterol level which can lead to heart attack, stroke and heart disease. There have also been studies reporting trans fats can affect the body being able to metabolize omega 3 fatty acids which the heart and brain both need to function properly.
Natural Support for the Liver
Now that you know the types of foods not to eat to keep your liver healthy, here are some foods that will help support your liver. The first is of course to eat a well-balanced diet of organic whole foods. Garlic and lemons are also good for the liver. Drinking a glass of warm lemon water each day can help the liver produce more enzymes, clean out toxins and assist in digestion and eating garlic helps activate enzymes that help get rid of toxins. The catechins in green tea have also been reported to support liver function. The antioxidants cynarin and silymarin found in artichokes can help clean out the liver and eating avocados helps your body to make glutathione that the liver needs in filtering toxins. Watermelon and broccoli are also good sources for the antioxidant glutathione. This wholefood supplement is not only rich in glutathione, but also chlorophyll, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients from a combination of kale sprouts, red clover sprouts, wheat sprouts, Dunaliella salina algae and AFA bluegreen algae.
Medicinal mushrooms are another whole food source that research is finding has benefits for liver function as well as improving blood flow, balancing cholesterol and blood sugar and reducing the risk of heart disease. Shiitake, Reishi, Maitake, Turkey Tail and Cordyceps mushrooms in particular have all been found to have properties beneficial to liver function. If you are not a big mushroom fan or just don’t do a lot of fixing meals at home, the good news for you is that all of these mushrooms plus Agaricus blazei, astragalus, beta glucan and organic AFA bluegreen algae can be found in this supplement. Another mushroom supplement I really like for liver support and carbohydrate metabolism has the power of reishi, maitake, cordyceps, wild black trumpet, and Poria cocos mushrooms.
Your liver is way too important to ignore and adding some of these natural supports to your diet is really pretty easy. Start thinking about helping your liver out more and the rest of your body will be really glad you did.
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