A Before the Holidays Detox
Part 2 – The Liver
Detoxification, protein synthesis, repackaging of fats, enzymes for digestion, metabolism, glycogen storage (sugar for energy), and hormone production are just some of the jobs for our liver.
This major, vital organ is a workhorse. The liver continually filters our blood, scavenging toxins and neutralizing them and reassembling them for elimination. This includes alcohol, chemicals from our food, and medicines.
Picture your week, how many pills are you taking? How much alcohol? What does your food look like, is it from a package? Is it organic? Think about all the work you make your liver do!
Last week we talked about cutting back on indulgences (caffeinated beverages, alcohol, processed foods, sugar, flour). These indulgences bring excess stress to various organs of the body, and all of them bring excess stress to the liver.
Too much stress on the liver and it can become congested and tired. A congested liver means that more toxins stay in the body. The result is a more toxic, sicker you.
Instead of stressing your liver help it out. Help your liver neutralize toxins by providing it with the tools it needs, essential fatty acids (cold water fish, flax, walnuts, hemp), fresh organic vegetables and fruit for powerful and protective antioxidants such as glutathione, and the mineral sulfur found in eggs, fish, meat, onions, garlic, kale, and cabbage.
And don’t be tricked into a juice or water fast for detoxification. After the liver neutralizes toxins it needs to add substances to make them water soluble and ready for excretion through bile, urine or sweat. It is a sulfur protein driven pathway requiring protein foods rich in taurine and cysteine amino acids. These are non-essential amino acids which your body can make even from vegetarian protein sources, but for a potent detox animal protein which provides an abundance of these amino acids is better.
Here are some other healthful habits for your liver.
- Saunas and/or exercise to increase blood flow to the organ and to enhance detoxification pathways (sweating)
- Lots and lots of clean water for urine production and lots of fibre for healthy, regular stool, again enhancing detoxification pathways
- A daily green drink
- Lemon in water stimulates the liver, take right before bed as the body does most of its cleaning at night
- Add the herbs cumin, ginger, as well as garlic to your recipes, all are beneficial
- Replace potatoes or grains at a meal with beets as they stimulate the liver
Keep your liver healthy and you’ll find yourself recovering quickly after those nights of holiday indulgences!