The liver is probably the most overworked organ in our body. Instead of loving our liver we often abuse it by overloading it, impairing its function to eliminate toxins from our bodies. The liver is the major organ of detoxification and it works hand in hand with the digestive system. The liver filters the blood coming from the digestive system before it passes it to the rest of the body. If you are absorbing all the correct nutrients from a healthy diet this process is fairly straight forward, no problem. If however if you have a poor diet and are not absorbing the essential nutrients, your blood will not be filtered properly and toxins will remain in the blood. This means that your body will be toxic and you will experience poor circulation as there will be lack of oxygen and essential nutrients being fed to the cells making you tired. A toxic body will result in the onset of disease.
Functions of the liver
The main role is detoxification. It clears the blood of toxic substances and drugs, nourishing your cells. Everything you eat and drink goes through the liver.
Produces bile which aids digestion and breaks down fats.
Regulates hormones. Hormonal imbalances like too much oestrogen can result in uterine fibroids, and hormonal cancers like breast and ovarian.
Stores vitamins and minerals: iron, Vitamin A, vitamin K, Vitamin B12, folic acid.
Produces cholesterol and triglycerides.
Stores and releases glucose.
Signs of a sluggish liver
Waking up tired in the morning even though you have had a good nights sleep.
Nausea after eating a rich meal or drinking alcohol.
Headaches and foggy head.
All skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
Problems with vision.
Constipation and all digestive problems.
High lipid profile.
Causes of a sluggish liver
A poor diet consisting of too much sugar and fatty foods.
Too much alcohol – a major toxin for the liver.
Over use of prescription drugs. Paracetamol is very bad for the liver.
Heavy metal toxicity.
Diseases of the liver
Hepatitis A, B and C
Foods that are bad for the liver
All fried foods.
Too much sugar from cakes, pastries, biscuits pies.
All ready made meals which are packed with zero nutritional value.
Try to eat organic. Non organic fruit and vegetables are sprayed with endless amounts of chemicals and pesticides. If you are not able to eat organic wash all your fruit and vegetables thoroughly.
Stay away from full fat dairy and all unhealthy fats like hydrogenated, saturated and trans-fats.
If you suffer from liver problems reduce animal protein and eat protein from foods like: quinoa, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts and seeds which are easier to digest.
Avoid eating too many eggs if you have liver problems. Reduce to once a week.
Foods to include in your diet
Rocket, endive, chicory, dandelion greens, garlic, onions, ginger, artichoke, watercress, brussels sprouts, kale, sweet potatoes, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, celeriac, asparagus. Beetroots are fantastic for the liver – probably the best.
Have more vegetable smoothies and soups.
Lecithin granules sprinkled over smoothies, salads and cereal helps to digest fats.
Make your diet 40-50% raw, this is easier to do in the summer when you tend to eat more salads.
All food should be baked or steamed.
Avoid large meals that put a strain on the digestive system. Eat smaller meals. Make sure half of your plate is always full of vegetables or salad.
One of the most effective supplements I have found for the liver is milk thistle by A Vogel. It is truly fantastic for the liver. It regenerates the cells in the liver.
A good multi vitamin.
Vitamin C .
A good quality fish oil supplement.
The wonderful thing about the liver is that it is the only organ that can regenerate itself. So it is never to late to change your diet and lifestyle.
If you suffer from liver problems and would like a consultation please email me.