I'm excited to share some great info about the liver with you today. It's an organ that is responsible for so much, but we talk about it so little. Let's show it some love!
What the liver does for your body
The liver is quite incredible. It has responsibilities for both detoxification and digestion. Anything you eat, breathe, or absorb goes through your liver for processing and is either circulated through your blood, stored for future use, or detoxified and flushed from your body through urine or stool. When your body needs the nutrients your liver has stored, your liver knows to release them. An example of this is regulation of your blood sugar levels. If your levels get too low, your liver will break down glycogen and release the sugar into your blood. Your liver also knows when to release stored vitamins and minerals to keep your body functioning optimally. It's truly incredible what the liver can do, and we've barely scratched the surface! It's also incredible what can happen if your liver is overburdened.
Signs your liver may not be functioning optimally
There are many symptoms that can indicate if your liver is overburdened. This list is not exhaustive, but includes some of the common indicators that we need to do more to support our livers. When you begin to support your liver, other organs improve their function as well. There's definitely a domino effect when your liver is taxed and also when it's functioning well. In fact, a lot of healing diets and protocols include phases, foods, or supplements that support your liver because it's just that important to your overall health.
Here are a few of the common signs of poor liver function:
Digestive disorders & bloating
Pain/discomfort under your right-side ribcage
Hormonal imbalance/irregular menstrual cycle
Unexplained weight gain
Dark spots on the skin
Acne or other skin rashes
How to detox your liver
Change up your diet: Some of the best foods for your liver include sour foods, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, and fresh herbs. Buying organic when you can will reduce the pesticides you consume through produce. You can also add in some apple cider vinegar to help stimulate digestion. Eliminate alcohol, sugars, a diet with multiple servings of grains and grain products (bread, pasta, etc.), and processed foods including high fructose corn syrup and agave, which can all lead to an excessive toxic load on your liver.
Reduce the toxins in your life: From cleaning chemicals to beauty products, we're subjected to chemicals that we often don't know about hundreds of times each day. There are many non-toxic options out there these days that are worth checking out. I've started to replace things with safer options as I run out of what I already have on hand. It's not always financially feasible to replace everything at once. You can also easily make your own home cleaners with vinegar, baking soda. lemon and essential oils.
Use herbs & teas to boost your liver function: Milk thistle and tumeric herbs are great for liver function. Dandelion root and green teas are great as well! I love roasted dandelion root tea in the morning. It's dark and has a lovely nutty flavor.
Exercise: Moving your body is a great way to expel toxins from your liver and your body as a whole via breath and sweat. Another option to get your body sweating without strenuous activity is the infrared sauna and there are several in the local Twin Cities area! This is one of my favorite things to do in the winter, which will sadly be here in a mere few months!
Need a little help with your liver health? Schedule a free 30 minute consultation to see if Thrive Nutrition is a good fit for you.