Does your liver need help?

The liver is constantly bombarded with toxic chemicals including those produced internally and those from the environment. It detoxifies toxins from the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the products we use.

Proper functioning of the liver’s processes is key to helping maintain health. It is worth giving your liver some support if it has been a little neglected as we often don’t notice the benefits of good detoxification processes until it is impaired. As the toxic load increases we can feel sluggish, lacking energy and weighed down both physically and emotionally.

The liver is a forgiving organ and remarkably can restore itself with a little help. You will feel brighter, more energetic and happier by reducing your toxic load and consuming foods to help you detox.

Do you have some of these symptoms? 

  • Itchy, irritated skin
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia or restless sleep
  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Overwhelming moods or emotions
  • Confusion, muddled thinking
  • Feeling stressed or impatient
  • Boils, ulcers, rashes or breakouts

Ways to encourage good detoxification and support liver function

  • Eat foods from the brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts)
  • Eat foods rich in Vitamin C (organic tomatoes, peppers, kale, citrus foods, cherries)
  • Eat foods rich in B vitamins (wholegrains, nutritional yeast)
  • Eat foods high in dietary fibre, particularly water- soluble fibres (oat bran, pears, apples and pulses)
  • Eat foods with a high sulphur content (garlic, pulses, onions)
  • Carrots, Beetroot, artichokes and herbs and spices such as turmeric, cinnamon and licorice all support the liver and detoxification.
  • Check your household goods and skin care and change to more natural products that are kinder to your skin, health and the environment.
  • Reduce your intake of pesticides by choosing organic foods wherever possible.

Ways you may be damaging your liver 

  • Carrying extra weight is a common cause of liver disease. As extra fat accumulates around liver cells, it can cause swelling and rigidity. A sluggish liver can decrease bile flow which affects metabolism. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to liver health.
  • The effects of alcohol on the liver are well known, reducing alcohol consumption to within the recommended guidelines is key in improving liver function. The liver can be supported with a good diet and good gut bacteria. So, make sure fermented foods such as kefir, yoghurt, fermented vegetables and sprouted foods play a part in your diet, particularly if you drink alcohol.
  • High sugar diets can create a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. It is best to keep sugary foods as an occasional treat and avoid sugary drinks altogether.
  • Many prescription and over-the-counter medications adversely affect the liver. Easing the digestive system with high fibre foods can help with this.

A few small changes can really help your liver to function well. Should you change your diet completely or decide to have a period of detoxing with foods, herbs and supplements, you may find some symptoms, such as headaches, may actually get worse for a short period of time before you feel the benefits – although you can manage this by taking things a bit more slowly. Ultimately, an improved diet will have a really positive effect.