As the major detoxification and elimination organ of the body, the liver is charged with some pretty big responsibilities. Its primary role is to break down harmful substances and toxins that enter the body and excrete them. In fact, some of the ailments that are occurring within our bodies may very well be associated with poor liver functioning.
Aside from detoxification, it’s also responsible for synthesizing and excreting bile, storing vitamins and minerals, metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, and also picking up the slack from a poor digestive system. And that’s just to name a few. Needless to say, the lovely liver needs lots of love and support every day.
Proper liver functioning is essential for preventing illness and diseases (cancer, heart diseases, etc.). When substances are not detoxified they are recycled in the body, which causes disruptions of other processes. Unfortunately, for some, the liver is loaded with so many toxins and substances that it’s unable to work as efficiently as it should in the detoxification and other processes it must carry out.
Some of the toxins & toxicants the liver breaks down
( *toxins: produced by the body )
- Cleansing agents
- Trans fats
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars
- Skincare ingredients
- Estrogen* (sex hormone)
Ways to love up and support your liver
So what can one do? Well, there are many ways in which you can give your liver the tender, loving, care it needs in order to optimize health.
Chinese and other forms of Eastern medicine have long utilized the face as a window into the body. It’s believed that certain symptoms on the face or skin may be indications of much deeper problems with the organs or the body. For example, yellow eyes or skin signifies that there could be something negative going on with the liver. And, acne on the jawline suggests a hormonal imbalance. You get the picture.
Enhancing what goes into your body will ensure that your liver detox pathways ( phase 1 & 2) are working effectively. So consider what you’re putting into your body, consider what needs to be reduced in order to lighten the load on the liver (alcohol, caffeine, process foods, synthetics, etc.)
Your liver needs clean, nutrient dense foods (especially cruciferous vegetables) to function optimally. Give it protein, fats, carbohydrates, whole grains, seeds, and nuts.
Veggies that support the liver
The Brassica family of veggies contain compounds that are formed during chewing and digestion, and these compounds are able to get rid of cancer-causing substances before they get a hold of and damage the DNA.
- Mustard greens*
- Dinosaur kale*
- kohlrabi* (purple and white)
- Brussels sprouts*
- Collard greens*
- White radishes*
- Mustard greens*
- Broccoli rubi*
If eating these veggies are difficult, you can make the process easier by incorporating some of these ingredients into smoothies or create delicious juices and soups.
* = Brassica family of veggies
Dixie Lincoln- Nichols is a biological science educator, certified health coach and entrepreneur. Her work has been featured in media outlets like, Oprah Mag, SELF, Yahoo, Redbook, Natural Health, Instyle, Working Woman, Huffington Post, Essence Online, Tampa Tribune and more. She is currently the Chief Self-care Connoisseur and founder of I. O. Beauty Market, where she curates products that are free of toxic, harmful ingredients.