Our lovely liver is charged with some pretty big responsibilities, and some of the ailments that are occurring within our bodies may very well be associated with poor liver functioning. Needless to say, the lovely liver needs lots of love and support every day.
The liver is a major detoxification and elimination organ of the body and its well-being is crucial for the efficient functioning of many processes.
The primary role of the liver is to break down harmful substances and toxins that enter the body and excrete them. 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.
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 detoxification and other processes it must carry out.
Some of the toxins that the liver must break down:
- Cleansing agents
- Trans fats
- Processed foods
- Refined sugars
- Skin care 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.
Show your liver love with these veggies
- Mustard greens*
- Dinosaur kale*
- kohlrabi* (purple and white)
- Brussels sprouts*
- Collard greens*
- White radishes*
- Mustard greens*
- Broccoli rubi*
* = Brassica family of veggies
*** You can incorporate some of these ingredients into smoothies or create delicious juices.
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.