All this holiday cheer has a downside: It can result in an onslaught on your liver. Although detoxifying your liver should be a habitual self-care practice and not a quick-fix remedy for a night out, a list of foods to help jumpstart your body’s filter into action is always good to have on hand. Often it’s as simple as a cup of turmeric tea or a dinner chock-full of leafy greens. Remembering that you need to care for your liver may be close to the bottom of your to-do list, but consider it, especially if you start to feel droopy as the holiday party season wears on.
Why should you care about your liver? The organ actually performs over 400 functions in your body. Everything you ingest runs through your liver. It’s where beneficial nutrients are extracted and undesirable invaders are filtered out. That’s a lot of work for one organ, so it’s no surprise that this constant cycle of replenish and removal can easily become a burden on it if you aren’t heeding your body’s signals like:
- Weight gain
- Irregular digestion
- Pain in your right side
- Skin discoloration
To prepare yourself for the inevitable string of parties, get-togethers, and cozy evenings curled up on the couch with a hot toddy, keep your liver in working order by regularly consuming the following foods.
Lemon Water: Your liver likes to be clean. Flush it out regularly with some fresh, alkalized water. The easiest way to do that is to run tap water through a filtration system that removes chlorine and preserves the natural minerals. To really up the ante, add a squeeze of lemon. The vitamin C will help enhance the cleansing process and keep your blood at optimal pH levels.
Dandelion Tea: Dandelion tea is an ancient beverage that can be brewed directly from your garden. As an herbal tea, it assists in breaking down fats and produces amino acids which help your liver expel toxins.
Milk Thistle Tea: Glutathione is an essential antioxidant for basic liver functionality. Thankfully, milk thistle tea has it in spades. In fact, it’s been shown to increase glutathione levels in the liver by up to 35 percent!
Leafy Green Vegetables: Eating your greens is an easy way to help your liver do its duty by absorbing extra toxins. Just remember the key: The darker the green, the more plant chlorophyll it contains, which aids in neutralizing heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides before they even make it to your liver.
Beets and Carrots: These brightly colored vegetables are loaded with plant-flavonoids, beta-carotene, and glutathione antioxidants, all of which help to stimulate your liver and improve its functionality.
Grapefruit: Like lemon, grapefruit is high in vitamin C, which helps boost your liver’s filtration process. However, the added benefit of this pink citrus fruit is that it also contains glutathione, which, like beets, increases the production of liver detoxification enzymes.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a magical spice that has been steadily gaining traction in Western diets. Bursting with enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens, it’s a delicious way to help boost your liver detox routine.
Walnuts: In addition to that all-important antioxidant glutathione, walnuts are rich in the amino acid arginine, which helps especially in expelling ammonia from your body.
Garlic: Unexpectedly, garlic is a great source of sulfur. No, it’s not the kind that’s detrimental to your health; it’s a particularly good kind that assists your liver in flushing out toxins and cleaning you from the inside out.
Olive Oil: It’s fantastic news that olive oil is a secret weapon that aids in liver function. As long as it’s cold-pressed olive oil (or hemp or flaxseed), it will provide your body with a liquid base that can suck up many of the harmful toxins in your body.
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