The liver is the largest organ in the body and is responsible for a host of metabolic functions and detoxification. It is like a huge filter, ridding the body of waste products, toxic substances, drugs and excess fat. If your liver is below par, toxins build up in the blood stream, the immune system becomes overloaded and a diverse range of symptoms take hold!
Early signs of an unhappy liver include a coated tongue, bad breath, “foggy brain”, dark circles under the eyes and feeling bloated.
Symptoms of poor liver function include:
- poor digestion, abdominal bloating, nausea, constipation, irritable bowel
- mood changes, foggy brain, low mood, poor memory & concentration
- exacerbation of allergic conditions such as skin rashes, hay fever, asthma
- high blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood fats, fluid retention
- hypoglycaemia or unstable blood sugar levels
- intolerance of fatty foods, alcohol
- chronic fatigue
You can Cleanse and Rejuvenate your liver! Try the following:
- Pay attention to what you are eating and drinking!
- Use specific nutrients that are essential for efficient detoxification processes in the liver.
- Use liver tonics such as Dandelion Root and St Mary’s Thistle that have liver- protective and liver-regenerative properties.
- Follow a specific detoxification program to help you get started.
Dietary Guidelines to improve your liver function:
1. Avoid eating the wrong type of fats and sugar that place a heavy burden on the liver. The liver is the fat metabolising organ and if it is under pressure it will be unable to perform its metabolic and detoxifying processes efficiently and your entire metabolism will slow down.
Reduce Saturated fats: These are solid at room temperature and include butter, lard, animal fats (the white streaks in meat) and some vegetable fats such as palm oil and coconut oil. Many commercial products such as crackers, biscuits, and cakes are high in saturated fat as well as take away foods.
Avoid Trans fatty acids These are particularly ugly as they build up in the liver causing fatty liver and elevate cholesterol levels. Sources of trans fatty acids include margarine, deep fried foods, potato chips, fast foods, chocolate bars, snack bars, mayonnaise, salad dressings, and baked foods such as biscuits, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, buns etc
Increase your consumption of Essential Fatty Acids. Include nuts, home made salad dressings (using olive oil & vinegar), fish and seafood, eggs (especially omega 3 enriched), avocado and dark green leafy vegetables.
Avoid eating large amounts of sugar. Apart from playing havoc with your blood sugar levels, excess sugar is converted into fat such as cholesterol and triglycerides which can build up inside blood vessels and organs (such as the liver) and cause fatty degeneration.
Avoid artificial sweeteners as these are toxic to the liver. Alternatives to be used sparingly include honey and stevia.
2. Avoid constipation and eat plenty of fibre every day. Eat plenty of raw vegetables, and fruit. Aim to have a green salad every day.
3. Choose good quality breads. Try heavy, grainy breads made from wheat, rye, barley, oats and sourdough breads. Avoid white bread and products made from white bread flour including white rolls, pastries, biscuits, cakes.
4. Eat protein from a variety of sources, not just animal products such as lean meat, chicken, fish, low fat dairy products and eggs. Also include legumes (beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils), grains (wheat, rice, barley, oats, rye) nuts and seeds (sunflower, sesame, flaxseed, pumpkin seeds).
5. Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered water everyday. Water helps to cleanse the liver and keeps cells well hydrated. Drink small amounts often throughout the day and avoid drinking large amounts with meals.
Dr. Sandra Cabot (2004) Syndrome X.
Prof. Jenni Brand-Miller et al. 2003. The New Glucose Revolution