Posted on by Margo Gladding
In my last blog, I wrote about the importance of optimizing digestive health for supporting detoxification. This blog is going to cover the liver’s role in detoxification and how to best support this complex organ. Your health and vitality is largely determined by how well you can detoxify the many toxic substances that you are exposed to on an ongoing basis. Not only does the liver process, neutralize, and excrete chemicals from our environment (food, water, products, etc.), it must also handle toxic by-products that the body makes every day. Effective liver detoxification is essential for optimal health. In fact, research shows that poor liver detoxification is linked to many diseases including autoimmune conditions, cancer, and neurological disorders.
The liver works hard to rid your body of harmful toxins in three main ways:
- Filtering the blood – the liver filters the blood that comes from the digestive tract, clearing out bacteria, food proteins, and other toxic substances.
- Synthesizing bile – this yellowish-brown liquid helps to dissolve and excrete fat-soluble toxins.
- Using enzymes to break down toxic chemicals – the liver has two complex phases in which enzymes break down chemicals and inactivate them so that they are more easily excreted.
When the liver is not working as well as it should (due to toxin exposure, poor dietary and lifestyle choices, viruses, inflammation, medications, an unhealthy gut, etc.), toxins cannot be eliminated properly and can result in a toxic buildup in the system and damage tissues or cause immune reactivity. Some of the symptoms that your liver could use some support include digestive distress (such as bloating, gas, reflux and constipation), skin issues such as rosacea and psoriasis, hormonal imbalances, weight gain, poor appetite and nausea, moodiness or irritability, and fatigue. Fortunately, there are a lot of healthy foods and nutritional supplements that can help to improve your liver’s functioning.
Here are some ways that you can support your liver and promote healthy detoxification on an ongoing basis:
Eat liver healthy foods
- Eggs (yolk) provide the important nutrient choline to support liver function
- Beans are high in fiber and sulfur to support detoxification
- Small fish such as sardines, anchovies, or mackerel provide important essential fatty acids
- Dark leafy vegetables (Swiss chard, spinach, kale, bok choy, dandelion and beet greens) and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) are rich in B vitamins and glucosinolates to support liver enzyme activity
- Peppers and citrus fruits provide vitamin C to protect liver cells
- The spice turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and increases bile flow
- Apples provide fiber and pectin to bind toxins
- Avocado and walnuts contain glutathione, an important liver antioxidant
- Whole grains (oat bran, millet, quinoa) are high in fiber, trace minerals and B vitamins
- Swiss cheese, feta, yogurt, and whey powder provide cysteine to support glutathione levels
Supplement with liver supportive nutrients
Pathway Multi Two – Take 1 tablet twice daily with food: High-quality multivitamin and multimineral formula to provide important cofactors for liver health and detoxification.
Super Omega 3– Take 2 softgels daily with food. Molecularly distilled fish oil supplement, provides essential fatty acids for inflammation support.
Pathway Liver Support and Detox – Take 2 capsules daily. Comprehensive herbal and nutrient formula to promote liver health and detoxification.
Alpha Lipoic Acid - 1 capsule daily with food. Powerful antioxidant that supports liver detoxification.
Photo from here, with thanks.
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