As far organs go, your liver is perhaps the master of them all, performing more than 500 different functions at any given time. Without your liver, you would quickly die, as there is no manmade way to make up for all the liver does for us.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can help your liver do its job that are all natural and easy to do. The liver is one organ that can regenerate itself when damaged so that anything you do to help the liver along will cause it to repair itself and function at its best.
When you strengthen your liver, you do a lot towards balancing your weight, maximizing energy, and improving your total body health.
Things to do to help your liver…
• Feed it vitamins and minerals. Many of the functions of the liver require high amounts of minerals and vitamins to keep it going. You can help your liver do well by eating a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods.
• Cut out food additives. Your liver becomes overworked when it has to filter out and neutralize food additives. Eat wholesome foods that are free of over-processing, color additives, flavor additives and food preservatives and your liver will not have to work so hard.
• Eat flaxseeds. Decide to eat two large tablespoons of ground flaxseeds, served up on your cereal, on toast, in salads or blended into a variety of smoothies. The ingredients in flaxseeds bind to receptor sites in the liver, preventing synthetic fake estrogens called xenoestrogens from binding to the liver. These xenoestrogens come from plastics and other unnatural substances and must be filtered out of the blood by a healthy liver. Flaxseeds can help this process.
• Eat fresh beets and carrots. These are two vegetables known for powerfully cleansing the liver. Along with these non-green vegetables, eat plenty of green vegetables. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, which is also a liver cleanser.
• Herbal medicine for the liver. These herbs are believed to strengthen the liver: dandelion root, turmeric, artichoke, milk thistle, wahoo, fringe tree bark, black root, slippery elm, balmony, blue flag and boldo. Turmeric and milk thistle are especially good for the liver. Do not take any of these supplements without consulting a qualified doctor if you have a serious illness, take prescription medications or are pregnant.
• Cut down on synthetic sweeteners and refined sugar. While these things may help your sweet tooth, they only tax your liver. Even refined sugar, based on natural sugar, overworks the liver because it must put all the sugar into storage form as liver glycogen.
• Take lecithin. Lecithin reduces cholesterol and aids the liver in its metabolism of fats. It contains phosphatidylcholine and several essential fatty acids that cannot be innately produced by the liver or any other part of the body. Lecithin has the added effect of lowering the blood pressure by improving blood flow through small blood vessels. Lecithin can be eaten when you drink soy milk, eat organic eggs and eat foods like miso and tofu. It also comes in capsule form at your local health food store.
• Take a multivitamin with minerals. Even the best diets can be lacking in all the essential vitamins and minerals your liver must use to do its job. Some vitamins can be harmful in high doses so don’t overdo it and take more that the recommended daily allowances each day.
• Take vitamin C daily. Vitamin C is water soluble so it is one of the exceptions to the rule of not taking too much. Any excess will be safely eliminated from the body. Try taking between 1 and 2 grams of vitamin C every day.
• Eat several small meals a day. Large meals just overtax the liver and make it function less efficiently than it should.
• Eat steamed bitter greens. These important vegetables help cleanse the liver when you eat them. Other foods, such as raw fruits and salad greens can help clean out liver toxicities.
• Avoid eating meals closer than three hours before bedtime. The liver does some of its best work at night while we are sleeping. For this reason, you should avoid overtaxing the liver doing digestive work when it has a lot of other things to do.