Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It hides under your right ribs and has many vital functions. It is the main organ of detoxification and actually has 3 crucial steps that must happen for healthy detoxification. These steps require many nutrients found in a whole foods diet.
The liver helps to break down and eliminate alcohol and chemicals in our environment, it helps to improve our digestion ensuring regularity, it works to balance our hormones and it also is important in helping to keep our metabolisms working well.
Often we don’t think much about our liver but we really should. When your liver is ‘congested’ fatigue, lethargy, weight gain and skin issues start to occur. In my practice a condition I am seeing more and more is called Non-Alcohol Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) It sounds kind of scary, and it is. This happens when the liver is covered with fatty deposits that impact it’s ability to function well. Up until 50 years ago fatty liver was associated with alcoholism, however now it is associated with excessive sugar and specifically fructose consumption.
Fructose, a cousin of glucose (aka white sugar), is found in almost all processed and sweetened foods. It is is pop, cookies, donuts, cakes, ice cream, and candy. However, it is also in ketchup, BBQ sauce, salad dressings, jam, peanut butter, fruit juices and coffee creamers. It is EVERYWHERE which is why it is becoming such a problem. If we eat too much of it and don’t move enough to burn it off, the body stores it in fatty deposits in the liver. Yuck!
How do you know if you have fatty liver? Ultra-sound will show this clearly, but so do some basic blood tests. If you have elevated triglycerides (over 1.5), elevated urea (over 5) or elevated liver enzymes, specifically ALT (over 25) you are at risk.
So, what can you do? Well, the number one treatment is to REDUCE/ELIMINATE sources of processed sugars. I suggest you read every food label and look to see how high on the ingredient list you see sugar listed. If you reduce eating processed food from a box you will cut down on your intake significantly.
Liver supporting supplements are also helpful. I am a fan of any product that contains milk thistle, dandelion or burdock as all of these are effective. Curcumin/turmeric is helpful as is liposomal glutathione.
Ensuring you get a lot of anti-oxidants in your diet goes a long way to protecting your liver. Green tea, purple tea, blueberries and cocoa/dark chocolate are all sources of anti-oxidants, and all of these are in Harmony Tea Co’s Anti-Aging Signature Blend.
The liver is a pretty amazing organ, and it has the ability to heal itself if it’s been damaged. I hope that this article has given you a cause for pause, and has helped you understand a little more about to keep your liver, and your body, whole lot healthier.