The liver may not be the CEO of the body, but it is still sitting in one of the corner offices.
For an organ that measures just two to four inches and weighs two to three pounds, the liver has two titles (organ, gland) and more than 500 roles to carry out on a day-to-day basis. As the second largest organ (after the skin), the liver has some weighty responsibilities that can't be delegated.
The liver is also the only organ that can lose up to 75 percent of its mass and still regrow back to full size!
While most people are aware that over-use of alcohol can cause damage to the liver, this is far from the only way the liver sustains damage. When the liver becomes damaged or compromised, it can't do its job of detoxing the body as well.
When this occurs, the liver needs help. These simple ways to detox your liver can help your liver get back on its feet, so to speak, so it can do its job to keep you healthy.
Remember, if you are under a doctor's care for the management of any health issues or are taking any required medications, always talk with your doctor before changing your daily diet or health routine.
- Drink more water.
Simple liver detox remedies can often seem, well, simplistic. But here, the simple truth is that water helps the liver move toxins through its own cellular systems and speed them on their way out of your body.
But not just any water will do to have the full detoxifying benefit. Drink filtered tap water at room temperature at specific intervals of the day (aka., upon awakening, in between meals, early evening; not while eating and not too much 2 hours before bed). Add a tiny pinch of salt and the spice turmeric to your water in order to accelerate its effectiveness.
A good general rule of thumb is to aim for 4 liters of water per day. Stay away from carbonated water or water in plastic beverage containers.
- Sweat, sweat, sweat.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to accomplish this simply by walking outside! But this isn't the optimal method to use sweat as a liver detox. Sweat induced by exercise has its own detoxifying benefits, pushing couch potato toxins up out of their comfy seats and moving them out of the body along with the sweat.
Hot yoga, a nice jog, HIT workouts, or a sauna session are great ways to sweat out toxins. Just make sure to wipe away sweat as soon as possible with a toxin in order to prevent reabsorption of toxin back into body, and take a cool shower right after sweating.
- Don't skimp on the zzzs.
Science is finally starting to understand why human beings need at least eight hours of rest time every night where they are just being still. Sleep is detoxifying! Sleep is a vital component of regulating metabolism as well as targeting brain and neurological toxins and moving them out of the liver.
Sleep shuts off non-essential physical functions so the body can redirect its energy resources towards processing, healing, restoring, and detoxifying.
The lymphatic system is the body system that works alongside the liver while you are asleep to send toxins packing while also restoring cognitive, physical, and behavior functions which improved mood, focus, and endurance.
- Choose anti-inflammatory foods.
Certain foods are naturally supportive of optimal liver function. Learning about these foods and adding them into a regular daily rotation can help support the liver in doing its best work.
As a side bonus, eating foods with natural anti-inflammatory benefits can lessen the risk for fatty liver disease, a disease that basically means the liver has taken on an undue amount of fat.
Over time and with continued damage, fatty liver disease can turn into cirrhosis, a condition that produces permanent scars and prevents liver regeneration.
The good news here is, a liver-healthy diet is also a diet that will naturally promote weight loss or weight maintenance, improved energy levels, better sleep and a more youthful appearance.
Foods with natural inflammation-repelling properties include all foods grown above ground such as green vegetables, beans, grains, and mushrooms. These plant-based foods do direct photosynthesis rich in water, oxygen, and nutrients which are cells depend on to maintain all its function. The exception would be GMO crops wheat, corn, soy, alfalfa, canola and items sprayed heavily with the dangerous pesticide Roundup (i.e., dairy products, eggs, poultry, red meat, pork, fish, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beets, sugar cane, coffee, nuts) since they are extremely damaging for the liver with any level of consumption.
- Reduce or remove toxins from your daily routine.
This tends to be the part of the liver cleanse routine no one is too enthusiastic about. Yet the simple truth is that the more toxins introduced into the body system equals the more toxins the liver then has to move back out again.
Increasing the burden on the liver is never a good recipe for a successful liver detox!
Reducing or eliminating all animal protein, alcohol, sugar, wheat, corn, soy, tobacco, processed foods, caffeine, and nuts will give your liver a much-needed break to do some long-overdue house cleaning.
- Give the digestive system some helpers.
The more effective your digestive system is at eliminating toxins, the less work it will then pass along to the liver.
One of the best helpers a digestive system can ever get is probiotics. These tiny beneficial bacteria get right to work shifting the balance of power in the gut from harmful bacteria back towards healthy flora and fauna.
Probiotics are readily available in fermented foods like small beans cooked over 3 days, sauerkraut, kimchi, and pickles. Consume in small amounts once during the day. Fermented items such as kombucha, miso, and kefir should be rarely consumed since they can easily overload the liver function especially when it is already damaged.
Many people initially feel hesitant or resistant to attempt a liver detox because the whole process just sounds unfamiliar and perhaps complicated. But as these six tips show, it is actually quite easy to help the liver detox!
Plus, there are so many other benefits that come along with adding these six simple tips to daily life that it can almost seem like a no-brainer to give them a try. For more information about simple ways to detox your liver, reach out to Advanced Health today. Allow our team of certified integrative physicians and practitioners to help you achieve your best health - for your liver and your whole body.
Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. Dr. Payal Bhandari M.D. is one of U.S.'s top leading integrative functional medical physicians and the founder of San Francisco' top ranked medical center, SF Advanced Health. Her well-experienced holistic healthcare team collaborates together to deliver whole-person personalized care and combines the best in Western and Eastern medicine. By being an expert of cell function, Dr. Bhandari defines the root cause of illness and is able to subside any disease within weeks to months. She specializes in cancer prevention and reversal, digestive & autoimmune disorders. Dr. Bhandari received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1997 and Doctor of Medicine degree in 2001 from West Virginia University. She the completed her Family Medicine residency in 2004 from the University of Massachusetts and joined a family medicine practice in 2005 which was eventually nationally recognized as San Francisco’s 1st patient-centered medical home. To learn more, go to www.sfadvancedhealth.com.