The liver is the largest internal organ and serves as our primary detoxifying agent. A healthy liver means balanced hormones, sufficient bile production, strong immune system and smooth digestion. In this article we will discuss its functions, a few healthy and natural ways on how to improve liver health, as well as the benefits of a gentle liver detox.
Anatomy and Functions
The liver is located in the upper right portion of the abdomen, below the ribcage, with a small part extending to the upper left side. This magnificent organ serves over 500 vital functions in the body, some of which include:
- Detoxifying various metabolites
- Bile production, breaking down fats and clearing waste
- Breaking down alcohol, drugs and medication
- Regulating excess glucose by storing it as glycogen
- Fighting infections
- Purifying the blood and clearing bilirubin
- Storing of iron
Although the liver possesses the fantastic ability to regenerate itself, there are many ways to support its optimal performance and a gentle yet effective liver flush is a fantastic way to support the healthy functioning of this busy organ.
Do you need a liver cleanse?
Fatty liver disease is a serious health risk which often produces few or no symptoms and can lead to complications such as liver cancer or cirrhosis.
There are many ways to restore your health by balancing and optimizing the liver functions. A healthy liver means healthy digestion, clear skin, balanced hormones, bulletproof immune system, smooth blood flow, heart and brain health and the list goes on and on.
Signs of liver dysfunction
The liver has no nerve fibers therefore it cannot sense pain, meaning a lot of issues can go unnoticed. However there are other signs and symptoms which can be linked to liver dysfunction, for example:
- Indigestion and bloating
- Yellowish eyes and skin (a symptom of jaundice)
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and/or depression
- Food cravings
- Frequent constipation and/or diarrhoea
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Acne and itchy skin
- Chronic fatigue
- Tendency to bruise easily
- Nausea and vomiting
If you want to read more on Anxiety and ways to cope with it, check out this article.
Moreover, even if you feel fine, it is always a good idea to make a few changes that will significantly improve the quality of your life, health and well-being. Even though the liver has the ability to repair mild damage, you can never go wrong with a few mindful lifestyle changes.
Improve liver health
Here we will discuss a few ways on how you can optimize your liver function and improve your overall health by making mindful changes in your everyday life, so lets dive in.
Alcohol consumption, even in moderate amounts, puts unnecessary pressure on the liver which is already busy trying to clean pollutants and toxins as well as metabolic waste.
Reducing alcohol intake can significantly improve livers detoxifying and optimizing qualities. A great way to reduce alcohol consumption is to set a limit on how much you’re going to drink and stick to it.
2.Balance your diet
Consuming healthy and nutritious food is and always will be the most important practice of supporting your overall health. It is a lifelong commitment which reaps the greatest benefits as our health is our biggest wealth.
Here’s how you can improve your diet:
- Drink more water (yes, it sounds boring but water is life)
- Remove or reduce processed foods and sugary beverages
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Drink more tea (dandelion and milk thistle tea are a great way to improve liver health)
- Spice up your meals with curry, chili, turmeric and cinnamon
- Consume organic dairy and meat
Stress is a normal feeling as long as it’s short term. Prolonged stress can lead to various acute and chronic ailments including:
- Heart disease
- Liver damage
- High blood pressure
- Anxiety and depression
- Early menopause
Chronic stress can contribute to various diseases and being in a constant fight or flight mode can severely impair and damage liver functions. The goal is not to be 100% stress free; the goal is to know how to manage your response and cope with stressful episodes in a mindful manner.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the basic five emotions are connected to 5 organs in the body and emotions such as anger, bitterness, resentment and irritability are associated with the liver, in other words the liver can store unresolved anger and in turn anger can severely damage the liver.
Milk thistle also known as Silybum Marianum is an herbal remedy considered to be the most beneficial for liver health.
The active ingredient, Silymarin, possesses antioxidant properties that help maintain healthy liver cells.
This powerful herb is a natural detoxifier and its bitter taste also helps significantly improve bile production.
In addition, milk thistle helps remove excess waste build-up and may also improve brain function, lower blood sugar levels and help in the treatment of acne.
Milk Thistle Seed is a great choice as it is extracted in low temperature and low pressure in order to preserve Silymarin – the main active ingredient.
Packed with vitamin and minerals, dandelion root is an effective liver ally, thanks to its diuretic effect which helps move waste and eliminate toxins faster.
Dandelion helps boost the immune system, improve digestion and reduce blood sugar levels.
If you’re looking for a high quality supplement, Dandelion Root & Leaf Extract Certified Organic is an excellent choice thanks to its organically sourced ingredients and health promoting properties.
Turmeric is not only a delicious spice, it is a powerful antioxidant, with numerous health benefits such as reduced joint pain, improved immune function, better digestion and improved liver function.
For a high quality supplementation, check out the best-selling Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength, with added black pepper for improved absorption.
Regular exercise is essential to liver health, it helps move stagnant blood, remove excess toxins, improve energy levels, boost mood and reduce weight and unhealthy cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that 150 minutes of exercise per week can significantly improve health.
Regular exercise such as yoga, brisk walking, water aerobics, tai chi, swimming, cycling, dancing or weight lifting are excellent ways of reducing the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stress related ailments, stroke and liver damage.
Being overweight puts a lot of pressure on the liver, it greatly increases cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and can lead to fatty liver disease. Moderate and regular exercise can significantly improve overall health and aid the liver in restoring its optimal functions
The liver is an unsung hero, working tirelessly day in and day out, therefore it is essential that we give it time to rest and repair by cutting alcohol, eating nutritious mostly plant-based food and doing juice cleanses on a regular basis. In the next article we will be discussing the best and worst juice cleanses, whether they are truly necessary, alternatives to juice fasting and more so stay tuned and take care of your mind, body and spirit.