When it comes to liver health, most of us are in the dark. Eating foods that stress it, living lifestyles that overwhelm it, and exposing ourselves to toxins that weigh it down. We just might be interested in treating it better if we understood how it makes everything else possible in the body. Liver health is behind anti-aging, weight management, healing, and disease prevention.
What Does the Liver Do?
What does the liver do? The better question might be, “what does the liver not do?” The liver is the biggest organ in the body. It is the unsung superhero of the human body. Most people think it’s the heart. But the truth is that the heart actually relies heavily on the liver. The heart pulls up blood directly from the liver. And if that liver is stressed, the heart will have to pump harder and stressed as well.
The liver is responsible for so many functions that we still don’t even know them all. On top of that, the overall health of the entire body relies on the functioning of the liver. Everything in the human system is connected. If someone has a chronically taxed liver, the rest of the organs and glands will be weakened as well.
Unfortunately, we aren’t born with fully functioning livers due to various toxins that get passed down through generations. Then, add to that the bombardment of toxins humans face just in their daily lives at this time. The liver was designed to handle toxins, but the current level of toxins has reach an all time high and at some point, it makes it very difficult for the liver to keep doing its jobs. Most symptoms and conditions experienced are related directly to liver health.
The Functions of the Liver
- Filters Toxins: The liver is helps process and handle the toxic things we consume and are exposed to. Your liver is your biggest ally. This is especially important living in a world with an abundance of toxins. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people do not have a high functioning liver. This means that a lot of its jobs don’t get done because it’s overwhelmed, constantly trying to play catchup.
- Stores and Transforms Nutrients: The liver is responsible for the storing and transforming of critical nutrients. For you to be in good health, the liver must be able to digest and process foods so that you don’t miss out on nutrients being taken in. Otherwise, they pass right through you and you end up with vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
- Bile and Hydrochloric Acid Production: The liver produces bile and hydrochloric acid to help break down foods. If your liver health isn’t great, the bile might not be effectively produced. That means fats don’t get broken down and they accumulate in the blood and intestines. This is bad news. The hydrochloric acid is essential to processing and assimilating your food so nutrients can be utilized. HCL also helps prevent proteins from purifying in the gut.
- Protects from Disease: The digestive fluids created also help to keep viruses and bacteria at bay. In addition, the liver also has its own immune system with unique immune cells that work to protect you and keep you alive and healthy.
Eating less fat and eating more fruits and vegetables supports liver health greatly. As does removing eggs and dairy from your diet. This gives the liver greater chance to recover and do its jobs.
Can You Live Without a Liver?
No. Which is why it’s important to care for the one you have. Thankfully, your liver is an incredible ally and very forgiving. It can recover and come back into higher functioning if given the proper tools.
Liver Problem Signs
Typically the issues creep in and are in the background. But overtime, as toxins accumulate, fat levels in the blood increase, and dehydration increases, so to the symptoms. So many symptoms and conditions are caused by liver problems. Here are some signs your liver is in need of some serious TLC.
- Weight gain
- Autoimmune disorders
- Brain fog
- Chemical & food sensitivities
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Emotional issues
- High blood pressure
- Hormone problems
- Varicose veins
- And much more…
Liver Healthy Foods
The liver needs plenty of glucose, mineral salts, and nutrients from fruits and vegetables in order to thrive and be able to carry out all of its processes. Contrary to popular belief, cutting back on carbohydrates isn’t doing yourself any favors, even if you are wanting to lose weight. The liver must get carbs. Not all carbs are created equal. Sure, keep the bread out. Keep the processed sugars out and the dairy out, but don’t keep the fruit and starchy veggies out. These are critical to liver health.
Though all fruits and vegetables are great for the liver, below are some of the best foods that support liver health.
- Apples provide the liver with a specific hydration that can only come from fruit.
- Asparagus cleanses, detoxifies and soothes the liver.
- Bananas provide quick fuel for the liver—it’s one of the organ’s favorite food sources.
- Berries are a rich in medicine and are powerful healing foods for your liver.
- Brussels sprouts are an ultimate liver cleansing food. You can eat them raw, steam them or even juice them. Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables have a special sulfur that expels poisons and pathogens from your liver.
- Celery Juice contains essential mineral salts that strip the cells of viruses and bind onto free floating poisons. Drinking sixteen ounces of pure celery juice with nothing added on an empty stomach every morning is a powerful way to cleanse your liver.
- Cilantro is another liver cleanser. It’s also great for detoxing heavy metals.
- Cucumbers cleanse the liver and provide essential hydrating living water.
- Dandelion greens help the liver release toxins. .
- Lemons and limes improve hydrochloric acid (HCL) production and cleanse fatty livers and help dissolve gallstones.
- Melons are a powerful cleansing food that also have the ability to hydrate the liver.
- Pitaya AKA Dragonfruit cleanses poisons from the liver. Try getting the variety that is pink inside.
- Raw honey contains a combination of the sugars that the liver needs along with the minerals, vitamins and nutrients that restore the liver.
- Spinach has mineral salts and nutrients that help the liver. It also helps the liver receive vitamin B12 better.
- Wild blueberries reverse damage to the liver and are also beneficial to detox heavy metals.
Is Liver Good For You?
Given what I’ve shared above, think about all of the toxins the liver protects us from. Pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, pathogens, and so much more! All of the various toxins that you encounter. It’s the same for the animal liver that one might consider eating. When liver is eaten, one is consuming concentrated toxins and potential pathogens. Contrary to some health cirlces, eating liver is not actually beneficial and can further contribute to toxic accumulation.
Make Your Liver Your BFF
When it comes to liver health, there are several things you can start to implement into your day to improve it. Lowering fat intakes is incredibly beneficial if you are not already eating a low fat diet. Removing eggs, dairy, pork, and vinegar will also help the liver come back online. Increasing glucose intake is essential. Don’t be afraid to eat more fruit. Avoiding smoke, chemicals, chlorine, pharmaceuticals, excess stress hormones, and heavy metals will also do a world of good for your liver health!
Liver health is at the foundation of the health of the rest of the body. If you are dealing with any symptoms of conditions, addressing your liver health is likely to make a big impact on your overall wellness. I know, there’s nothing gloriously cool or trendy about liver health, but I can say from first hand experience that following these suggestions reversed my debilitating chronic illness. Now I have the healthiest body of my life and this year I turn 40.