Do you ever think about your liver?

I don’t think I’ve ever talked to you about the liver.
So let us do this now.

In 1996 liver cleansing diet was all the rage. It very rightly suggested that if we want to have a healthier liver we have to eliminate alcohol, processed foods, high oil foods, sugar, white flour, etc.

All the normal things we are still being told today. So nothing much changed there…

But can we actually clean out or detox the liver?
Well, we can support it by eliminating unhelpful food and alcohol, lose weight, take up exercise etc.
More of this below.

And if we do all the right things, guess what?  The liver can detox itself. How cool is that?

However, if you keep avoiding making better lifestyle choices then no cup of liver cleansing herbal tea…or any other magic ‘liver cleansing’ products in a box will help.
Sorry about this.

So what does the liver actually do?
Its main job is detoxification.
It removes the by-products that come from toxic exposure.
For instance, pesticides, ingested chemicals from household cleaners, rancid fats, unhealthy foods and alcohol.

It also breaks down and removes excess unwanted hormones.
Your liver can also do hormone conversions…from this…to that.
It’s so multi-talented!

But if your diet has been less than liver-friendly,  it won’t be able to perform all those jobs properly.
For instance, it won’t be able to remove excess estrogen.
In some cases, this can lead to estrogen-dominant conditions like endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, heavy periods, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), acne,  and more.

And did you know this: your liver also influences thyroid function.

Therefore what can we do to support our liver besides eating healthy food?
1) Minimise the use of household chemicals and buy some of your produce without pesticides.

2) Avoid taking unnecessary painkillers.
These can be damaging to the gut lining and to the liver and kidneys. Take only when absolutely necessary.

3) Drink enough fluids to dilute and excrete toxins.

4) Get enough sleep.
It helps to increase our master detoxifying hormone called glutathione, which, by the way, decreases as we age.
Bad sleep quality or reduced sleep time causes toxin build-up which this hormone can’t get rid of.
And what happens?  The liver can’t handle the extra workload either. So please sleep more.

5) Eat a whole food plant-based diet. Just as we promote in my Facebook group 

6) Eat some bitter-tasting herbs and plants such as turmeric and ginger. They have special compounds that can support this important organ.

7) After looking up my old ‘herbal bible’ (I originally studied to become a herbalist before studying clinical weight management) I found out that we should consume milk thistle, dandelion root, and burdock root.
Hmmm….Do you? I don’t.

I read up a bit on Milk Thistle: it is said to increase glutathione, which is our Master Antioxidant.
But it can interact with certain medication. And one can have severe allergic reactions to it.
So I am not confident recommending it to all of you.

8) Drink some green tea and this is an unusual one: coffee. It’s been repeatedly shown that coffee promotes liver health. Not only that, it may help reduce the risk of liver cancer and liver inflammation. Here’s just one of the pages that talks of this

So in closing, eat healthily, drink enough water, maybe even coffee, do some exercise, lose excess weight, reduce chemical exposure and sleep a lot.
I’m ok with that!