Love your liver

19 December, 2018

The season of festivities is upon us – doesn’t time fly! In the spirit of celebration we often end up eating and drinking far more than our bodies are used to. There are richer foods and lots of alcohol on offer.

This is great but it means that we put our livers under strain. Our liver is a phenomenal organ that processes our food and completes many other important functions. It is our key detox facility and so it is a vital organ. We really need to look after our liver. If our liver is not working well toxins accumulate leading to your bowel and kidneys getting congested too.

What is so important about the liver?

  • It processes all of the food we eat
  • It keeps our blood clean
  • It eliminates foreign substances like alcohol and drugs
  • It fights infection and disease
  • It manages our cholesterol

Your liver is more than a detox unit

If you feel any of the following:

  • Tiredness or chronic fatigue
  • Gut issues
  • Allergies and other immune issues
  • Heart problems
  • Obesity

You may well have a poorly functioning liver.

How do you protect your liver?

The important things that you need to do all the time are:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat a well-balanced diet

Hydration and the liver

Our liver is the detox system for our body. It rids us of the accumulation of toxins. To work efficiently our liver needs to be properly hydrated.

Hydration is a key component in our health. Every day you need to be drinking 1.5 – 2 litres of pure water a day. I am not including tea and coffee in this total. These drinks have a diuretic effect so if you drink them then add an equivalent amount of water to your day.

I stress the importance of water at this time because if we are not hydrated our organs will be under additional strain when we are asking it to absorb more food, richer ingredients and probably lots of alcohol too.

What is a well balanced diet?

Your food regime should include:

  • Organic vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Avocados
  • Coconut oil
  • Fresh herbs
  • Leafy greens
  • Local raw honey

There are some foods that research is highlighting as possibly beneficial to our liver health. These include:

  • Beetroot juice is associated with protecting the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation.
  • Grapes seem to offer protection to the liver and support its ability to fight inflammation.
  • Cranberries offer us high antioxidant levels which enable us to counteract the impact of free radicals.
  • Omega 3 from fatty fish. The benefits of Omega 3 are widely acknowledged. We just remind you to keep a sensible balance of omega 3 and omega 6.

Your liver and lifestyle

The season has kept our minds focused on food and drink but please bear in mind that lifestyle choices can also affect your liver health too:

  • Stress through work, family pressures, money worries and so on can take a big toll on our liver.
  • Choosing personal and household products from chemical sources adds to the burden on the liver.
  • Medications and drugs can increase the toxic load on our body.
  • Air pollution through traffic, factory emissions or chemically sprayed crops can also impact our health.
  • Recreational drugs can certainly impact our wellbeing.
  • Unprotected sex exposes us to the risk of hepatitis.

Obviously our approach is a preventative one. Regular readers know that we always encourage this method rather than crisis health management. Read our advice below to navigate your way through the festive celebrations and maintain your good health.

The Healthy Liver Toolkit

  • WATER! check out our blog on dehydration if you need more convincing.
  • A healthy diet. Looking after our liver is an ongoing task, we cannot expect it to perform at top efficiency if we don’t look after it.
    • Yes, we know we're repeating ourselves with the first two but we need to emphasise them as much as we can!
  • Milk Thistle. This herb is par excellence in terms of liver health. Our good friends at A.Vogel have a fabulous offering. The A.Vogel Milk Thistle complex gives you Milk Thistle, Dandelion, Artichoke and Peppermint. This is one of our favourite liver solutions because it offers such an effective combination.
  • Coconut Water – if you do get dehydrated that this amazing drink will get you hydrated again very quickly.
  • New Nordic Active Liver contains milk thistle, artichoke, turmeric and choline. Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory which really helps an overtaxed liver. Choline supports the normal liver function and fat metabolism.
  • One last tip – if you know it will be a heavy day/night then drink a pint of water before you go out and another when you get back. This ensures you are better hydrated and possibly stops you eating too much!

We wrote another blog on liver health that you can read here.

We hope this article helps you stay healthy whilst enjoying a great festive season.

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