WHY YOU SHOULD LOVE YOUR LIVER
You have one of the hardest-working, most efficient multi-taskers right inside your own body – your liver. This busy organ performs over 500 functions to support your body, so if your liver is under-performing, your entire system suffers.
The average human liver weighs a little over one kilogram, making it the body’s second largest organ (only the skin is larger). In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the liver is considered the most important of the organs. According to TCM, a large part of the liver’s job description is to manage the flow of energy (qi) and blood and it is the organ that is compromised the most when you’re stressed or in emotional turmoil.
In Western terms, your liver is helping you to digest food and convert it into fuel. It stores energy. It neutralises toxins before they hit your bloodstream. It manufactures essential proteins and plays an essential role in regulating hormone balance as well as cholesterol levels. It works hard to regulate the supply of important vitamins and minerals, like iron. It’s an important part of your body’s defence system against infection. It manufactures over 13,000 chemicals every day and regulates some 2000 enzymes… And so much more.
It is our most vital organ that supports nearly every organ in the body in some way. Without a healthy liver, a person cannot survive. Your liver can lose up 70% of its capacity yet show no sign of illness. By the time liver disease symptoms start to manifest, it may already be too late.
Here are 10 easy ways to give your liver some TLC
- De-stress and release negative emotions – Everyone has their own ways of managing stress whether it is yoga, meditation, breathing, exercise, reading, creative expression, sharing problems with friends and family, relaxation, holiday… The choice is yours.
- Keep alcohol consumption down – Keep it down to 1-2 glasses of red wine, or 1 beer a day. You may think that alcohol relieves stress, and while it can feel relaxing to have a drink, your liver is putting in overtime to metabolise alcohol and, ultimately, if your liver is getting stressed, you will feel stressed too – especially if your liver is already compromised in some way.
- Go green – Leafy green vegies and green tea are great for the liver. The antioxidants in green tea give liver function a boost, while the leafy greens help clean up toxins from your system.
- Drink plenty of warm water – Water will help to bring vital nutrients to the liver, plus assist in getting the waste products out. Drinking lemon water is a great way to reduce the acidity in the body and get your body back to an alkaline state. Read more about the benefits of warm water here.
- Go easy on processed foods – Your liver has enough to do without having to deal with artificial additives and preservatives.
- Reduce your carbs – when we reduce our carb intake we avoid fatty liver. Carbs can generate fat which deposit in the liver. Sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup which is in everything is also bad for the liver.
- Shed some weight – when we lose a few extra kilos, it can reduce the stress on our body and prevent fatty liver.
- Take probiotics – there have been studies on disordered intestinal microbial balance (dysbiosis) and fatty liver. Some studies show that having a bad intestinal environment fosters “leaky gut syndrome,” which in turn allows the digestion system to build up with toxins that flood the liver via the portal circulation. Probiotics can help to normalise and build good intestinal flora.
- Detox your Liver – the liver detoxes the many toxic chemicals that we ingest in our food, water, air and environment. If you have not recently done a natural liver detox, now is the time to give the liver a good clean and get it working to its full capacity.
- Go natural – use chemical-free household products and skin care that isn’t natural, avoid pesticides. By going organic as much as possible and using natural skincare we reduce our liver’s toxic load.
Your liver is working hard for you, 24/7. So now is the time you gave your liver the respect and love it richly deserves. Look after your liver and it will look after you.
For information on a how to do a natural liver detox read more here.