We are all exposed daily to high levels of toxins through our food, water, air, body and home products. These toxins lodge in the bowel, liver, kidneys, lymphatic system and especially fat tissue. The toxic build up prevents the normal uptake and utilization of nutrients, carbohydrates and proteins. It reduces the body’s oxygen uptake and creates an acidic, septic, low-energy state, prone to disease.
When our livers are so busy working to filter out all these toxins the liver has very little energy left to filter blood, drugs, hormones let alone do the job as a digestive organ. This can lead to a build up of inflammation in the body which results in aching in the muscles and joints.
A well functioning liver will produce bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion. It produces proteins for blood plasma, which help carry fats through the body. It stores and release glucose as needed. It stores iron which processes hemoglobin. It converts harmful ammonia to urea. It clears the blood of drugs and other harmful substances, regulates blood clotting and resists infections by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream.
Signs your liver is not functioning efficiently include muscle and joint aches and pains,
abdominal bloating, trouble sleeping , or feeling constantly tired, pain or discomfort in the right upper abdominal area under the rib cage, excessive abdominal fat; pot belly; or a roll around the upper abdomen ,ongoing acid reflux/heartburn ,excessive perspiration ,acne/rosacea or itchy, blotchy skin, unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight.
To support the liver daily we want to look at
- eliminating processed foods
Thirty to forty percent of the diet should consist of raw fruits and vegetables. Try to include a couple serving of raw fruits or vegetables every day. These really help your digestion because they contain living enzymes, vitamin C, natural antibiotic substances and anti-cancer phyto-nutrients. Raw juicing is another way to gain the benefits from these foods and are high in antioxidants.
- eliminating simple carbohydrates replace with fresh raw nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), whole grains and wheat germ
- eating naturally fermented foods (sauerkraut, cultured vegetables, and natural un-preserved, apple cider vinegar and foods rich in probiotics (yogurt and kefir) also helps.
- focusing on eating more organic produce, pesticides can create a toxic build up in the liver slowing down its function.
- reducing refined sugars and for those times we do need sweetness looking at unrefined sources such as fruit, dates, maple syrup and honey.
- eating less cooked foods ( which will reduce the amount of meat you take in) and don’t over cook your food,
- eliminate toxic fats like canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil replace with cold pressed fresh vegetable and seed oils, flaxseed oil , fish oil and coconut oil
- limit or eliminate alcohol
- reduce the amount of land animal meat and increase fresh fish like sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, mullet, blue mussels, calamari, herring, blue eye cod, salmon, tuna
- increase intakes of selenium – sources come from Brazil nuts, kelp, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheat germ, whole-grains, garlic and onions.
- increase turmeric intake - a natural anti-inflammatory that when combined with a good oil reduces inflammation in the body.
When looking at ways to assist the body to release toxins, massage can be an amazing help. Massage can stimulate the lymphatics, increase circulation and blood flow and reduce inflammation, by relaxing the body stimulating our parasympathetic nervous system.
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In our next post we will take you through a guide for creating a 7 day liver cleansing program for yourself. It takes a little planning and some thought about when to begin. But you will be sleeping better, have more energy and look brighter for it.