Tips for a Healthy Liver

How much does the liver really do? And why is this organ so important to your health?

Liver gets a substantial workout having to process and purify all the blood in the body while performing over 500 tasks daily, including the storage of vitamins and minerals, and metabolizing proteins.

The second-largest organ in your body, your liver is the garbage and recycling center, and any problem with the liver will impact other organ systems. Look at your face in the mirror to see if your liver is healthy. Do you see sallow, pale skin, dark circles under your eyes or perhaps a yellowish coating on your tongue? Are you irritable, arthritic or do you have trouble digesting fats? Even PMS symptoms can become more severe, as the liver becomes less efficient at detoxifying hormones when it’s in an unhealthy state.

Is it necessary to detox my liver?

Not in an “extreme-cleansing-kit-that-comes-in-a-box” kind of way. The body doesn’t want to keep toxins around for long, and the liver continually breaks them down for recycling or elimination. A clean-eating lifestyle gives your liver all the help it needs, because fresh, organic food with minimal processing means your liver has less sludge to filter out in the first place.

If you feel the urge to detox, however, experts recommend a quarterly homemade cleanse. Begin each season with a high-intensity, clean, liver-boosting diet. To start, make sure you’re in good health – no congestion or digestive issues, and even your sweat glands need to be in top form. Next, load up on bitter greens such as dandelion, beet and cabbage greens. They’re among the best liver tonics you can eat, along with endives, celery, onions, sprouts, garlic, nuts, seeds, sesame oil, wheat germ and fruit. Some nutritional supplements can also boost liver function – try milk thistle, black currant seed, coenzyme Q10 or MSM (methyl sulfonyl methane). Do this for seven days, and then get back to clean-eating basics.

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