Ten signals your liver needs a detox. Did you know that besides your heart, your liver is probably the hardest working organ in your body?
Your liver has a dual role. It is both the main organ for detoxing (which your body is naturally doing all the time) as well as a digestive organ. These days many, many people have over burdened livers that are “speaking” to them and crying out for help!
10 Signals your liver needs a detox:
- Abdominal bloating
- Pain or discomfort over the liver – (right upper abdominal area under the rib cage)
- Excessive abdominal fat; pot belly; or a roll around the upper abdomen
- Trouble digesting fatty foods
- Had your gallbladder removed
- Acid reflux/heartburn
- Dark spots on the skin commonly referred to liver spots
- Overheating of the body & excessive perspiration
- Acne/rosacea or itchy, blotchy skin
- Unexplained weight gain and inability to lose weight even with calorie restriction
Other signs to watch for include high blood pressure, fatigue, high cholesterol and triglycerides, mood swings and depression, sleep apnea or snoring and fatty yellowish lumps around eyes. These are signs you need to take action, detox and alter you diet and lifestyle to heal your liver.
These are all signs that your liver is blocked or clogged up with unhealthy fat – in extreme cased it’s called fatty liver. When this happens the cells that act as a filter become too swollen with fat and the liver cannot screen out or filter the many substances being passed through it. Remember the liver functions to clean out used blood and return it to the heart. If this situation is not reversed you end up with recycled toxins entering you heart via uncleaned blood. This can damage your heart and immune system and lead to rapid aging. All your hormones and any medications you take also are filtered through the liver.
How do you get a clogged or fatty liver?
People who do not consume alcohol can have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In fact NAFD is directly correlated to people who consume a high carbohydrate diet and who eat an abundance of processed foods or foods high in sugar. No wonder this is on the rise in America where people eat diets composed of mostly simple carbohydrates and sugar laden foods. Some estimates indicate rates of NAFD are as high as 33%!
What else contributes to a toxic, clogged liver?
These days we are exposed daily to high levels of toxins (i.e. chemicals, pesticides, water contaminants, food preservatives, heavy metals and electromagnetic radiation) 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. and thus many find losing weight more difficult. Also see what-happens-when-you-detox.
Four steps to begin detoxing your liver
I. The first step to reducing our toxic load is to reduce your exposure to air-borne toxins:
- Paint & Glue
- Nail polish & Perfumes
Reduce exposure from toxins in food and drink:
- Heavy metal in large fish – stick to wild caught salmon (also see this post is-eating-fish-still-safe)
- Contaminated water – invest in a filtration unit
- Chlorinated and brominated products (found in almost all commercially produced breads and bread products)
- Switch to non-toxic and plant-based, cleaning and personal care products and eliminate petroleum-based preservatives in skin and hair care products.
- The skin is the largest organ in your body….what is applied to your skin is absorbed right into your body. So, if you would not eat it don’t use it on your skin.
- Even “organic” products may be preserved with toxins so look for essential oil preservatives on label such as orange oil and lemon oil.
- Make your own skin lotions with organic shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba, olive oil and essential oils
*** And be aware of ElectroMagnetic Fields EMF’s from cell phones, WiFi, cordless phones, hospital radiology departments and air planes. Keep cell phones, WiFi, electronic clocks and computers at least 8 feet distance, especially where you sleep.
II. The second step is to change your eating habits by removing foods that are especially harmful to your liver.
- Eliminate processed foods, simple carbohydrates and sugar. Focus on eating more organic produce. Eat less cooked foods and don’t over cook your food. Don’t use a microwave as this destroys all the healthful properties of the food.
- Eliminate toxic, poor quality fats like canola oil, soybean oil, corn oil. And don’t eat animal products from animals fed genetically modified feed such as soy, corn, and wheat.
- Limit or eliminate alcohol immediately if you have been experiencing more than 3 of the symptoms listed in this post.
- Get checked for hidden food intolerance’s, yeast overgrowth and consider heavy metal testing.
III. The third step is to add more supportive foods to help repair the damage to your liver and other organs. Eat lot’s of raw fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables and brightly colored ones.
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.
Eating naturally fermented foods (sauerkraut, cultured vegetables, and natural un-preserved, apple cider vinegar and foods rich in probiotics (yogurt and kefir) also helps.
Other important nutrients:
- Vitamin K – green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts.
- Arginine – this helps the liver to detoxify ammonia, which is a toxic waste product of protein metabolism. Arginine is found in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), carob, oats, walnuts, wheat germ and seeds.
- Antioxidants – found in fresh raw juices such as carrot, celery, beetroot, dandelion, apple, pear and green drinks from chorella and spirulina, and fresh fruits, particularly citrus and kiwi fruit.
- Selenium – sources of the antioxidant selenium are Brazil nuts, kelp, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheat germ, whole-grains, garlic and onions.
- Methionine – is essential for detoxification. Is found in legumes, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, seeds and meat.
- Essential fatty acids – Seafood, cod liver oil, and fish oil. Seafood may be fresh, canned or frozen such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, mullet, blue mussels, calamari, herring, blue eye cod. Fresh avocado, fresh raw nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), whole grains, wheat germ, green vegetables such as spinach, green peas and green beans, eggplant, cold pressed fresh vegetable and seed oils, freshly ground seeds, especially flax seeds (linseed), evening primrose oil, black-currant seed oil, star flower oil. Essential fatty acids are required for healthy membranes in every cell of the body and plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. This is why strict low-fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function.
- Natural sulphur compounds – are found in eggs (preferably free range), garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
IV. The fourth step is to rebuild your liver’s health by using supportive herbs and nutrients. A few that help support the liver are B-complex, C, E and natural beta carotene. Herbs like milk thistle, turmeric, dandelion and globe artichoke also help. There are a number of important specific amino acids that help the liver too.
Remember if your liver is clogged you’re not able to properly digest and eliminate the foods you eat and this increases your need to detoxify your system and clean up your liver. Doing so will not only help you improve digestion but it is also a wise investment to proactively prevent future chronic illness and serious life threatening disease.