The Liver is the Body’s Powerhouse
The liver is the only internal organ that can regenerate itself. In fact, you can lose up to 75 percent of your liver, and the remaining parts can regenerate themselves into a whole liver again. Your liver is a chemical factory and detoxifier which filters toxins. It receives about 1.5 quarts of blood every minute The chief function of the liver is to neutralize and destroyed toxins in the blood and toxins entering the blood from digested food.
It’s located just below the right rib cage in the upper right side of the abdomen, above the pancreas and the small intestine. The right lobe is much larger than the left lobe. In simple terms, your liver does three main things: helps digest stuff, make proteins, and helps gets rid of bad stuff.
All of the blood that has visited your small intestines flows through your liver, so almost all of the nutrients you eat have to pass through the gauntlet of the liver before passing to the heart and then throughout the body. Everything we eat and drink has to be broken down into different chemicals before it can get to work on helping (or, in the case of some foods and drinks, harming) your body.
So, the liver is the body’s powerhouse for a variety of reasons. In summary, some of the main primary functions are:
- Bile production and excretion
- Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs
- Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
- Enzyme activation
- Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals
- Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors
- Blood detoxification and purification
But here’s the deal. When we eat a lot of animal-based foods (which are loaded with chemicals, toxins, and pesticides), high sodium foods, sugary foods, and alcohol, over time, it creates a strain and weakens the liver and kidneys, causing them to grow sluggish and malfunction. Then they are not able to remove all the toxins they should. These toxins then remain in the body to sabotage our health. So, the liver may detoxify most of these toxic chemicals, but when the load is too much, some leak past the liver into the bloodstream and possibly lodge in the fatty tissues and the nervous system. Sorry to rain on your parade ;-( The liver performs so many vital functions, but remember, it works around the clock, so all this work also renders it highly susceptible to disease.
So here is some good news. We can start to Detox the Liver with some of these Fantastic SuperFoods:
- Beets and Carrots: Carrots are rich in Glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver. Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene. Eating beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function. (source)
- Tomatoes: They have abundant amounts of Glutathione which, again, are a great detoxifier for the liver. As a side effect, Lycopene in tomatoes will protect against breast, skin, and lung cancer. (source)
- Grapefruit: Another source of the liver cleansing glutathione, it’s also high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes and increase the natural cleansing process of the liver.
- Spinach: Raw spinach is also a major source of glutathione, triggering the toxin cleansing enzymes of the liver.
- Citrus Fruits: Lemons and limes contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which helps stimulate the liver and aids the synthesizing of toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water.
- 6. Cabbage: The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from cabbage’s glucosinolates provides liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. (source)
- Turmeric: Turmeric is the liver’s favorite spice and helps boost liver detox. It does this by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens. (source)
- Walnuts: Walnuts are a good source of glutathione, omega-3 fatty acids, and the amino acid arginine, which supports normal liver cleansing actions, especially when detoxifying ammonia.
- Avocados: A nutrient-dense superfood, avocado helps the body produce glutathione.
- Apples: They are high in pectin and other chemicals essential to cleansing and releasing toxins from the digestive tract. Apples make it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.
- Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are high in sulfur and glucosinolate, which forces the liver to release enzymes that block damage from environmental or dietary toxins.
- Garlic: Garlic is loaded with sulfur, which activates liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that also aid in liver cleansing.
- Dandelion: Dandelion root tea assists the liver in breaking down fats, producing amino acids, and generally ridding it of toxins. (source)
- Leafy Green Vegetables: Green veggies are extremely high in plant chlorophylls that absorb environmental toxins, increase bile production, and neutralize heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, which lowers the burden on the liver.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase production of glucosinolate in your system, which helps flush out carcinogens and other toxins.
- Asparagus: Asparagus is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and sharing the detox load of the liver and kidneys. (source)
- Green Tea: Green tea is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function.
- Olive Oil: Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp, and flaxseed offer great support for the liver, providing the body with a liquid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body.
- Alternative Grains: Gluten rich grains such as wheat and rye increase the load on the liver’s detox function and enzyme production. Switch to alternative grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.
So let’s take care of our Liver together.
What is your first step?