How to Improve Liver Function

By Dr Ernst
July 25, 2016

Without the liver, it’s impossible to have a properly working metabolism, healthy circulation, balanced hormones, clean blood and strong digestion. Experiencing symptoms like bloating, constipation, fatigue and hormonal imbalances? Then it might be time for a liver cleanse. It’s a great way to improve general health and just feel really good.

Boosting liver health to remove toxins from the body is an integral part of Ayurvedic, yogic and naturopathic medicine. It’s the liver’s job to help dissect the nutrients available in foods once they reach the digestive system, spread them throughout the body via the bloodstream and eliminate toxic waste that’s left behind. Let’s explore some of the best ways to encourage liver health:

1. Eat an Anti-inflammatory Diet

A low-sugar, low-toxin diet that’s filled with high-fiber foods is crucial for supporting your liver. High amounts of antioxidants and fiber can even reverse liver damage and disease. The liver is the main organ for detoxification (which is why it’s doubly important for YOU to detox your liver every once in a while–you know, return the favor), since it removes toxins created both inside and outside of your body. When the liver can’t remove harmful substances, the immune system can perceive the rising level of toxins as a threat, which causes inflammation and autoimmune reactions. Food allergies and sensitives or leaky gut syndrome can also become more likely.

2. Properly Prepare Your Food

Also important is properly preparing the foods you eat in order to reduce the presence of toxins, anti-nutrients and carcinogens that have the potential to damage the liver. Anti-nutrients are types of natural toxins found in foods like grains, beans, nuts and seeds. While they help the actual plants protect themselves from rodents or bugs, the human body has a hard time digesting them , so they can interfere with the liver’s ability to absorb nutrients and metabolize proteins. Unfortunately, everything has a cost, even a healthy diet–and anti-nutrients are the cost in this case.

3. Choose Organic Crops and Grass-Fed, Cage-Free and Wild Animal Foods

The quality of your diet is very important, because crops sprayed with chemicals, farm-raised fish or factory farm-produced meat and poultry are more likely to carry toxins, antibiotic residue and added synthetic hormones that the liver then needs to remove. In addition, the healthier the animal, or the fresher the produce, the more nutrients (like omega-3s or antioxidants) are available when you eat them.

4. Use Liver-Boosting Supplements

Natural herbs have been used for centuries to help the liver metabolize chemicals found in prescriptions, antibiotics, hormones, and nutrients like proteins and fats. For example, your liver cells need to change amino acids from protein foods so they can actually be used for energy. Unfortunately, in the process, a type of toxic substance called ammonia is produced as a byproduct.

Several powerful herbs known to give the liver a boost in converting nutrients and removing toxins are:

  • Milk thistle
  • Holy basil
  • Dandelion root
  • Bupleurum

5. Reduce Stress and Practice Forgiveness

What does forgiveness have to do with your liver? Most of it comes down to your hormones. Historically, holistic practitioners tied emotional troubles to liver damage and with that, there is a relation to overall poor health. As you probably know, high amounts of chronic stress — which can be caused by emotional issues, relationship problems, and holding on to guilt, anger or shame — all have an impact on your endocrine, reproductive, digestive and immune systems. Learn to meditate, pray or contemplate in such a way as to actively pursue forgiveness and peace within yourself.

6. Move Your Body More

Because the liver stores and processes your blood, circulation is important for allowing its cleansing effects to unfold. The body can become stagnant and more susceptible to disease when blood isn’t flowing. But during physical activities, the heart pumps more blood. The liver is then better able to release blood to your brain, organs, tendons, joints and muscles. Exercise, even something a small as going for a daily walk around the neighborhood, helps blood and nutrients reach reproductive or digestive organs, helping bring on a healthy, more pain-free menstrual cycle and more regular bowel movements.

Take care of your liver and your liver will take care of you. After all, you and your organs are in it together.

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