The liver is our body’s main toxin processing engine; it acts like a filter in preventing toxic substances contained in foods from passing into your blood stream. The thousands of enzyme systems that are responsible for virtually every body activity are constructed in the liver. The liver is also responsible for producing bile, another form of detoxification that is metabolically necessary for the breakdown and assimilation of fats and proteins from your food.
Do your liver a favor by limiting fried, heavily processed and high sugar/salt foods as these produce heat-generated toxins, not to mention extra fats and calories, that force your liver to work harder and can promote weight gain.
Sulfur-containing foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, brussels sprouts, onions, garlic and egg yolks help the liver to break down and remove fat.
Anti-oxidants, abundant in fruits and vegetables, protect against free radical injury. Apart from protecting the liver and helping in its recovery if damaged, they have been shown to inhibit cancer cells and fight the aging process. Pack your daily diet with a diverse selection of antioxidant rich colorful fruits and vegetables. Sell this to your kiddos as the “rainbow effect”?. Many studies suggest that presenting food in a more appealing way by using more colours and shapes and allowing them to make choices encourages them to try new foods. Everybody wins here.
H Y D R A T E with fresh water. My favorite alternative- green tea is loaded with catechins, a type of plant antioxidant that has been shown in studies to eliminate liver fat accumulation and promote proper liver function.
Limit alcohol consumption and do not smoke cigarettes. Enough said.
Your body is truly an amazing physiological engine, nourish your liver with the whole food nutrients it needs daily and you’’ll be well on your way to efficient detoxification- no extreme measures necessary.
If you are in good health and not overloading your systems with toxic substances (as discussed), the liver is incredibly efficient at cleansing itself. Be especially wary of claims about the benefits of liver cleansing products, extreme dietary protocals or supplementation.
Kimberly Young, M.S. is a practicing Nutritionist in Dallas, Texas. Learn about her integrative and functional approach to diet and nutrition at kyoungnutrition.com