Foods That Naturally Cleanse Your Liver
Spring is the season of cleaning, detoxing, and invigorating internal energy, which makes it the perfect time to cleanse your liver.
The spring season brings new life to us, new growth, new colors, renewed energy, an urge to clean and purge things we don't need or use. Or at least I hope your mommas made you spring clean otherwise I'm about to question my childhood...however....
After a long quarantined spring and all the drinking memes I've seen from my sweet friends on Tik Tok (I'm not judging, but.... Since the ABC store was deemed an Essential business and we're all being good Americans and supporting our economy right now) I feel the need to propose a liver cleanse.
In today's episode, I'm going to share with you how our liver works, how you can cleanse your liver with some amazing foods, so you can feel energized and vital!
With regard to Chinese medicine meridians, Spring is the season associated with the organs Liver and Gallbladder. Observing the Chinese Five Elements theory, where each of the organs is associated with an emotion, the liver is not just about detoxifying blood but also discharging stress and anger. It makes sense
If any of these toxins (chemical, emotional, inflammatory) build up inside, they'll affect all your body's functions.
As well as the emotions of grrrr. That's right anger. If you've noticed an overwhelming backup of irritability, frustration, anger, insomnia, even migraines.
Biologically, the liver is the body's gatekeeper. The unsung hero as your body is assaulted daily by hundreds of toxins. Our liver's job is to clean and detox our blood. To breakdown, filter, and eliminate what isn't serving you.
Let's discuss some fun facts about our Liver:
- It's the second largest organ in our bodies, second to our skin.
- Our Liver is a blood-filled organ and can hold 10% of the body's blood volume.
- The Liver manufactures bile. Bile is the substance needed to emulsify dietary fats so that they can be absorbed and utilized.
- The Liver is also responsible for maintaining and controlling plasma glucose and ammonia levels. If these two levels are left unchecked, it can induce a coma.
- The Liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself! If left with only 25% of your liver the organ can regrow to its original state. If a person donates half their liver to someone who needs a transplant it is noted that within as little as two weeks, the organ has regrown to its original state.
However, back to cleansing business.
There are TWO categories of toxins that can take a toll on the Liver:
- Exogenous toxins &
- Endogenous toxins
Exogenous toxins come from environmental exposure. Ingested by things we consume, absorbed through our skin, or respiratory tract and even our urogenital tract.
Endogenous toxins are produced as our bodies own metabolism-of hormones (including stress hormones), and even the byproducts of your immune system responding to viruses and bacteria.
The processing of excess toxins, no matter their source, can have physical, emotional or psychological effects.
In Chinese Five Elements theory, each organ is associated with an emotion, the liver does not only detox our blood but also discharges stress and anger.
It makes sense that as these toxins (chemical, emotional, inflammatory) build up inside, they'll affect all your body's functions, and elicit anger.
A few indications that you need to cleanse your liver.
- Experiencing digestive discomfort after eating.
- Craving sweet, starchy, or salty foods.
- Frequent feelings of anger not tied to outside stimuli
- Dark under-eye circles
- Itchy skin
- Difficulty concentrating
- Struggling with weight loss
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
And although those are symptoms that can be tied to other issues, these are ones that indicate the need to love on your liver.
There are many ways to detox. What I am going to propose is a food-based regimen to adhere to for 1-2 weeks. The foods listed are proven to aid in ridding the body of toxins that build up in the liver. Remember, something is always better than nothing!
Cleanse Your Liver Guidelines:
- Eat three meals per day to support healthy blood sugar
- Eat seasonal fruits (no more than 2 daily)
- Include a rainbow of low carb vegetables
- Fresh green juicing daily
- Eliminate nuts, grains, soy, dairy, and gluten
- Eliminate packaged and processed foods
- Reduce or eliminate caffeine
Foods to include:
- Non Gluten grains: Quinoa, Millet, Buckwheat
- Approved Oils: Olive Oil & Sesame Oil
- Seasonal & Ripe fruit: no more than 2 servings daily
*Note: there is no animal protein on this cleanse but you can use hemp powder in smoothies for a protein bump
Cleanse Your Liver Juice Recipes:
Liver Loving Green Juice
- 1 Bunch Celery
- 2 Cucumbers
- 1 Apple
- 1 Lemon (Peel Removed)
- 5-7 Kale Leaves
- ½ Bunch Parsley
- Run ingredients through a juicer or blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or blender
- Strain in a milk nut bag/net and Enjoy
Liver Lover Detox 2 Juice
- 2-3 Green Apples
- 1 Cucumber
- 1 Lime
- ½ Bunch Cilantro
- 2 Cups Mint Leaves
- 4 Kale Leaves (Packed)
- Run through juicer or Vitamix
- Strain and Enjoy
Supplements that support Liver cleansing:
Milk thistle is an herb that contains a compound called silymarin which has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. It's believed that milk thistle works by improving liver function and preventing toxic substances from binding to the hepatic tissue creating a detoxifying effect.
Always consult your primary care provider before adding supplements to your regimen.
Liver support supplements should be used seasonally not as an ongoing addition to your daily supplements.
Cheers to spring cleaning! As always, if you have questions, drop them below!