The quality of one’s health is largely dependent on how well their body is able to eliminate toxins from the internal system. This is especially important because it relies on the function of the liver. The body is able to primarily get rid of toxins through the liver. As a matter of fact, the liver is one of the most hard working organs in the body. In addition to getting rid of toxins in the circulatory system, the liver is also tasked with the production of bile which helps with fat digestion, hormonal breakdown as well as the storage of certain minerals, iron and vitamins. The liver is also responsible for the breakdown of alcohol and medication.
It is clear why a liver detox comes in handy. As this organ works extremely hard, it is critical to accord it proper care and take measures that will sustain its health and optimal function. It is interesting to note that when many people think about disorders affecting the liver, cirrhosis that is caused by excessive alcohol intake always comes to mind.The truth, however, is that there are a myriad of conditions that can affect the liver. In line with this, carrying out liver detox helps the liver remove toxins. Some of the risk factors that increase the need for a liver detox include excessive alcohol intake, IV use of drugs, viral infections, obesity as well s autoimmune diseases.
Some of the symptoms to look out for include constipation, inability to lose weight even with nutritional changes and exercise, bloating, heartburn and excessive sweating. When the liver is not functioning optimally, some people will also experience unending fatigue, moodiness and even depression. Below are some of the simple measures and remedies that may be used to counter these risk factors and assist the liver function well.
1. Eliminate Toxic Foods in Dietary Intake:
Time Required: Varies from person to person
What You Need: To get rid of toxic foods in one’s diet
This is perhaps one of the most important measures to take when carrying out a liver detox. Eliminating toxic foods from one’s diet not only reduces the amount of toxins that the liver has to process, but it also eases liver function. As a general guide, toxic foods are found in a diet that is rich in processed foods. Processed foods have a high concentration of chemical compounds that are used for a number of reasons. These include chemicals used to enhance the foods’ shelf life, prevent bacterial growth as well as for color preservation. The build-up of these toxins in the body places a heavy load on the liver, so eliminating them is actually the first step to carrying out a successful liver detox. Below are simple practical steps that you can use to aid with liver detox.
- Always opt for fresh healthy food in place of processed foods. Some of the most common chemicals found in these foods include nitrates and nitrites, both of which have been linked to a number of serious health conditions. Instead of fast food at lunch, one may take fresh fruit, a bowl of cereal or salad and nuts among other healthy options.
- Steer clear of hydrogenated fats as they have a very high concentration of saturated fat that causes havoc in the body. In fact, these fats have closely been linked to increased inflammation across the body. This not only impairs liver function, it also affects the immune system.
- Lastly, opt for organic foods in place of inorganic foods. The latter is often linked to a higher toxin load due to the use of pesticides, and this is known to interfere with liver function. As part of the detox, it is important to reduce the amount of toxins in the body.
2. Vegetable Juice:
Time Required: 20 – 30 Min
What You Need: A variety of vegetables such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and carrots among others. You will also need a juicer and fresh herbs (optional).
Raw vegetable juice is one of the simplest ways to carry out a liver detox. Vegetables are laden with nutrients that not only eliminate toxins from the internal system, but also help cleanse the liver effectively. Granted, it is nearly impossible to get all of the raw veggies that you need to make the detox process effective, but by using a few of the aforementioned vegetables, it is possible to get a couple of servings of the vegetables. The catch lies in blending different flavours so that even those vegetables that are not as appealing can easily be masked and enjoyed in
a glass of freshly prepared vegetable juice.While these vegetables may be prepared and eaten raw, juicing is preferred because it simplifies the digestion process of the veggies and this enhances the absorption of nutrients in the body.
Additional benefits of using vegetable juice include the fact that these veggies help reduce the pH levels in the body, thus reducing the strain on the liver. Additionally, vegetables are rich in fiber, which is an excellent part of the detox process. Fiber helps eliminate constipation, one of the symptoms associated with impaired liver function. This is achieved by way of bulking up stool, thus easing and increasing the frequency of bowel movements. Increased bowel movements are important because they improve the rate at which toxins are eliminated from the body. Follow the simple steps in the directions provided below to prepare your vegetable juice.
Vegetables that may be used for this procedure include cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, beets, kale, spinach, carrots, cucumber and other greens. You may also add fresh herbs such as mint, parsley and ginger to give the juices a refreshing twist. Depending on availability, it may also be helpful to add fresh citrus fruits for the same reason. Ginger is important because it soothes the gut and has excellent anti-inflammatory properties that go a long way in ensuring the liver remains healthy. Additionally, the fresh oranges add a significant amount of Vitamin C to
the remedy, and this helps boost the immune system.
- Clean the preferred choice of vegetables well before juicing them.
- It is very important to ensure that you do not skip the cleaning phase as this could easily cause stomach pains since the juicing does not destroy any of the bacteria present.
- Chop the clean vegetables and set aside.
- Peel your preferred herbs and then chop or grate into small pieces.
- Clean and slice the citrus fruits before juicing manually.
- Transfer the chopped vegetables and herbs to a juicer before pouring in the juice from the citrus fruits.
- Take this vegetable juice at least once daily, preferably on an empty stomach.
3. Blackstrap Molasses:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of blackstrap molasses added to your preferred food.
Blackstrap molasses are recommended for carrying out liver detox because they are extremely rich in Potassium, one of the key minerals required for optimal liver function. These molasses are not only rich in potassium, they also have a high concentration of nutrients required to maintain the health of the liver. These include calcium, copper, manganese and iron. Simply add the blackstrap molasses to your choice food and enjoy a serving of this at least once daily.
- There are many ways to add blackstrap molasses to your diet.
- Simply add a tablespoon of the molasses to your bowl of cereal, porridge or use it to create barbecue sauces.
- You may also opt to add it to your morning cup of coffee.
- This is a favorite for many because it not only makes the taste of the coffee richer, it also lowers the acidity of the drink.
4. Milk Thistle Supplements:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Milk Thistle supplements.
One of the most popular herbs that makes it possible to carry out liver detox naturally is milk thistle. Long revered for its hepatoprotective qualities, milk thistle is easily considered one of the most potent detoxifying herbs. These properties allow the herb to get rid of heavy metals accumulated in the body, medication that is meant to be eliminated by the liver as well as any environmental toxins in circulation.
Research shows that the active ingredient present in milk thistle is known as silymarin, and it helps strengthen the membranes of the liver cells.Additionally, this active ingredient is also key in ensuring that the liver cells regenerate in a healthy and consistent manner, thus aiding the process of liver detoxification.
NOTE: This remedy is not recommended for anyone who is allergic to milk thistle to prevent adverse interactions.
- Follow the dosage indicated on the packaging.
- Make sure you consult your doctor before using this herbal supplement especially if you are already on some form of medication or have any pre-existing conditions.
- This is vital because milk thistle has the capacity to interact with other medications negatively.
5. Dandelion Root:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of dried dandelion root (crushed), 1 cup of hot water and honey.
Often considered a nuisance due to its spread as a weed, dandelion root is actually beneficial for the process of natural detoxification. The plant’s roots and flowers are packed with minerals and vitamins that make it one of the most sought after home remedies for liver detoxification. The herb works by increasing diuresis, which is the process by which the body increases the output of urine. This increase allows a greater load of toxins to be eliminated from the body. Other benefits of using the dandelion root include ensuring blood glucose levels remain balanced as well
as strengthening the immune system.
- Place the crushed dandelion root in a cup and add hot water to it.
- Let the root steep in the water for about 15 minutes before straining it.
- Stir in the honey and sip on this herbal tea at least twice daily.
- Remember, since dandelion has diuretic properties, this is likely to increase the frequency of washroom visits even as the herbal remedy helps with the process of liver detoxification.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Spoon of spirulina and a glass for water, juice or freshly prepared smoothie.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that consists of a single-celled organism which has long been recognized for its potent ability to protect hepatocytes (liver cells). Not only is this form of algae a potent antioxidant, it is also rich in nutrients that aid the liver with the process of detoxification. Its essential fatty acids stimulate the proper growth and regeneration of the liver cells. Overall, the presence of spirulina in the body improves one’s overall health by managing liver detoxification with relative ease. Spirulina is easily available at your local grocery store.
- Stir one teaspoon of the spirulina powder in a glass of water, juice or smoothie and drink daily.
7. Stay Hydrated:
Time Required: Staggered throughout the day.
What You Need: Drinking water
One of the golden rules for carrying out liver detox is to ensure that you stay hydrated. At the core of this simple but fundamental principle is the fact that the liver needs enough water to eliminate toxins and contaminants from the body. The best way to understand this perhaps, is to liken it to cleaning a spongy material.
The water present is responsible for transporting nutrients to the organs and waste from the organs. When the body is dehydrated, there is less waste eliminated, and this interferes with the process of liver detoxification. Taking adequate water during the day also helps to boost the different metabolic processes while helping improve your overall health.
- Drink enough water throughout the day.
- While the often-recommended amount is pegged at 8 glasses of water, this may not always work for everyone as it is dependent on other factors such as the state of one’s health, their stage of life, the level of activity as well as any pre-existing conditions.
- In case you have any doubts, it is always advisable to check with your doctor.
8. Increase the Amount of Thiols in the Body:
Time Required: Varies depending on the preparation time.
What You Need: Foods rich in thiols
Thiols, by definition, are organic compounds that are rich in sulfur and this is what gives such foods their characteristic pungent odors. Save for the bad smells, these foods are excellent at liver detoxification. Once consumed, the thiols act as chelating agents. Chelating agents act at the molecular level by binding to toxic metal ions in circulation. This effectively makes the Thiols inactive, and allows for their safe elimination through the urinary tract.
NOTE: Thiols are very potent organic compounds, so much so that even when consumed, they still maintain their smells as they go through the body. One of the side effects is increased flatulence, which may lead to discomfort. To avoid this, and ultimately to save yourself from been a walking stink bomb, you may want to vary the foods you opt for. Take these foods in moderation to allow the liver great detoxification.
- Increase your dietary intake of foods that are rich in thiols.
- These include, but are not limited to cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic and asparagus among others.
- Prepare these foods using your preferred recipes, making sure you have at least two servings of any thiol-rich food daily.
Other simple ways to help with the process of liver detox include Epsom salts which help cleanse the liver, artichoke which is a potent antioxidant as well as licorice which helps neutralize toxins in the body. If the symptoms mentioned above do not subside after a period of time, you may consider getting medical attention to diagnose whether there are any underlying conditions.