What performs 500 different functions, weighs about three pounds, can regenerate itself and ensure the body is toxic-free? Your liver! This highly important, but often overlooked organ is a powerhouse when it comes to the human body. With such a vital role, making sure it stays healthy will help put you on a path to a long and happy life.
The liver does many things, but its primary role is to filter blood coming from the digestive tract so it can go back into the body anew. The liver also is mainly responsible for breaking things down that enter the body. For example, chemicals, medications, toxins, even alcohol.
Bad habits can take a real toll on the liver and it may become, tired, overworked and sluggish. If that’s how you’re feeling, your liver could use a cleanse, and your diet and habits may need an overhaul. Maintaining a healthy liver through natural means is ideal for promoting good health.
The liver is how the body detoxifies itself from chemicals and toxins found in our food, water, and air – basically anything we ingest at some point will be filtered through the liver.
But how does one single organ perform such a large task? Well, the liver takes in what we ingest through the blood. Once in the liver, it begins to break down chemicals, toxins and nutrients and either distributes the good stuff or removes the bad. This is completed with the help of microorganisms.
As we age, the years of toxins that get filtered through the liver can begin to take a toll and so it may not be able to perform as well as it once did. This is where a liver detox comes into play with a liver cleanse diet.
Items like red meat, alcohol and other toxins can be quite taxing on the liver so giving the liver a break, or performing a liver detox, is an easy way of allowing the liver to rest and rejuvenate.
You may have heard of liver detoxes that involve fasting, juicing or even taking a series of supplements, but these are not effective ways to perform a liver cleanse to flush and refresh. In fact, to improve the health of your liver, all you need is the support of liver cleansing foods. A natural liver cleanse can clear the liver through a simple switch in diet. A liver cleanse diet is safe, effective and won’t put added stress on the liver or the body as a whole.
If you think your liver is becoming tired and deserves a break (it probably does!), check for some of these signs that your liver may need a detox.
6 signs your liver needs a detox
So how exactly do you know for sure if you should embark on a liver detox? Well here are 6 signs you should look out for before you start a liver cleanse.
- You experience pain or discomfort around your liver (located on the right upper side of your abdomen below your rib).
- You have trouble digesting fatty foods.
- You experience acid reflux or heartburn.
- You have fat stored around your midsection.
- You are gaining weight or having trouble losing it.
- You start to develop dark spots on the skin (liver spots).
These are only 6 of the signs that indicate you’re ready for a liver detox; other notable signs include high blood pressure and high cholesterol, changes in mood and trouble sleeping.
Now that you know how to recognize problems with your liver, you can begin a liver cleanse diet. These are the steps to get you started.
6 steps for an effective liver detox
It may be hard to begin a liver detox cold turkey, so preparing the body and liver a few days prior will help you ease into the detox, making it as effective as possible:
- Begin minimizing the toxins in your life which you can control – stop the use of perfumes and colognes, tobacco and harsh cleaning products.
- Then stop using items you ingest that can be harmful to the liver – alcohol, smoke, pesticides, unfiltered water, preservatives, heavy metal fish, switching to more natural personal care and cleaning products
- Start removing foods that can be taxing on the liver – processed foods, sugar, poor-quality oils, GMOs and red meat.
- Add in more liver-friendly food items – fruits and vegetables, fermented foods like sauerkraut and yogurt.
- Look to incorporate liver-friendly herbs like garlic and turmeric.
- Increase your water intake; staying hydrated will help flush the liver of toxins and aid in the liver detox.
Now that you know the steps of an effective liver detox, here are 6 foods to enjoy while detoxing your liver.
6 foods that help cleanse your liver naturally
If you’re looking for a liver cleanse diet, incorporating these foods can really help speed the liver detox process:
- Citrus fruits: Packed with antioxidants, fruits like lemons, limes and grapefruits are an essential part of a liver cleanse diet. They can help eliminate toxins as well as promote the growth of enzymes your liver needs to perform its many jobs.
- Green tea: Not only is green tea good to keep you hydrated and promote the flushing of toxins, it also contains antioxidants useful for a liver detox.
- Leafy green vegetables: Leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are a staple in any diet but especially in a liver cleanse diet. They offer many essential nutrients and can help absorb toxins.
- Beets: Also packed with antioxidants, beets can assist with a liver detox.
- Avocados: A nutritional powerhouse, avocados can aid in the extraction of toxins from the body.
- Asparagus: Asparagus are a diuretic – something that promotes urine. When we urinate we are removing waste and toxins, so the more we go, the more detoxing can occur.
By enjoying these foods separately or combined for maximum detoxing effects, these are all essential for a liver cleanse diet. They all contain powerful antioxidants to help flush out toxins normally processed by your liver. By giving your liver a break, you can promote better health and feel better overall.
The best part about a liver detox is that you don’t have to do it for a long time. You may see advertisements about cleansing your liver in seven or 21 days or three months, but even three days of detoxing is enough to promote a healthier liver. And by enjoying a liver cleanse diet daily and avoiding harmful toxins you don’t have to worry about setting time aside to perform a liver detox. All the foods mentioned in the liver cleanse diet are great to eat daily and you will find alternative benefits as well!
So if you’re tired, sluggish, storing excess fat, it may be time to give your liver a break and perform a liver detox. With a few simple lifestyle changes you can have a liver that works better than ever!