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Did you Know…. That the liver has over 500 jobs every single day. I was surprised by how versatile and resilient this one organ is and how it affects the rest of our body.
For example, the liver
- is a filter for everything we put into our body
- and everything we don’t intend to … parasites, toxins etc.
- sorts what needs to be used right away, what to store and what to eliminate
- is a storage facility for excess nutrients, vitamins and fats to be used later
- produces bile that is sent to the pancreas to aid in further digestion
- CAN REPAIR AND REGENERATE ITSELF
These are just a few amazing examples of the wonders of the liver.
With all of these jobs to do, it is up to us to make sure that we support it as best we can. Kind of a “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. If my liver is going to take care of me, I will take care of it.
As I was doing research for my nutrition certification, I found a questionnaire on hormonal imbalances and purely for research I began going through possible symptoms. Lo and behold, I topped the chart on the Liver.
This was a big surprise to me as I am an occasional drinker at best and very rarely eat deep-fried foods. Those were my only requirements for liver issues prior to reading the list.
We know that toxins can enter through our digestion system, respiratory system and even through our skin. What I didn’t put together was where the toxins went. THE LIVER. Once the liver gets overloaded with toxins it can no longer process and eliminate them and those toxins are stored in the fat cells.
Here are a few of my yesses that I never would have thought of before:
- Dry skin, hair – always attributed to not enough water/skin care routine
- Less than one bowel movement daily – healthy bodies should have one – three bowel movements per day!
- Pain radiates along outside of leg – figured I had slept funny
This one is the kicker – PAINFUL BIG TOE – how random is that, yet how accurate.
This one can have many possibilities for me and all of them could have an impact.
Such as, I wear steel toe shoes every day which could have some bearing, I have also had bone fractures which resulted in bone fragments traveling and causing a harmless cyst wherever it settled. The last one was just above the instep of my right foot. While all these are possible, having it come up on a list of symptoms for a not so optimal liver definitely made me look further.
While prevention is best, starting to repair possible damage now is second best.
Foods that can heal the liver
Avocados – avocados are a healthy source of monounsaturated fats. Adding them to salads, sandwiches and smoothies is an easy way to get the benefits.
Leafy Greens – Steamed or lightly sautéed kale, spinach, dandelion and mustard greens are excellent at removing heavy metals and pesticides. Liver cleansing teas are also available that contain these greens. Since we are trying to remove pesticides and heavy metals, go organic. If you don’t have a health food store close by you can try and .
Garlic – garlic is just plain tasty and can add so much flavour to meals. It also contains selenium and sulphur compounds that detoxify the liver.
Beets – beautiful beets can be eaten cold in salads, hot as a side veg or in a smoothie. They are full of anti-oxidants, minerals and fiber.
Seaweed – depending on where you live, seaweed may be hard to come by, but the benefits are worth looking for it. Seaweed has anti-oxidant properties as well as micronutrients that help the liver do many of its’ jobs.
I live in a small southwestern Ontario town and this is definitely not common here. Whenever someone I know goes out East I put in an order for Dulse which is another name for seaweed common to the Canadian East Coast. Other names and types of seaweed are Nori, Wakame, Arame, and Kombu. It can be an acquired taste on its’ own but there are many recipes out there to incorporate it. Use the exact type of seaweed when finding recipes as they are going to have different flavours depending on where they were grown and harvested.
If you have an aversion to these types of foods there are liver cleansing teas available. Since we are trying to eliminate pesticides and toxins, go organic. If you don’t have a health food store near you, be careful when ordering online and look for an organic status. Tulsi Wellness Tea and Zen Cleanse Blend are two good choices.
As always, let me know what topics you would like to read about.
Until next time
Digestive Wellness – Elizabeth Lipski