Happy March to you!
Spring is coming, can you feel it? The birds are chirping again and the days are getting a little longer. We are almost there, hang on!!!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Liver/Gallbladder are the organs associated with Spring. As we are getting close to Spring, it’s a good time to think about how we can support our liver to do all of its important jobs to keep our body happy and healthy.
The liver is described by Andreas Moritz in his book, “The Amazing Liver & Gallbladder Flush”, as a “large city with thousands of houses and streets.” The liver has hundreds of functions and is in someway connected to EVERY part of the body. Among its countless jobs, the liver is the main organ responsible for distributing and keeping the energy supply going to the body.
Other than our skin, our liver is the largest organ we have in our body. It has many important functions including:
- converting nutrients from foods into forms our body can use
- cleansing our blood
- storing carbohydrates as glycogen (a form of glucose to be used as energy when needed)
- helping break down fat
- producing bile which helps to move cholesterol to our colon for removal
- major player in maintaining a healthy weight and weight loss (or gain if sluggish)
We can stress out our liver by eating too much sugar, processed foods, consuming too much alcohol, and being exposed to environmental pollutants.
There are many simple ways we can give our liver love and support.
Here are some foods that support the liver:
- Beets – have a flavonoid called betalain, Betalain helps support our liver in the process of getting rid of toxins in the body.
- Artichokes – have two phytonutrients, cynarin and silymarin. They increase bile production and prevent gallstones.
- Sulfur rich foods like garlic, onions, shallots and leeks – Garlic has a compound called allicin that support liver detoxification. It helps our body eliminate mercury, and food additives.
Onions, shallots and leeks contain glutathione, the compound in each cell of our body that neutralizes free radicals.
- Non protein-bound sulfur is found in most cooked vegetables. The cabbage family (cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower) is especially good. The radish family is also great (red radishes, black radishes, white radishes or daikon root, turnip, rutabaga). Also, some greens are high in sulfur including watercress, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard greens, collards
- Eggs – provide the essential amino acids which are needed by the liver for the detoxification process. Eggs also have the coenzyme choline (in the yolk) which protects the liver from many toxic substances while it is getting rid of heavy metals.
- Berries – contain phytochemicals that help the liver protect our body from free radicals and oxidative stress which are linked to disease and the aging process. Studies have shown that Anthocyanin and polyphenols (found in berries), inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the liver.
Supportive herbs for the liver:
- Ginger nourishes the liver and promotes circulation
- Cumin boosts the liver’s detox ability
- Coriander helps the liver lower blood lipids (including triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol).
- Cardamom stimulates the flow of bile which is important for fat metabolism
- Turmeric has curcumin compounds which are known to heal the liver
- Milk thistle is used to protect the liver from environmental toxins and the effect of regular sugar and alcohol use.
More ways to love and support your liver:
- Morning exercise wakes up a sluggish liver
- Body brushing increases blood flow and helps to move toxins out of the body
- Hot water with lemon and grated ginger helps to cleanse and nourish the liver
- Warm castor oil pack to the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
Your liver will thank you by providing you with more energy and focus!
Keep an eye out for my next post which will give you the details of the upcoming 10 day Online Spring Cleanse I am leading starting on April 13th! For now, you can go to bodyandsoulcleanse.com to learn more & sign up.
Until next time,