So, let’s cover the basics.
MEET YOUR LIVER
Sure, you’ve heard of it – but how well do you know this important organ? The liver is your largest internal organ. It can be found in the upper right part of your abdomen, beneath your diaphragm and above the stomach. The liver works very hard to keep your largest external organ (the skin) looking good! How? Well, it regulates and removes toxins from our blood, processes nutrients so our body can use them, makes bile to breakdown fat, and most notoriously, metabolizes and clears alcohol from our system.
Removing these impurities on the inside of the body is crucial for maintaining a clear and healthy glow on the outside. Clinical Pharmacist, CEO and Founder here at DrJsNatural, Dr. Jacqueline Nguyen, warns about these other symptoms of sub-optimum liver function:
“A poorly functioning liver can lead to things like bloating, gas, constipation, low energy levels, decreased appetite, heartburn, difficulty losing weight and high blood pressure.”
THE LIVER’S DETOXIFICATION PROCESS
To optimize your liver function, it’s important to understand its natural process for cleansing. Your liver detoxifies in three phases.
The liver is taking toxic chemicals from the bloodstream and converting them into less toxic chemicals. This is done by specific chemical reactions (oxidation, reduction and hydroxylation) and during this process free radicals are produced. Free radicals can harm the liver and the body so these need to get cleared out which is why it’s important to have a diet rich in antioxidants.
The liver takes toxins that have been converted in phase 1 and adds new compounds to them so they can be excreted. It uses compounds like Sulphur, Glycine and Cysteine to do this which is why it’s important to have foods rich in these compounds in the diet.
This phase moves toxins and compounds from Phase 2, out of the liver and into the bile and urine where it can be excreted by the body.
SUPPORTING YOUR LIVER
“Instead of thinking about detoxing your liver as a one-time thing,” Dr.J says, “you should think of ways you can change your lifestyle to support the health of your liver every day. The best way to ‘detox’ your liver is to remove toxins from your diet and environment and increased foods and supplements that promote liver health.”
Here are the specific steps she offers for ongoing liver support:
- Eat foods and take supplements that support the liver.
2. Decrease excessive alcohol consumptions (more than two drinks daily.)
3. Replace toxic skin-care products and cleaning products.
4. Get an air filter.
5. Replace plastics with glass when possible.
LIVER DETOX DIET & SUPPLEMENTS
First, Dr.J recommends drinking raw vegetable juice. “Vegetable juice allows you to get more nutrients from vegetables than you would from just eating them raw. Veggies have a lot of important compounds needed to support Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the liver’s detoxification process.” Vegetable juice is also very alkaline which is important for overall health.
Next, eat foods that are rich in potassium like avocado, acorn squash, spinach, sweet potato, salmon, dried apricots, pomegranate and banana. “High potassium foods help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and support cleansing of the liver.”
Finally, consider supplementing to support your largest internal organ. Our Simple Detox supplement includes milk thistle, dandelion root and artichoke leaf – all powerful herbs to support liver function. Milk thistle, for instance, boosts the production of glutathione, an antioxidant the liver uses to regenerate damaged cells and work more efficiently.
Dr.J gives us this tip for a healthy liver supplement: “I suggest taking Simple Detox for a couple of weeks while your body needs additional support, or after a night of too much fun!”