This read is a must if you are one of the many people all over the country on a January detox. The next 6 weeks I will help you eat your way to a healthier you for 2018.
The liver, lungs, skin, lymph, bowel, and kidneys are 6 of the main organs we detox through. When one is overloaded it can have a negative effect on the others so a whole body approach is always best when doing a detox.
Most people in January kickstart with a detox usually for weight loss after all that Christmas stodge, but really we detox to get rid of our toxic burden that has accumulated. In doing so, we also improve the function of the metabolically active tissue.
We know increasing lean muscle mass will burn more calories while at rest; which is why we always advocate weight training when it comes to wanting weight loss. However, lean body mass is a low-metabolic-rate tissue: It burns far fewer calories than our brain, liver, kidneys, and heart. The better these organs are working, the more calories you’ll burn while sleeping, eating, breathing, etc. That’s why detox kick-starts weight loss.
Today I’m going to concentrate on the liver and for the following 5 weeks I will be talking about a different elimination organ and its importance to our health and well-being.
Our liver functions in your body in much the same way a pool filter functions in a pool. Just as a pool filter cleans a pool by catching the dead leaves, dirt and insects, the liver detoxifies our bodies from harmful chemicals and toxins found in food and our environment. It performs a variety of essential tasks, ranging from producing proteins, cholesterol and bile to storing vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrates. It helps alleviate digestive issues, such as a sluggish metabolism, gas, bloating, and constipation. It regulates blood sugar levels, which—when out of balance—can cause sugar cravings, fatigue, and fuzzy thinking.
Too much booze, drugs pesticides in foods, refined sugar, chemicals and environmental pollution (your liver doesn’t like smog), even toxins from our home , food and water have been known to cause ill-health. Too little of the essential nutrients can cause your lovely liver to get really bogged down. It ends up working all day long to remove these excess toxins that we’re exposed to, instead of doing it’s main jobs in the body.
Signs you need to have a little detox or as I like to say get back on the busy path of optimal health include depression, insomnia, lethargy, indigestion, stress, body odor, weight gain, skin problems, a white or yellow tongue, and mental fog.
These are the signs and symptoms I look for through a detailed questionnaire in your initial Nutrition consultation. We always treat the body as a whole unit, by listening to your body and the signs it gives you, then acting on these signs can get us on the path to feeling better. A personalized food plan and supplements when necessary can help get you feel more energised, have brighter skin, weight loss and more mental clarity to name a few of the benefits.
Foods/drinks to include that support liver detoxification include:
- Broccoli(most cruciferous vegetables)
- Grapefruit(avoid if on blood thinning or liver medication)
- Kale(most green leafy)
- Prickly pear
- Salad greens
- Lemon juice
- Sprouted nuts, beans, grains and seeds(chia,flax)
- Sea vegetables
- Vegetable protein
- Grass fed meats
- Fish especially wild
- Medicinal Mushrooms such as Maitake, shiitake, and reishi.
- Cultured foods such as real miso and kimchi
- Cold-Pressed, Unrefined Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- milk thistle
Bitter herbs that support liver detoxification include:
- Yellow dock
The bottom line is liver is an important organ with many essential functions. Therefore, it makes sense to do what you can to protect it, and the foods listed above have demonstrated beneficial effects on the liver. So aim to create meals by adding into every meal some of the ingredients I have mentioned. I’ve picked a few from the list and made into a soup so try mix and matching some ingredients into each meal. think about your meals and how you could add a liver friendly food to the mix.
“We are what we eat”
Liver friendly Broccoli, Rocket and garlic soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 yellow or Spanish onion, roughly diced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 1/2 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt/pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- head of garlic clove
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of rocket
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium.
- Add onion and cook until soft and translucent.
- Add garlic and cook for one minute.
- Add broccoli and cook for 4 minutes until it is bright green.
- Add water (or vegetable stock), salt,pepper, and thyme.
- Bring to boil, then cover and lower heat. Cook until broccoli is tender, around 8 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the soup into blender, and add rocket, blending until smooth. NOTE: Be careful if you are using a blender, start slowly, place the lid on top of the blender but don’t press the lid down and work in batches if necessary.
- Add the lemon juice and serve.
Nutrition consultations are available in person, online and via telephone. Please contact Michelle at Newbodyandsoul.com or 07726837314 for more details.
Happy cooking x
Next week …..Skin and how we can eat for brighter healthier skin.