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 kickstart with a detox usually for weight loss after all that Christmas stodge. In reality we detox to get rid of our toxic burden that has accumulated over time. By doing so, we also improve the function of the metabolically active tissue. So why wait for January. Every few months is a fantastic way to maintain balance and give the body a well deserved break.
We know increasing lean muscle mass will burn more calories while at rest. This 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. This is why weight loss can be an effect of a detox.
How our liver functions:
It can be the same way a pool filter functions in a pool. It catches the dead leaves, dirt and insects. The liver detoxifies our bodies from harmful chemicals and toxins found in food and our environment. The liver 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. Also 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. Not enough 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:
This could be the catalyst to get you backon the busy path of optimal health. Depression, insomnia, lethargy, indigestion, stress, body odor, weight gain, skin problems, a white or yellow tongue, and mental fog to name a few..
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. 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. The foods listed above have demonstrated beneficial effects on the liver. I 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 liver friendly soup Really think how you could mix and match 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.
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Happy cooking x