(NaturalNews) Many of us face growing weight problems these days, especially as we age and our metabolism slows considerably. And while there are a number of ways to help shed pounds - diet and exercise are among the most effective - the one thing you need in order to keep the weight off is a healthy liver.
"Almost every challenging health condition in the body has started with a clogged up liver," writes Dodee Schmitt at TeraWarner.com. "Synthetic hormones, bacteria, parasites, junk food, pesticides - it all ends up in your liver. Even negative thinking leaves an imprint in the liver if it has not been released and forgiven."
Detoxing your liver is not as difficult as you think or as ghastly as it might sound. Here are five ways you can accomplish your goal safely and effectively:
Before you begin, you have to prepare your liver - and your body - for the detoxification. This requires a seven-day prequel, if you will, because "it's essential that you prepare your body by strengthening your liver and colon for the work ahead," writes Anne Louise Gittleman of ExperienceLife.com. This is important because if you don't, experts warn, you're liable to wind up even more bloated, constipated and toxic than you were before you started. And you might just put the kibosh on any weight loss you are trying to attain.
Fasting is a great way to release toxins from your body that were previously lodged in fat cells. The process allows those toxins to filter into your bloodstream where they are transported through your body's elimination channels.
"But without prior liver and colon support to help these toxins clear your system," Gittleman writes, "the poisons may simply get relocated within the body, settling into any number of sensitive organs," leaving you fatigued, anxious, and with headaches. So, in order to avoid feeling bad unnecessarily, and in order to maximize weight loss, there is a simple series of steps you can follow for seven days before you embark on a one-day, liver-flushing juice fast. They are:
-- For each of the seven days, choose one serving from each group of liver-friendly foods - crucifers (cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and broccoli sprouts); green leafy veggies and herbs (kale, parsley, chard, cilantro, beet greens, watercress, mustard greens); citrus (oranges, limes, lemons - but avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, because they contain a substance known as narigen, which can, in turn, interfere with the liver-cleansing process); sulfur-rich foods (onions, garlic, eggs); liver-healing foods (asparagus, artichoke, beets, celery, whey).
-- Each day, choose two of the following colon-caring foods, such as powdered pysllium husks, apple, carrots, pear or berries.
-- Drink half your body weight in ounces of purified water each day.
-- Have at least two servings about the size of the palm of your hand each day of lean beef protein, skinless turkey, fish and lamb or, if you're a vegan, at least two tablespoons a day of good-quality blue-green algae or a spirulina source.
-- Each day, make sure to have one to two tablespoons of olive oil, flaxseed oil or a "woman's oil," (which consists of a flaxseed oil-black-currant oil blend).
-- Make sure to avoid anything that would interfere with your detox, such as excess dietary fats, any form of sugar (including maple syrup, honey, etc.), artificial sweeteners, refined carbs like rice, barley and related products, gluten and soy protein isolates like those found in energy bars and processed soy foods, and alcohol, over-the-counter drugs and caffeine.
After seven days, you're ready for a one-day juice detox, consisting of ingredients "designed to flush impurities from your liver and other tissues while supporting your general health and energy," Gittleman writes:
Bring a pitcher of unsweetened cranberry juice or unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate diluted with filtered water to a light boil, the reduce the heat to low. Place cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into a tea ball; add to the Cranberry Water. (For a tangier juice, add the spices directly to the liquid. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes; cool to room temperature. Stir in the orange and lemon juices. Add stevia at this time, if desired.
Throughout the day, alternate drinking eight ounces of clean, filtered water with eight ounces of the Miracle Juice. Drink at least 72 ounces of each.
Follow this up with a Three-Day Sequel. The complete process is here.
You can also try a Lemon Cayenne Morning Drink, which is just what it sounds like: A recipe of clear, filtered water, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.
"Drinking spicy water may sound gross to you, but with the lemon, you'll actually start loving it. I'll admit, the first time I did it, I put way too much cayenne in there - it wasn't pleasant! Now, I just add a pinch, and I love it," writes Jenny Sansouci at the HealthyCrush.com nutrition blog.