(NaturalNews) The liver is one of the most important of all our vital organs. The liver is responsible for filtering and detoxifying environmental toxins and pathogenic organisms. Unlike many organs a failing liver is unable to be surgically fixed or replaced.
The liver is a vital digestive organ that converts nutrients from the food we eat into essential blood components. It helps to store vitamins and minerals and produces key proteins and enzymes that maintain hormonal balance in the body. The liver helps the immune system fight infections and removes microorganisms from the blood stream. It also produces bile which is essential for digesting fats in our diet.
What harms the liver?
The most harmful things for liver health include environmental toxins, infectious organisms, alcohol and poor diet. Exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals can backlog the liver as it tries to neutralize and deactivate these poisonous molecules. These chemicals include xylene, benzene, disinfectant byproducts, heavy metals, pesticides and cigarette smoke.
Infectious organisms are a major cause of liver stress and inflammation. The most well-known organisms are the hepatitis viruses with the hepatitis B and C viruses being the most dangerous. Any sort of chronic infection in the body such as Lyme, influenza, aflatoxin and other mycotoxins, etc., have the ability to inflame and damage the liver as well.
Poor diet damages the liver
Alcohol and poor diet damage the liver as well. Alcohol must go through the liver's detoxification cycle to be metabolized and deactivated in the body. Chronic alcohol consumption depletes the liver of valuable glutathione, sulfur compounds and methylating elements such as zinc, riboflavin, B6, folate and B12.
Poor blood sugar signaling and a diet high in processed foods that contain toxic additives, preservatives, pesticides, GMOs, etc., drain the liver of valuable glutathione, sulfur compounds and methylating elements. Often times, individuals that consume a diet high in alcohol and processed foods are not consuming the key nutrients they need to produce glutathione, sulfotransferases and methylating agents.
The liver health nutrition plan
Foods that are challenging for the liver should be eliminated. This includes processed and refined foods and common food sensitivities such as gluten, soy, peanuts, pasteurized dairy and corn.
Foods that are high in mycotoxins must be minimized as well. This would include most legumes and nuts which should only be consumed in small moderation. Be sure to get your organic, mold-free coffee and raw cacao and refrigerate it to prevent mycotoxin formation.
Anyone with liver challenges should be vigilant about using only certified organic, chemical free products. This includes all food choices, personal hygiene products and household cleaning agents. Reducing toxin exposure from the environment including water and air filtration is very important.
Best foods for liver health
Some of the best liver benefiting foods include those that are rich in B vitamins, vitamin C and trace minerals. This would include lots of raw veggies like celery, spinach, cucumbers and romaine lettuce and steamed veggies such as the cruciferous family. It is also especially advisable to juice your veggies to better absorb the nutrients. Citrus fruit and berries are especially good for the liver.
Using herbs such as ginger, milk thistle, peppermint, parsley, dandelion, garlic and turmeric are especially good for liver health. A great juicing recipe for liver and kidney health is spinach, celery, cucumber, lemon and ginger. Another favorite is kale, cucumber, parsley, celery and lime.
Eating liver from an organic, pasture-raised animal provides powerful nutritional support for liver health. This would include grass-fed beef liver, fish liver, wild-game liver or pasture-raised chicken liver.
About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 36,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com