Your liver is one of the largest and most vital organs in your body.
Its primary function is to filter and convert toxins into waste, cleansing your blood and metabolising nutrients to provide the body with what it needs to function optimally.
The problem today, is that it's common for your liver to become stressed, overworked and damaged due to environmental, dietary and lifestyle factors, leading to malfunctioning and eventual dis-ease.
There are a number of things you can do to maintain a healthy liver and even to reverse liver disease naturally without toxic medicines or intervention. Read on to discover what you can do to support and restore healthy liver function.
What is the liver?
The liver is a large internal organ located on the upper right side of the stomach and it is vital for the functioning of your metabolism and immune system.
What does the liver do?
The liver performs several important tasks including; storing blood and constantly filtering it to remove harmful toxins; it rids the body of dead blood cells; secretes hormones and enzymes; supports digestion, converting what we eat into life-sustaining nutrition; and even regenerates its own damaged tissue.
Types Of Liver Disease
Liver dis-ease can take on several forms, however, these are some of the most common liver problems:
- Fatty Liver Disease - where fats build up in the liver normally as a result of either poor dietary choices and/or an overconsumption of alcohol.
- Hepatitis - literally means "inflammation of the liver".
- Cirrhosis of the liver - chronic liver damage that can be caused by several factors that results in the liver scarring and eventually failing.
What causes liver disease?
Liver disease is usually caused by internal infection as a result of exposure to viruses, synthetic medicines or toxic substances like chemical cosmetics which seep into the body, impacting the auto-immune process.
What are the symptoms of liver disease & problems?
If you have any of these symptoms, AVOID alcohol (particularly spirits), commercial caffeine, processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils because they will compound the problem.
Natural Remedies For Liver Disease
Periodic fasting on either fresh raw juices, water or even whole plant food mono diets are all very powerful when it comes to healing the liver.
Quality nutrition will help a damaged liver to regenerate new cells and the best way to do this is by eating predominantly fruits, vegetables and other plant whole foods.
Learn more in What Are Whole Foods? 7 Benefits Of A Whole Food Diet
It is important to periodically detox with a natural liver cleanse since toxic substances can build up and cause harm.
Detox & Cleanse The Liver
In order to regenerate the liver and get the most from any type of dietary cleanse, it's important to support the process with a few lifestyle steps:
- Limit your intake of alcohol - approximately 90% of the alcohol is processed in the liver. Excess alcohol consumption is a major cause of liver disease and degeneration so only drink in moderation and be sure to avoid mass-produced chemical varieties and to choose only naturally fermented drinks like preservative-free wines and additive and preservative-free naturally brewed beers;
- Kick up your water intake to a minimum of 2 litres per day, but aim for 1 litre per 22 kilos of body weight, to help keep toxins and waste flushing from the body;
- Get plenty of sleep - serious liver problems such as cirrhosis and fatty liver disease are often linked to disrupted sleep patterns, because the liver is meant to perform many of its detoxication functions whilst you sleep. Aim for 6-8 hours of quality, uninterrupted sleep per night
- Move your body - Life is movement and your body needs to move to support vital processes and healthy liver function. Walk outside in fresh air for at least 30-45 minutes each day, preferably in the morning if you can
- Get Sunlight - sunlight heals a long list of physical and emotional imbalances and the suns rays are a potent source of Vitamin D, which your liver requires for optimum function and to help repel liver conditions like jaundice. Get 20-30 minutes of exposure to natural sunlight in the morning hours before the sun reaches it's highest intensity. Expose as much of your body as you can during this time.
- Avoid processed foods and refined sugars - as these can cause inflammation in the liver and other vital organs. Eliminate packaged and bottled foods that are loaded with genetically modified ingredients (usually grains like wheat and corn), artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food colouring etc.
- Organic Black Coffee - if you love coffee, you'll be pleased to know that organic coffee is known to help reduce fat buildup in the liver and to boost protective antioxidants. The polyphenols in coffee also help liver enzymes to rid the body of cancer-causing substances. Just be sure to choose an organic source of coffee and to add raw plant milks like oat, coconut instead of processed dairy
- Boost your intake of plant fibres - foods like oats, barley, organic wild rice and flax to ensure your colon stays clean. For a daily fibre boost when you need it, try our Get Things Moving, containing Psyllium, Flax, Chia and Hemp Seeds. For a more intense periodic detox protocol to cleanse the digestive tract and liver, our 2-4 day Cleanse Me process is based on Australian Food-Grade Bentonite Clay, Ground Psyllium and Flax.
- Eat an abundance of low GI (Glycemic Index) fruits - Apples, Pears, Grapefruit, Oranges, Grapes, Strawberries, Cherries, Apricots, Peaches and Plums
- Snack on Raw Nuts - loaded with protein and antioxidants, raw nuts are also packed with good oils that are essential for building healthy cell membranes around the liver cells. The also known to help protect against toxins (usually from animal fats) from making their way into the liver. Be sure to snack on walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts and macadamias as well as sunflower and pumpkin seeds
- Add Green Smoothies - to your daily diet to help nourish and cleanse the liver. Into a blender add 400-500 ml coconut water, 1/2 ripe avocado, Tsp Chia Seeds, 2 x Pitted Medjool Dates, Two handfuls of mix of Spinach and Kale. Blend and drink.
- Increase Green Salads - At least 1 meal per day, prepare and enjoy a big raw green salad, drizzled with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Use a mix of fresh greens e.g. Lettuce or Spinach and throw in chunks of ripe avocado and cucumber, a handful of shopped walnuts, red onions and cherry tomatoes.
Lemons - Nature's Detoxifier
One of the most potent and effective foods on earth for healing, regenerating and cleansing the liver is LEMONS.
A powerful protocol to help heal and fully restore the liver, is to drink one cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice each day when you rise for 90 days. This will promote a major clearing of toxins stored in your liver, enabling to return to optimum healthy function if you support the process with the other recommended dietary and lifestyle tips.
The interesting feature of Lemons - and why they're considered mother nature's detoxifier - is because they are the only food on earth that contain "an-ions" (every other whole food contains "cat-ions"). Your liver produces "an-ions" known as bile which helps to release toxins and metabolic waste. That's why lemons have significance when it comes to restoring your liver to its highest functional capacity.
Liver Juice Cleanse
Raw juicing with specific fruits and vegetables is a great way to do a natural liver cleanse. Just be sure that you consume only juice prepared with a cold-pressed machine, which is a slow-expeller pressing method that extracts the pulp but ensures the nutrient enzymes in the juice remain in tact to nourish your cells.
In your recipe blends, concentrate mainly on greens, beetroot, carrots, apples and lemon (also add knobs of ginger for good measure). Mixes based on these potent detoxifiers are also rich in magnesium, chlorophyll and vitamins A, C and E, which are all great for liver health.
If you struggle to find the time to prepare your own juice regularly, try CABALA (acronym for Carrot, Apple, Beet, Apple, Lemon, Apple) raw juice powder mix for an easy and nutritious way to increase your intake.
Daily Tip: Add a good squeeze of lemon to hot water and sip it as a tea in the morning or before bed. You can also help arouse a sluggish liver with a teaspoon of olive oil to stimulate the release of excess bile that congests the liver.
Tolman Self Care.