Do You Know Why It’s Important to Support your Liver?

Do You Know Why It’s Important to Support your Liver?

liver support

Do You Know Why It’s Important to Support your Liver?

Detoxing seems to be the big trend right now but do you know the true benefits of a proper detoxification program? As a Functional Nutritionist here at Living Health Integrative Medicine, it is important for me to educate patients on the “why”, to truly understand the benefits of eating a certain way and the impact that can have on your body and more specifically, your organs. In order to understand the benefits of a detoxification program, you first need to understand the role of your liver.

The liver is the largest abdominal organ in your body and is located on your right side, at the bottom of the ribcage weighing approximately three pounds. It is a fascinating organ in that it can continue to function after 90% of it has been removed and can eventually grow back to its normal size barring any type of disorder. The liver has three key functional roles which are blood filtering, detoxification and bile synthesis and secretion and under these roles fall about an additional 100 more functions! Some of the functions that are:

  • Regulation of fat storage
  • Discharges waste
  • Neutralizes and destroys poisons
  • Manufactures new body proteins
  • Metabolizes alcohol
  • Produces immune factors
  • Stores vitamins, minerals and sugars
  • Maintains hormone balance
  • Controls the production and secretion of cholesterol

Every nutrient and every toxin that enters your body travels to the liver before it enters your bloodstream. The liver is the gatekeeper in our body so we really want our liver to function properly and give it the support needed. Basically, the health of your entire body is reflected in the effectiveness of your liver’s detox pathway. And, you can imagine then that there can be times that your liver is working at full capacity and unable to rid the body of all the toxins. When this happens, the toxins wrap themselves in fats for storage. The liver can eventually get to these toxins when its “workload” is reduced. And, thus is the benefit of a liver detoxification, giving our digestive system a rest from the normal load of processing toxins to allow focus on the stored toxins.

Supporting the health of your liver is very important and here are some general guidelines to support your liver on a daily basis:

Eat nutrient dense whole foods, stay away from processed foods. Some foods that are particular good for your liver are: cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, citrus fruits and peels, veggies, avocadoes, artichokes, beets, dandelion, milk thistle (herb) and eggs (choline in the eggs). Some vitamins that support the liver are: B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E.
Watch your protein intake. Too much protein can put a strain on your liver. A good rule of thumb is to have 3-6 ounces of protein at every meal. An ounce of animal protein is usually 8 grams.
Avoid late night snacking. You liver regenerates from 11pm to 3am so that is the only job the liver should be focusing on during the late evening.
Good fats only, no bad fats! Your liver needs the essential fats not ones that will be oxidized and create more toxins in the body. No fried food!
Increase your fiber intake to bind the toxins and flush them out of your body.