A faulty liver is bad news for your overall health. It means you need a liver detox so it can detox you.
Why Liver Detox?
PITY your poor liver , and all the abuse you heap on it — and not just by drinking too much. All those cups of coffee, a diet high in processed foods, braided meat, saturated and damaged (trans or hydrogenated) fats and recreational and medicinal drugs put extra strain on your poor old liver .
Your liver is your body’s main organ of detoxification. It helps you to get rid of toxins you take in from eating and drinking, from the environment around you, and toxins that your own body makes. Its main function is to prevent a toxic build-up that can contribute to a host of ailments, from minor to major.
When your liver can’t perform its detoxifying functions properly it is unable to produce all the bile needed for optimum digestion. It can no longer store many essential vitamins and minerals, such as copper, iron and vitamins A, D, E and K. A sluggish liver upsets your hormonal balance.
Your skin is also an organ of detoxification. When your liver doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, it passes more of the burden to your skin. That sets you up for allergies and digestive, inflammatory, metabolic and skin disorders — from acne, premature wrinkles and constipation to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease and stroke.
In other words, a faulty liver is very bad news for your overall health.
What can you do to change that situation? Simple really: you need a liver detox so that it can detox you.
Liver detox is generally an eating plan built on nothing but sound nutritional principles. It aims to support your liver ’s ability to do its job of detoxifying your body by removing anti-nutrients
Along with your liver detox diet, you should break five habits: foods and drinks that like most people you probably enjoy often. They include wheat, milk, caffeine, alcohol and “bad fats”.
Wheat comes in for a real thrashing, under the subtitle: our deadly bread. Bread may be a staple food for you, but Holford says for many it’s more of a “cereal killer than a staff of life”. That’s to do with the protein it contains called gluten that is “exceedingly unfriendly to your digestive tract”.
Wheat isn’t the only grain you need to avoid during your liver detox . You must avoid bread, cakes, biscuits, cereals and pasta made from any of the gluten grains of wheat, spelt, rye, barley, kamut (a new cereal I haven’t ever heard of, but that is an old relative of modern durum wheat, and triticale, a man-made hybrid of rye and wheat. You can have foods made from oats, buckwheat, corn, gram, maize, millet rice and quinoa.
You don’t have to quit caffeine forever, just during your liver detox . It is dehydrating and addictive. It makes you more stressed and tired, and it disrupts normal sleeping. That means no coffee even in its decaf versions, so no colas or diet colas, no Red Bull or other caffeinated drinks and no regular black tea. You can have green tea, though no more than two weak cups, rooibos as much as you like, red berry or rosehip tea, lemon and ginger tea, and of course water and juice.
Alcohol is also out for a number of reasons, including that it is dehydrating. You must also avoid all meat, fried fish and eggs, processed foods and fat spread, French fries and other fried vegetables.
Four habits you should make during your liver detox
1. Drink eight glasses of water daily. It makes a big to difference to how you feel, your energy and mental clarity. It helps to dilute toxins in the blood, and improves kidney function.
2. Eat the five big superfoods each day. These include seeds (pumpkin, sunflower and sesame); greens, the darker the better and including avocado, watercress, parsley and basil; cruciferous vegetables, whose leaves grow as a cross, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts; sulphur vegetables, such as onions, spring onions and garlic; and fruit juices — berries top the list
3. Maximise your intake of anti-ageing antioxidants. Among these are Vitamins C, E, zinc and selenium.
4. Take detoxifying supplements. These include digestive enzymes, probiotics and glutamine.
Your liver will be enjoying newfound freedom from the onerous burden of toxins it has been facing for so long. You need to reintroduce excluded foods one at a time and slowly, eating only small quantities and chewing well.
Best of all, you will do your liver and yourself a huge favour if you keep excluded foods to a minimum and don’t give up eating foods you have been eating on the liver detox diet. They are there for a reason: they support your liver ’s functions, and that means keeping you in tip-top condition.