Your liver and your health

Your liver leads the charge in eliminating toxins from your body, it is an eradication powerhouse.  Often, we don’t help the liver to do its job for a multitude of reasons that are just happening in our regular everyday lives (THINK: poor diet, stress, medications, even chemicals & pesticides which are in our food chain). 

OK, the liver processes toxins but what if it isn’t working properly?  Repercussions can be seen in a lot of different parts of the body.  THINK: energy loss or fatigue, aging, nausea & headaches, fluid retention, reduced mental performance, itchy skin, irritability, obesity, & hormone imbalances.

There is no magical food that will protect your liver; however, you can add in liver loving foods as part of a balanced diet & healthy lifestyle.  It is only part of the picture, along with maintaining a healthy weight, assisting digestion, reducing cholesterol & blood pressure.

Some tips:

👉 Choose lean protein sources that are organic or free range (grass fed) wherever possible. Avoid processed meats, such as bacon, chicken nuggets, deli meats & sausages.  Avoid BBQ or chargrilling meats.

👉 Select organic, seasonal, fresh vegetables where possible for maximum nutrition.  Avoid canned, as your preference. 

👉 Get a wide variety of multi coloured vegetables & try to have different combinations of vegetables each day – mix it up!  Have vegetables at every meal. 

👉 Avoid ice cream, cheese & cream.

👉 Avoid gluten containing grains such as wheat, spelt, rye, farro, or barley.

👉 Avoid table salt, alcohol, caffeine.

The easiest way to simplify things is to avoid as many packaged & processed foods as possible, by choosing fresh foods. Here are some options to add to your next shop:

Vegies: aim for a minimum 2 cups of salad greens & 3 cups of vegetables every day.

Try add in avo, Asian greens (THINK: bok choy, Chinese cabbage, snow pea shoots, or wombok), beetroot, carrot, cruciferous vegetables (seriously your liver LOVES these – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, radish, rocket, or watercress), garlic and onions, or silver beet and spinach.

Fruit: apples, dark coloured berries, grapes, lemons and limes

An easy add to a shopping trolley and your liver loves them.

Meats: fatty or oily fish (THINK: anchovies, herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines, or trout), pasture raised poultry (chicken or turkey), maybe try some seafood (THINK: calamari or oysters). Occasionally add in some grass fed red meat (THINK: beef, lamb, kangaroo, or pork).

Beans/Legumes: add in some black beans, broad beans, cannellini beans, butter beans, lima beans or chickpeas. Perhaps add in some lentils.

Herbs and Spices: Fresh herbs, try garlic or turmeric; or spices, such as black pepper and chilli.

A couple of special mentions: Fermented vegetables (THINK: kimchi, miso, or sauerkraut), free range eggs, green tea or herbal teas (THINK: chamomile, ginger, or turmeric), apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil or flaxseed oil, or even get ingredients to make your own stocks/broths.

There are of course other things, but these will def give your liver some love so it can do its thing.

Published by Shân

I am incredibly passionate about food and its healing power – it is pretty amazing how what you eat affects how your body works! In fact, I was so fascinated, I went & got myself a degree in it – a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). Now in all honesty I don’t eat or live a perfect lifestyle, nor will I ever pretend I do. Realistically I know you won’t be perfect either. And that’s OK. As a Clinical Nutritionist I focus on what we eat and how this has an impact on our health and wellness – everyday.

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