YES, you do need to pay attention to your liver. Your liver is an incredibly versatile and important organ in your body that performs so many essential functions, from synthesis and - what you probably know it best as - your organ of detox.
Everything that we put into our bodies makes its way through our liver at some point to be filtered and sent out to the appropriate place in the body so the nutrients can be properly absorbed. In order for it do to this though, it needs to be clean and healthy.
A liver that is overloaded and clogged up can perform detox properly. This inability to detox and the accumulations of toxins in your body could be what is holding you back from losing that weight you've been trying to work off for the last few months.
Take some time to stock your kitchen with liver supporting foods and let your liver be at its best to cleanse your body!
1. Bitter Foods
Think things like curly endive, radicchio, arugula and raw cacao powder. This class of foods stimulates liver function by encouraging the secretion of bile. Bile is needed to help digest fat and break down certain toxins within the body, and without it, many of our digestive processes are put on halt or severely impaired. Try to incorporate bitter foods into your diet daily to ensure consistent liver function and adequate bile secretion.
2. Dandelion root/leaves
Similar to the function of bitter foods above, dandelion is recommended for liver detoxification and to promote healthy functioning due to the bitter properties of its oils. Consume dandelion root and leaves in their fresh form, in a salad or lightly stir-fried, or as more commonly seen, enjoy dandelion root tea.
This bright red vegetable is a source of flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants in the body, working with the liver to remove toxins. In addition, beetroot is also a great source of nitric oxide, a molecule which helps open up the blood vessels in the body causing vasodilation and allowing better oxygen transport through our organs. More oxygen means better functioning and better detoxification.
Ginger acts as a cleansing agent due to its fiery nature. The natural spiciness of ginger causes it to stimulate the digestive system, including the intestines and liver, and increase their activity. For the liver, this includes increasing its cleansing processes. It also contains high levels of anti-inflammatory enzymes and helps to neutralize acids, both which aid in detoxing, and which help ease digestive discomfort.
5. Cruciferous vegetables
These include things like cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts, all vegetables which are high in sulfur and a great source of fiber. Sulfur is a cleansing mineral and is a key player in the natural detoxification processes of our body. It is also part of glutathione, an extremely important antioxidant in the body which helps get rid of free radicals and remove toxic build up.