Natural ways to help your liver/gallbladder

Our liver is a particularly important organ, heavily involved in detoxification and energy production. It is so significant in the body’s economy, it is the only organ that can regenerate back to its full size, even after as much as 75% has been removed. Having said that, it can be compromised by lack of care or continued abuse and it really pays to look after it.

Reduce Sugar

Fatty Liver Disease is well known and often associated with alcoholism. But a lesser known condition, ‘Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease’, is on the rise, mainly due to increased consumption of sugar (particularly High Fructose Corn Syrup, found in sweet drinks – fructose turns on a fat-production factory in the liver, which can lead to obesity) and low-fat, highly refined foods.

Avoiding an excessive consumption of tobacco, alcohol, coffee, processed foods and refined sugars and drinking pure, filtered water are some of the ways to reduce liver issues.

Liver Friendly Diet

A liver-friendly diet should include foods rich in sulphur compounds, flavonoids and chlorophyll such as garlic, beetroot, brassicas, green leafy veg, avocadoes and spices such as turmeric.

Garlic with its allicin and selenium content helps activate enzymes which can flush out toxins and aid liver cleansing. Beetroot, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, Brussels sprouts) and chlorophyll-rich leafy greens like spinach and lettuce, contain important antioxidant phytonutrients (flavonoids, sulphur compounds, etc.) which stimulate detoxification and reduce inflammation. Chlorophyll helps rid the body of environmental toxins, heavy metals, herbicides, and pesticides.

Avocado

The delicious avocado produces a type of antioxidant called glutathione, utilised by the liver to filter out harmful substances and lemons help increase alkalinity and aid the digestion process. Squeeze lemon into your avocado dip for an extra zingy, tasty cleansing lift. Sip warm water with freshly squeezed lemon for a liver-boosting beverage. And talking about beverages, green tea is rich in plant antioxidants known as catechins, known to improve liver function.

Turmeric

The spice turmeric has been shown to aid liver repair in diabetic rats. Research surfaces daily on turmeric’s many-faceted health-promoting abilities. Pop some in your curries and soups, or make turmeric tea or this delicious golden latte. Wherever possible, choose organic produce in order to avoid additional exposure to harmful pesticides and other toxic substances.

In addition to food and drink choices, gentle breathing exercises, regular walks in nature, a good belly laugh, adequate sleep and a general avoidance of toxins and stresses will help benefit this hugely important organ.

Recipe and article written by Elle Fox, CNM Naturopath

Golden Milk

Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk raw dairy milk, coconut milk or any other nut milk
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli flakes optional
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey or maple syrup or to taste optional
  • A teaspoonful of coconut oil or fresh butter or raw cream optional

Instructions

  • Blend all the ingredients in your high speed blender until smooth.
  • Transfer into a milk pan and warm gently over medium heat until hot but not boiling.
  • Pour into your favourite mug, sprinkle with some cinnamon powder if you like and enjoy!
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