14 Signs you need a liver detox and what you can do about it
03/09/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
14 Signs you need a liver detox and what you can do about it

Your liver is a multitasking organ. It filters your blood, makes bile for digestion and keeps your metabolism up and running. Your liver also filters out the nutrients in the foods you eat and spreads them throughout your body by way of your bloodstream. It then eliminates the toxic waste that’s left behind from that process.

On top of these vital roles, the liver also ensures you have enough blood stored. It breaks down damaged blood cells so that they can be flushed out of your body through urine or stool. And that’s only a few of the more than 500 functions of the liver.

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Clearly, your liver is a large part of what makes your body tick. So when it doesn’t function properly, you face a heightened risk of experiencing both immediate and long-term health problems.

Liver issues are usually prevalent among people who drink alcohol heavily. But even those who don’t drink are also at risk of liver issues if they don’t eat a healthy diet or are frequently under immense stress. People who are exposed to environmental toxins and those who take medications may also experience liver issues.

If your liver has too much to handle, it may begin to malfunction. Below are signs your liver needs a break:

  • Your skin and/or the whites of your eyes have a yellow tinge
  • You gain weight even though you don’t overeat
  • You’re frequently constipated or bloated
  • You usually feel stressed or anxious
  • You experience mood swings
  • You’re always exhausted
  • You’re overweight
  • You crave sugar or alcohol
  • You’re resistant to weight loss
  • You smell because you sweat too much
  • Your skin is dry or itchy and has liver spots
  • You have oral health problems (e.g., bad breath)
  • You have seasonal allergies or autoimmune conditions
  • You feel pain or discomfort along the right side of your ribcage

How to detox for a healthier liver

If you’ve lately experienced some of the symptoms listed above, don’t fret. You can get your liver back on track with a good liver cleanse. Below are five ways you can detox your liver naturally:

1. Eat more liver-cleansing foods

Before anything else, ditch the processed foods, sugar-sweetened drinks and alcohol and work on improving your nutrition by adding more healthy, liver-cleansing foods to your diet. These include:

  • Berries – The brightly colored peels of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries contain anthocyanins, a group of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties. They can protect your liver from inflammation.
  • Dandelion – The roots and leaves of the dandelion plant are known for their cleansing properties.
  • Citrus fruits – Oranges, grapefruits and lemons contain a compound called d-limonene. Research shows d-limonene helps protect the liver from oxidative stress caused by a high-fat diet.
  • Nuts and seeds – Sunflower seeds, almonds and peanuts contain vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant.
  • Fermented foods – Beneficial microbes in fermented foods, called probiotics, help keep toxins out of the gut. They also help get rid of heavy metals in the body.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Glucosinolates in broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower can help remove pollutants in the bloodstream and flush them out through urine.
  • Glutathione-boosting foods – Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced in the liver. It picks up toxins and discards them via urine. Foods with glutathione include spinach, avocado and asparagus.
  • Leafy green vegetables – Kale, arugula and spinach have plant chlorophylls that help filter toxins from your blood. These toxins include heavy metals and chemicals from pesticide-treated foods.
  • Beans and legumes – Fiber from beans and legumes promotes regular bowel movement. Toxins can exit your body through your stool as well. Passing stool regularly helps your liver a lot.
  • Green tea – Phytochemicals in green tea support liver detoxification.

2. Do intermittent fasting

People with liver issues who are overweight may benefit from intermittent fasting. Studies suggest that cells in the liver produce more of a certain protein linked to lower levels of liver fat during periods of fasting.

Natural health experts also say periods of fasting give your body a chance to clean itself since it doesn’t have to funnel energy to the digestive system.

3. Use liver-cleansing herbs and spices

Your liver will benefit from a diet that includes liver-cleansing herbs and spices. One such herb, milk thistle, is used to make one of the most popular supplements for liver health. Silymarin, its active component, has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show it promotes the regeneration of liver cells.

Consider cooking with turmeric, too. This aromatic, golden spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It is well-known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be traced to a compound called curcumin.

4. Exercise

Your skin is a major detoxification organ, and sweating is a great way to get toxins out of your body. Therefore, exercising can help take some of the load off of your liver. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. If you don’t exercise already, start with fairly easy activities like walking and jogging and work from there.

5. Practice self-care

Stress can negatively affect your liver. One study even showed that stress can worsen liver disease. You can reduce your stress levels by taking care of yourself physically and mentally. Try meditating, play with your pet, walk in nature or take a long bath – do anything that will help you unwind and relax.

Your liver performs over 500 different functions that keep your body healthy. Watch out for signs that you need to do a liver cleanse and follow the tips above to detox naturally.

Sources:

HealthBlog.UOfMHealth.org

NaturalHealth365.com

MindBodyGreen.com

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