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The best liver cleanse diet – Taking care of the clean machine!

It’s February, and with this cold weather many of us have yet to get back to a good routine since Christmas ended. You’re probably feeling tired and sluggish and in need of a good internal spring clean! Your liver has been at the front line of your seasonal and winter consumption and has battled valiantly over the mountains of food and lakes of drink that the festive season brings. It’s time to give your liver the TLC it deserves by giving it a natural cleanse. Nature provides us with all the tools we need to cleanse our liver using just diet so we’ve put together some tips to get your liver back to its optimum health. Keep reading to discover our recommendations for the best liver cleanse diet!

Functions of the liver

In order that you’ll understand the best ways to cleanse your liver with diet, it’s important to understand what the liver does. The liver is a burly hunk of an organ that weighs about 3lbs in your body. It functions in your body in a similar way that a bouncer operates in a nightclub, filtering the blood from the digestive tract before it passes to the rest of the body to make sure there are no nasties in it. And also refusing entry to chemicals, and metabolizing drugs (and making sure they’re wearing the right shoes!)

The liver’s main functions are as follows:

 

  • Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion.

  • Production of certain proteins for blood plasma

  • Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body

  • Conversion of excess glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy) and to balance and make glucose as needed

  • Regulation of blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins

  • Processing of hemoglobin for use of its iron content (the liver stores iron)

 

  • Conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea (urea is an end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine)

 

  • Clearing the blood of drugs and other poisonous substances

 

  • Regulating blood clotting

 

  • Resisting infections by making immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream

 

  • Clearance of bilirubin, also from red blood cells. If there is an accumulation of bilirubin, the skin and eyes turn yellow.

 

Is your liver under strain?

 

This is an impressive list of bodily functions by any organ’s standard. The liver when on its best form is a well-oiled machine and it acts as gatekeeper and waste disposal technical for the undesirables that we often ingest in our diet. It strives to keep us healthy in its every action. But when we overload it with toxins in a bad diet, it’s a different story and your body won’t delay in letting you know it’s detox time! Here’s some telltale signs that your liver is under strain and crying out for of the best diet cleanse you can give it.

  • Weight gain

Extra toxins in the liver mean it’s unable to digest fat, so they get stored and redistributed round the body because your liver can’t process them! So regardless of a low calorie diet, your weightloss with slow down or stop altogether when your liver is in need of a cleanse

  • Fatigue
    Constant tiredness is a classic symptom that your liver is overworked, as its inability to do its job leads to other metabolic complications, slowing the functioning down and making you tired.

  • Sweating and body odour
    The body heats up when fighting toxins and bacteria so a build up in an overworked liver will cause an excess of sweating and bodily odour.

  • Cystic acne
    An outbreak of pimples on the skin can be a result of a malfunctioning liver suffering from a toxin build-up.

 

  • Allergies
    A liver that is unable to cleanse itself due ot te presence of toxins will be open to an auto immune response. The body stores too much histamine and allergic reactions such as itching, nasal congestion and headaches occur.

 

  • Gastroesophageal reflux
    A poorly functioning liver is unable to control the blood’s pH level which in turn leads to too much acidity. This then irritates the stomach lining and weakens the sphincter, trapping acidic juices and leaving you with the much-maligned reflux!

  • Bad breath
    If your breath is an issue despite diligent oral hygiene it can often be a sign of a slow liver, and if there’s a slight metallic taste in the mouth it can indicate the presence of a build up of heavy metals.

Best liver cleanse diet: Part 1 -Foods to avoid to protect your liver

 

Now if this litany of liver protests isn’t enough to alarm you into treating your liver to a detox, we don’t know what is, but before we get into the rejuvenating business of the best way to cleanse your liver, it might be worth pointing out what elements of your diet put it into this overworked and stressed state.

  • Large Doses of Iron
    Be careful with iron supplements! The body has no way of expelling excess iron so it accumulates in organs and tissue. Too much of it can cause liver scarring and in some cases lead to cirrhosis of the liver.

 

  • Alcohol
    We all know alcohol is bad for your liver but you don’t have to be an alcoholic to be ingesting enough alcohol to harm your liver. A small amount on a regular basis is enough to cause harm the body’s sentry. Alcohol should be drunk in moderation.

 

  • Some herbal remedies
    It might come as a surprise to learn but some herbal remedies are known to be toxic to the liver. Some of the most common ones to be wary of taking in excess are: Barberry, black cohosh, chaparral, Chinese ginseng, comfrey, creosote bush, germander, gordoloba yerba tea, greasewood, greater celandine, false pennyroyal, Jamaican bush tea, Jin Bu Huan, Kombucha tea, misteltoe, Sho-saiko-to, pennyroyal oil (squawmint oil), sassafras, senna, skullcap and valerian combined and white chameleon.

 

  • Large doses of vitamin A  

    This was also not an obvious hazard, but large doses of vitamin A can wreak havoc on the liver. As much as 50-80% of your body’s vitamin A source is stored in the liver so excessive consumption though your diet or supplements can damage it. For adults, the safe daily intake of vitamin A is around 3,000 micrograms  this is much lower for children and adolescents. Consult your doctor for more detailed information.

 

  • Paracetamol & other over the counter medications


Taking paracetamol in small doses is safe but prolonged use can severely affect the liver. Care should also be taken with over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Advice should always be saught from your doctor if you are unsure about medication.

 

  • Salt

    Excess salt causes high blood pressure which in turn can cause Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Best practice with salt is to add none at all to your diet as there is a huge amount of naturally occurring salt in the standard western diet, before you pick up the; rock, sea, Himalayan or otherwise!  

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

    This much-maligned addition to the western diet is no friend of those wanting a healthy liver, nor any health at all for that matter. Studies have linked the ingestion of this very common sugary diet additive to Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. This is the name given to the liver condition of people who consume little or no alcohol and but have damaged their liver through bad diet alone.

 

Best Liver cleanse diet: Part 2 – Liver cleansing foods

 

Nobody wants these adverse physical side effects of an overworked liver but modern life is what it is and we don’t always live the clean lifestyle we’re advised. We all see the articles telling us the best way to eat a healthy diet and the number one way to cleanse our system, but it’s hard to avoid toxins all the time and despite the best efforts of the conscientious! Thankfully, keeping the symptoms of a tired liver at bay is as easy making a few changes to your diet. Much has been said of detoxing and cleansing, but in reality, the best way to cleanse your liver is to amend your diet to include certain that contain properties to help it recover and cleanse itself from the inside out as best it can.

Here’s some of the best and most readily available foods that when eaten will cleanse your liver and help return it to its full healthy functionality.

  • Garlic
    The pungent bulb is said to activate enzymes that help the liver flush out toxins. It also contains allicin and selenium which can protect against toxic liver damage as well as assisting in its flushing. A raw garlic bulb can be snuck easily into a smoothie as part of your natural liver cleanse.

  • Grapefruit
    Asides from having a hefty amount of vitamin C and antioxidants to help detoxify the liver, grapefruit also flavonoid compound known as naringenin which encourages the liver to burn fat rather than store it! What a citrus superhero! Add it to your diet before breakfast and lunch for a tangy cleanse!

  • Avocado
    The green buttery flesh of avocados is brimming with oleic acid and they also contain glutathione which is an essential nutrient for liver health. If you’re tired of smashed avocado on toast, a few slices can add a delectable creaminess to your liver cleansing smoothie!
  • Turmeric
    The Great Golden Spice, it’s been found that the polyphenols in turmeric may be helpful for reducing the risk of fatty liver while decreasing stress at the cellular level!

  • Blueberries
    A study was carried out on the effects of blueberries on the scarring of liver tissue which found that they inflammation and prevent liver damage. A few blueberries thrown in to your smoothie is a great antioxidant boost to your diet to get your cleanse on the road.

  • Beetroot
    Beetroot contains a trio of phytonutrients which keep your liver phyting fit (we couldn’t’ resist) betaine, which helps clear out toxins; pectin, a fiber which moves along the toxins that have been removed from the liver so they don’t loiter in the the body and get reabsorbed; and betalains, highly anti-inflammatory pigments that further boost the detoxification process.

  • Broccoli
    The little trees of life have a massive amount of liver defenders to keep your organ happy. Broccoli has been found to contain a compound known as sulforaphane which not only helps prevent cancer but also treats it> However the way in which the broccoli is cooked effects the levels of the compound present. Light steaming is the best way to cook it to maintain its benefits, or even better, put a few raw florets in your morning smoothie to get the maximum benefit from its cancer-fighting compound.

  • Olive oil
    The Mediterranean elixir of olive oil has been long associated with a reduction in heart disease and obesity but it has also been shown in studies to decrease liver damage.  It was tested on a group of rats tat had been exposed to toxic herbicides and the group of rats who received the oil, it was shown to have “significantly increased antioxidant activity and a decrease in the biomarkers of liver damage.”
    However, once again, the way in which it is consumed in the diet is significant to its efficacy; once it is exposed to air, heat and light, it begins to break down. For the best effects, buy small bottles of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, store in a cool dark place and add a tablespoon to a smoothie.

 

  • Coffee
    We were delighted to discover that coffee in moderation (as with everything!) can bolster the health of your liver by preventing liver cancer, slowing down the progression of liver disease.

 

In conclusion, there are many ways to treat your liver to an efficient detox when it’s been through the battles over overconsumption. So long as your intake has been short term and not sustained, you can bring your liver back to optimum health with plenty of water, fruit and veg and smart food choices.  So just to summarise, the best diet for a liver cleanse diet avoids excesses of

  • Large Doses of Iron
  • Alcohol
  • Some herbal remedies
  • Large doses of vitamin A  
  • Paracetamol & other over the counter medications
  • Salt
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup

 

And includes some liver cleansing food as:

  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit
  • Avocado
  • Turmeric
  • Blueberries
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Coffee

 

But always in moderation.

 

Taking a Blendi daily or twice daily is a great and time efficient way of boosting your nutrient intake. Blendi would be an ideal addition to a healthy diet and fit perfectly in to a plan designed to cleanse an overtired liver.

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