Naturopathic Nutrition – Love your liver

Naturopathic Nutrition Love your Liver

Your liver is your body’s primary organ of detoxification – when it’s not well, neither are you! The largest organ in the body, it works pretty hard all day processing and filtering nutrients and toxins from the blood. It produces bile for proper fat absorption and digestion, regulates cholesterol and is involved in healthy hormone metabolism.

As it is one of the major organs of detoxification, our liver is in charge of processing any toxins that enter our bodies via the digestive tract, skin and respiratory system. This includes toxic substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, medication, cosmetic chemicals and food preservatives and additives.

Signs of an unhappy liver include fatigue, foggy brain, poor quality sleep (more specifically, waking between 1am and 3am), abdominal bloating, skin problems like acne or dermatitis and hormonal problems like PMS.

In traditional Chinese medicine, organ function and emotional health are interconnected, e.g. the lungs are associated with grief, the kidneys with fear and the spleen is connected with worry. The liver’s function (or dysfunction) plays a significant role in anger, rage, depression and irritation.

Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult to lead a non-toxic lifestyle so eating some “liver loving” foods on a regular basis is important to keep your liver functioning optimally. Think cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, beetroot (all raw or lightly steamed), garlic, citrus fruit, green tea and turmeric. All of these foods have compounds that help to activate liver enzymes to stimulate detoxification and are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and very cleansing.

Exercise, food, water and alternative treatments can help keep your liver happy and as a result, your body healthy.

We’ve heard it all before when it comes to water, but the rumours are true! Water is essential for optimal health and detoxification, especially for the elimination of toxins once they are converted to water-soluble substances enabling them to be easily flushed through the bowels and kidneys. Make sure you drink approximately two litres of fresh filtered water a day to keep your system buzzing.

Nicky is a Naturopathic Nutritionist practising in Dublin. She writes, speaks and advises nationwide on all aspects of health, nutrition and wellbeing. Check for further info, upcoming courses and workshops.

By Nicky Flood