I am diving into a new series on nourishing those detox pathways and reducing our exposure to toxins. Today I’m starting off strong by getting right into it and talking about the liver because it is the powerhouse of our detox pathways. Our liver daily deals with all those toxins we put into our body like sugar, pesticides, and alcohol and those toxins our bodies create, such as ammonia and estrogen.
This powerhouse takes care of this onslaught of toxins through this really cool two-step process. First, it takes the toxins and makes them water soluble. At this point, when the toxins are water soluble, they are actually free radical which makes them really dangerous and why step 2 is so important.
The critical second step is when the liver takes all those new free radicals binds them up and sends them out via our kidneys or our gallbladder. Toxins leave the body!
Maybe I’m the only one that geeks out about this stuff but isn’t that so cool!
To do the awesome 2-step process, our liver relies on the vitamins and nutrients we take in through food or vitamins. This means out liver needs B vitamins which come primarily from animal products, i.e. eggs or salmon. Next, it needs FOLATE from leafy greens. (note: folic acid is a man-made form of folate and doesn’t work for all of us). The liver also needs glutathione and flavonoids found in a diverse range of plant food.
When our liver isn’t supported it can’t do that two-step process which puts us at risk for health problems like skin issues, fatigue, brain fog and other problems. More seriously, when our estrogen isn’t dealt with properly we are at risk of cancer.
Our liver health is so important which means we need to show it some massive daily love so it can do its massive daily job of keeping us toxin free. Here is how you do that.
- Eat a diet full of all sorts of vegetables, especially those of the leafy green variety. Aim to have vegetables at each meal. Spinach and eggs make a perfect combo!
- Eat good quality protein from happy animals that weren’t shot up with loads of antibiotics. The extra cost is worth it!
- Reduce those things that gunk up your liver. Reduce sugar (it turns to fat in your liver).
- Reduce pesticide exposure by making the right choice at the grocery store. Check out the clean and dirty lists from the Environmental Working Group to find out which vegetables and fruits have the most and least amount of pesticides.
- Cut back on alcohol (no more than 7 drinks a week and no more than 3 at a time). Too much alcohol depletes us of B vitamins.
- Stop smoking and don’t be around those that smoke. Do I even need to say this? Smoking is the worst, says this ex-smoker! 🙂
So let’s get going and start loving up our livers!