Lifestyle Solutions for a Happy Healthy You!

5 Ways to Strengthen Your Liver

We devote plenty of time and energy into spring  cleaning our homes, but what about our bodies? As you rid your home of  clutter and dust this year, consider cleansing your body of toxins, too.  Everyday we encounter high levels of chemicals—from the food we eat to the  personal care products we use each morning. Our bodies remove these chemicals  through its natural waste system, but because we live in such a chemical-laden  world, this system can get bogged down.

Your liver is arguably one of the most important organs in your body’s  natural detoxification system. To prevent our fat tissues and cells from  absorbing them, the liver turns fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble toxins,  from which point our bodies can easily flush them. This is just one small role  that liver plays in our body, however; the liver has more than 500 functions,  from metabolizing fat to regulating hormones, and if it spends too much time  working to remove toxins, your health can falter.

To support your liver and aid your body’s natural detoxification process,  follow these tips:

Don’t overburden your liver. Your liver works hard enough  without having to process things like alcohol and over-the-counter painkillers,  which are unnecessarily hard on this vital organ. In fact, taking regular, small  doses of painkillers is the leading cause of drug-induced liver disease and  failure. (Learn  more about how over-the-counter painkillers are wreaking havoc on your  body.)

Drink plenty of lemon water. Water is important to the  natural detox system; it’s one of the method by which our bodies remove toxins.  The citric acid in lemon juice encourages the liver to produce bile, which is  another vehicle that our bodies use to excrete toxins.

Take liver-support supplements. Turmeric, milk thistle and  dandelion are all known to be helpful at cleansing and protecting the liver. Try  50 milligrams of turmeric, 500 milligrams of dandelion extract, or 500  milligrams of milk thistle daily. You can also steep fresh dandelion roots into  a boiling water to make a tea. (Note: If foraging for wild dandelions, only pick  them from areas that you know are free from chemical pesticides.)

Eat cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cabbage, kale,  arugula, collard greens and other cruciferous vegetables are recommended foods  when doing a liver detox. Be sure to eat at least one serving a day.

Get enough minerals. Minerals are essential to the liver  detoxification process, so make sure you’re eating plenty of mineral-rich foods  or taking a good mineral supplement (look for a liquid-based supplement with  both macro and trace minerals). Important minerals for liver detoxification  include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, copper, iron, selenium, zinc,  manganese and others.

Keeping your liver in top shape is essential to good health.

By Susan Melgren,  web editor of Natural  Home & Garden magazine. She enjoys writing about natural health,  nontoxic homes and tips for green living.

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