Your liver is a very important organ, one of the largest, in fact. It has a huge responsibility especially in promoting your good health and even sustaining your life. But at the same time, it can help you lose or manage weight. This organ supports your digestion, controls blood sugar and storage of fat.
Moreover, it is vital in the mobilisation of energy, production of proteins, regulation of blood flow and for women, keeping your menstrual cycle normal. Anything you eat gets filtered by your liver, choosing which nutrients are to be absorbed and which are to be taken out of your bloodstream. However, when the liver is clogged with toxins, it is unable to do this job effectively. This why liver detox has become trendy. The idea is to support this organ by getting rid of these toxins that might keep it from working properly. But it was always designed to handle a lot, so the question is whether a detox is really necessary or not?
Could your liver really handle all of the toxic substances that are in our environment now?
New chemicals are coming out and are being absorbed by our bodies. The problem is, they can be passed on to babies, leading to issues with toxicity and chronic disease. These toxins, depending on our genetics, lifestyle, and diet, can affect various bodily systems. Beyond toxic substances, other factors can affect liver function, including too much protein or simple carbohydrates in the diet. Overeating and lack of exercise are also dangerous, as is taking medication and alcohol.
To restore normal liver function, most people try to do a liver detox diet. By taking care of what you eat and avoiding specific items, you are able to cleanse it of toxins. In this diet, the important thing is to always eat fruits and vegetables, preferably organic and juiced. This should comprise of 40% of your diet. Grains made of whole wheat, unsweetened cereals, and whole grains can also be included in your plan. Moreover, proteins from legumes, seeds, nuts, and seafood are allowed. Lastly, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids complete your diet for the 8-week program.
On the other hand, processed and refined foods, especially those that are deep-fried, full of sugar and preserved meats are to be avoided. Smoked foods, as well as fatty red meats, are not allowed. Although coffee, alcohol, and tea are allowed, they are restricted during this time. Another rule of thumb is to eat only when you are hungry and never when you are anxious or stressed.
The question then remains, is following this diet enough to detoxify the liver? The toxins end up being released from the fat cells but in order to process them, your liver needs certain nutrients. Otherwise, they will just end up in another organ. It is very important that you not just focus on what you should avoid or cut out of your diet, but what you should eat to be sure that you have the right antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that the liver requires.
Should you follow a detox program that requires some form of fasting, then your body will be in dire need or proteins to keep its normal functioning. Therefore, a great step is to work with a nutritionist or someone who is an expert in a balanced detoxification program to prepare a sufficient diet plan that will not starve your body of important nutrients. Beyond a list of what to eat and what not to eat, a sufficient diet is necessary. A professional can make it easier for you by preparing a nutrition plan as well.
Before you do so, though, it is also important to visit your doctor for a check-up to know if a liver detox program is recommended for you. This is because some health conditions might hinder its success or worse, might make it dangerous for you. This includes anaemia, which means you do not have enough liver enzymes, which elevates toxin levels in your body. To be sure, coordinate with your doctor to be safe.
There are also other ways to support your program, including reducing exposure to toxic elements and trying out exercise, massage therapy or going to the sauna which might enhance the success.
By preparing well, you can ensure the success of your liver detox. Take advantage of professionals who are able to advise and guide you. At the same time, be smart and do not go for fad diets or claims that by starving yourself for a few days is more effective than a longer, but more balanced detox diet. At the end of the day, you want to support your body especially your liver, not bring it more damage.