Without doubt, your diet goes a long way to dictating the health of your liver. If you eat a lot of high fat, high sugar, processed foods, drink alcohol regularly, or consume caffeine daily – over time your liver can become stressed, fatigued and over-burdened.
The most common signs of an overworked liver include:
- Indigestion following a meal (especially if the meal is high in fat)
- Poor skin (due to toxic overload)
- Digestive discomfort (including nausea, flatulence and foul odours from poorly digested food matter fermenting in your digestive tract)
- Bad breath (which is also a sign you are not digesting your food properly
- long lasting hangovers, experienced from over-indulging (be it in alcohol, sugar laden foods or fatty foods)
Interestingly, the liver is the only organ in the body that regenerates itself, meaning if you have a portion of your liver that has been damaged by an unhealthy lifestyle your body can heal and regrow healthy tissue to replace the damaged portions. By giving your liver a break (especially following particularly indulgent times like Christmas and New Year’s), and excluding toxic nutrients (such as sugar and alcohol), you re-charge the organ, allowing it to restore itself to good health.
Supporting natural processes of detoxification
In order to encourage the movement of stagnant toxins from your system during detoxification, a number of dietary changes, along with the consumption of liver and digestive support herbs and nutrients are recommended. Not only will these changes help to rid your body of toxins currently residing in its tissues, they will also help to limit side effects experienced as toxins leave your body.
The following herbs and nutrients are recommended to support the liver in its removal of toxins
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)
Works to help the liver detoxify and assists in the regeneration of new, healthy liver cells.
Burdock (Arcticum lappa)
This ancient herb helps to encourage healthy detoxification by supporting the production of key enzymes necessary to kickstart your digestion. It also helps to heal damaged digestive tissues.
Marshmallow root (Althea officinalis)
Unlike its sweet namesake, Marshmallow root is actually a healing, protective herb used to reduce the damage caused to tissues by overuse and inflammation. Helpful to the digestive tract due to its ability to support damaged gastrointestinal tissues in their healing process, this herb is of great benefit for those wishing to undergo a detoxification programme.
Provide support for converting carbohydrates (like breads and pasta) into energy. B vitamins are often deficient in people with high sugar diets, as the more sugar you eat, the more B vitamins you need to convert this sugar into energy. Vitamins B1, B2 and B3 are also involved in various detoxification pathways in the liver.
Is beneficial for blood sugar balance as well as being necessary (alongside key B vitamins) for the production of the potent detoxifying enzyme glutathione, a key participant in detoxifying your body from toxins including heavy metals.