What Your Skin May Be Telling You About the Health Of Your Liver:

Foods for skin

Sluggish Liver and Skin Related Allergies:

The liver plays an important role in eliminating toxins from the body and maintaining the efficiency of the body’s immune system. If the process of eliminating toxins is hampered, as is in the case of a sluggish liver, skin irritation or skin allergies occur, which are considered the first sign of liver damage. A person in such a case would develop:
Rashes
Psoriasis
Eczema
Boils, acne, or moles
Itchy Skin

Foods To Support Liver Function:

Eat High-Antioxidant Fruits + Apples

Antioxidants help to protect the liver from the high levels of free radicals that are naturally produced during the process of detoxification. All the berries are extremely high in anti-oxidants, so are oranges, prunes, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and pears. Apples are also high in anti-oxidants and also contain pectin, known to bind with heavy metals and help their excretion reducing the load on the liver.

Leafy Greens – Especially Bitter Greens

Greens are super cleansing foods that offer a powerful support to the liver. All greens are extremely high in plant chlorophylls and help cleanse environmental toxins in the blood stream. Greens have an ability to neutralize heavy metals.

In this category of leafy greens, it’s especially important to focus on bitter leafy greens, including dandelion, chicory, endive, and rocket.

The bitterness of these foods helps to stimulate bile flow within the liver, (bile helps remove waste from the organs and blood.) Dandelion greens are abundant everywhere. You can grow them quite easily in a garden, but make sure if your wild foraging for dandelion greens that you’re not picking off of someone’s chemically sprayed lawn.

Artichoke

Similarly to dandelion, artichoke had the ability to help the liver regenerate. It stimulates and increases bile production, helping remove toxins and unfriendly bacteria through the bowels. Some research suggests that 30 minutes after eating globe artichoke, bile flow is increased by over 100%[i]

Sulfur Containing Foods

The liver uses sulfur containing compounds to help in detoxification from environmental toxins, prescription medications, poor dietary choices, and alcohol. Sulfur containing foods include two main categories: garlic and onions, and the cruciferous vegetables.

Garlic and Onions

Garlic is a very strong herb and should not be over-used. It is highly medicinal and should be used in moderation for specific purposes. Garlic helps the liver with detoxification because of a sulfur-based compound called allicin. It is also thought that garlic can help the liver detoxify mercury from the body, as well as excess estrogen.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts and kale are also good sources of sulfur and help the liver detoxify. They can help neutralize nitrosamines and aflotoxin, the primary toxin found in peanuts (which I highly avoid consuming). Cruciferous vegetables help the liver to produce enzymes it needs for its detoxification processes.

Beets

Beets are rich in a particular phytonutrient called betaine, that supports the liver in is function to convert fat to energy. Beets also help purify the blood and are capable of absorbing heavy metals, reducing the toxic load on the liver.

Herbs & Spices to Support Liver Function

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is a very common ingredient in most herbal liver support blends and is widely recommended for anyone dealing with liver problems and useful in restoring liver function. Most studies show milk thistle improves liver function because of a flavanoid called silymarin – the active ingredient that helps to protect the liver. Silymarin, a strong anti-oxidant, providing protection from the damaging effects of free radicals, is extracted from the seeds of the milk thistle plant. Silymarin helps repair damaged liver cells, keeps new cells from being destroyed, and helps reduce inflammation of the liver. You can find milk thistle at your local health food store and talk with the in-house herbalist for specifics about dosage.

(Note that pregnant or breastfeeding women should not consume milk thistle.)

Turmeric

Not only is turmeric an amazing spice that adds wonderful flavors to any traditional Middle-Eastern meal, it’s and also highly regarded for it’s medicinal properties. This spice has a huge range of health benefits, including its ability to help detoxify the liver. Turmeric contains a high concentration of curcumin, a potent anti-oxidant that protects the liver from damage. Turmeric stimulates bile production in the liver and encourages excretion of bile via the gallbladder. This improves the body’s ability to digest fats. Turmeric is also a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as contributes enzymes that help flush out dietary and environmental carcinogens.

Astragalus

Astragalus has immune strengthening properties and has been shown to protect against chemical related liver damage, due to one of its key active ingredients called saponin.

Other herbs to incorporate into your diet to help support the healthy functioning of the liver include parsley, cinnamon and licorice.

Fluids to Support Liver Function

Lemon Water

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to help support your liver immediately is to start your day with a tall glass of lemon water at room temperature. This will help stimulate your liver first thing in the morning, helping to cleanse it and promote detoxification. It also stimulates bowel movement, which is essential for the body’s aid in detoxification. It also helps stimulate bile production and the vitamin C content helps the liver synthesize toxins into a water-soluble substance for easy removal by the body.

It’s also important to drink lots of water throughout the day as well to keep hydrated and to help flush the liver of toxins.

Juicing

Incorporating juicing into your life has many benefits, and I highly recommend it for those seeking to live a more vibrant lifestyle. Juicing helps your body detoxify and will help improve the functioning of the liver.

Juice any combination of these fruits and vegetable, sticking to the 80/20 rule – 80% low glycemic vegetables and greens and 20% higher glycemic root vegetables and fruits: carrots, beet, cucumber, spinach, parsley, celery, dandelion, turmeric, ginger, dark leafy greens, cabbage, apple, citrus.

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