A whole pile of files is placed on your work desk to be sorted into ‘useful’ and ‘waste.’ You reluctantly get to work (simultaneously framing your resignation letter in your head), skipping your lunch break so that you finish before 6, your time to go home. When you’re almost done and drained of all your energy, at 5.45 p.m. a new towering pile is placed on your desk.
That’s how our liver feels on most days.
Why all the fuss?
Let’s focus on the word ‘detox.’
The toxins you expose yourself to through food (think processed or fried foods) or the environment (perfumes, hormones and antibiotics injected into animals, pesticides sprayed on plants, etc.) need to be wiped clean from your system.
The liver does this in 2 steps:
1. It breaks down toxins into partially processed, easier-to-flush water-soluble forms.
2. It combines the partially processed toxins with sulfur or amino acids for removal as bile or urine.
So, imagine what your bamboozled liver goes through each time you carelessly decide to swamp it with a truckload of toxins unawares.
Step 2 gets delayed, causing a buildup of partially processed toxins in your body that can prove to have serious consequences.
This goes without saying. Drink plenty of water. It helps in the mobilization of toxins and production of urine. (Read: Less toxins in the body)
Add some tang…
Lemon water elicits bile production in your liver. More bile means more toxins removed.
If you feel like shaking things up a bit, you may also try this turmeric liver flushing drink…
…and this delicious raisin water remedy…
Take charge of what you eat so that you give your liver all the support it needs to detox and more.
For the love of food and your liver, eat more of the liver-friendly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Wear your MasterChef hat and experiment with different wacky and not-so-wacky recipes.
Foods rich in sulfur like onions, garlic, and eggs help the liver in the detox process (Remember the toxins + sulfur part?). Try eating them every day.
What should you steer clear of?
If your liver were a person it would flinch at the very mention of ‘fructose’ and ‘trans fats.’
Keep off French fries, donuts, baked goods, biscuits, breads, and anything that has ‘hydrogenated oil’ or ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ in the ingredients list. Fructose is found in packaged foods and fruit juice, so avoid those, too.
Also, it is a good idea to refrain from hitting the bottle.
Drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver and by now you have a fair idea of the consequences of that.
Is there a psychological aspect?
According to Chinese medicine, the feelings of anger, resentment, and frustration are related with the liver.
Being surrounded by objects you don’t really like can seem harmless at first, but it may irritate you without you even realizing it.
Get rid of these negative emotions and, hence, cleanse your liver by indulging in some spring cleaning and hurling things you do not love out the door.
Be proactive when it comes to your liver. Your future self will thank you for it.