By Ashley and Ellie (AKA intern)
The liver deserves credit for most of the things your body does every day – every second even! It’s the largest internal organ, and arguably one of the hardest-working one too. It performs hundreds of functions to keep us thriving. If you’re a healthy person you might not think too much about it, but keeping your liver running smoothly is essential for your better health. With liver-related disorders being in the top ten causes of death and #4 for adults aged 45-64, good liver health is more important than ever.
In a nutshell, your liver processes what you eat or drink and repackages it to be used by other organs or eliminated outside of the body. This means the liver plays major role in the following efforts – digestion, metabolism, detoxification, immunity and more. So let’s learn to love your liver with better liver nutrition (and what to avoid more often).
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Better nutrition means taking better care of our bodies, and there’s no better place to start than with better liver care. These are simple everyday tasks you can try to keep this organ in tip-top shape. Tired of reading already? You can watch this video for my liver loving nutrition tips shared on ABC7 DC.
- Support your own detoxification system better: consume glucoraphanin from broccoli, the curly heads called florets. You can also find glucoraphanin in Brassica tea (use code AKA20 for 20% off) and supplements with Truebroc like sulforaclear & crucera. Burdock & dandelion are also great for this, and you can find both in MegaFood Daily Purify.
- Ensure better elimination: detox is the first step, but getting the used toxins out of you is how we stay healthier. One key nutrient for this is magnesium – found in foods like cacao (yup chocolate!), greens, cashews, pumpkin and sesame seeds. You can also add extra magnesium with a better supplement like Natural Vitality’s CALM and Smarty Pants minerals. If you’re looking to get in more magnesium, join the Better Nutrition Membership to get the Better Magnesium menu for a full week of mineral-rich meals.
- Get in sulfur-rich foods to boost your glutathione: collards, cabbage, kale, broccoli and garlic to get in this important antioxidant that helps support better detoxification efforts.
- Reishi mushrooms: another powerful antioxidant, this adaptogen herb help to support liver health by counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. You can find reishi mushrooms in REBBL beverages, OM Mushroom products and MegaFood supplements.
- Silymarin from spices: turmeric, coriander, cilantro or supplements with milk thistle all contain silymarin, a unique complex that can help to regenerate liver cells.
- Get in your Bs better: eat your greens to get in folate but also look for supplements that contain methylated versions of Bs like Smarty Pants gummy vitamins support your liver in the hundreds of functions it performs.
- Omegas / healthy fats: avocado, walnuts and hemp are great sources that can decrease inflammation and oxidative stress, which can cause excess fat storage in the liver.
What can you avoid for better liver health?
- Reduce exposure to avoidable toxins, more often: practice better beauty by using products that contain herbs and essential oils vs fragrances, and avoid plastics with BPA. Choose glass containers or steel straw or bamboo utensils more often. Some of my #betterbeauty favorites include Beauty Counter and Young Living essential oils.
- Reduce added sugar & artificial sweeteners: steer clear of things sweetened with artificial chemicals such aspartame or sucralose. These give your liver extra work and can be seriously damaging if consumed in excess. For easy and delicious ways to cut down on sugar, try the Better No Added Sugar Menu for a week’s worth of recipes!
- Alcohol can be a delicious treat but it can also overwork the liver. For most adults, the maximum intake should be one to two servings in a day (that’s 24 hours) and not daily. Counterbalance your alcohol intake with plenty of water and the nutrient choices listed above. When you or your liver are not running better, it is better to avoid alcohol.
- Swop Tylenol for other pain relievers: homeopathics, CALM cream (use code AKA for 30% off), and turmeric blends can be just as effective as OTC pain meds, and cause less stress to your liver.
For more ways to treat your body better, browse through the better nutrition tools on the website to see how else you can support your hardworking organs. Start off by assessing your body’s current needs with the Better Evaluations, and then use the Better Menus to get the nutrients you need, deliciously!