When you think about your digestive system- you do not always think about your liver – but you should! Everything you eat or drink, including medicine – passes through your liver. This critical organ is the size of a small football and sits under your lower ribcage on the right-hand side.
Your liver represents the human body’s primary filtration system, converting toxins into waste products, cleansing your blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications to provide the body with some of its most important proteins. Your liver also makes bile, which helps break down fat from food and stores glucose – the fuel that you need for quick energy boosts. Unfortunately – in today’s world where we are bombarded with chemicals – our livers must work harder than ever before.
In addition, a new disease process is on the rise called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. On average – I will see 2-4 new cases of this in my practice per month. In fact, I do not have any clients with alcoholic fatty liver disease. The clients I am seeing have fatty liver issues due to excess fat in the body from a faulty diet (i.e. the standard North American diet). The good news is, by losing weight and improving the quality of our diet – this process can be reversed.
7 SIMPLE STEPS TO LOVING YOUR LIVER
1) Drink water with lemon – Have a glass of lemon water every morning – studies have shown the liver produces more enzymes in the presence of lemon when compared to other food items.
2) Maintain a healthy body weight – Excess weight (i.e. BMI greater than 25) places more strain on the liver function. To lose weight in a bio- individual manner, book in for free health and weight assessment.
3) Eat berries – Berries such as blueberries, raspberries and cranberries contain an antioxidant called polyphenols that may help to protect liver damage.
4) Eat a plant based diet and go organic when you can! – This does not mean you have to be vegetarian, however the more fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens!), the better. For a list of which foods are heavily sprayed and which or not, please visit The Dirty Dozen vs. the Clean 15 put out by the Environmental Working Group.
5) Enjoy nuts! – Walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts are a few of the best options that have been shown to play a role in prevention of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
6) Eliminate processed flours and sugars – These types of foods can cause blood sugar swings, weight gain and intense cravings.
7) Take a break from alcohol – if you have been diagnosed with a fatty liver – I strongly suggest removing alcohol from the diet altogether.
CASTOR OIL PACKS FOR LIVER HEALTH
Another gentle way to support your liver is by using castor oil packs. Castor oil packs are one of the oldest healing modalities in the world. Used by Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and functional/holistic practitioners – castor oil packs can help with hormonal balance, liver detoxification, reducing inflammation and supporting healthy bowel movements.
What type of castor oil should I buy?
· 100% pure
· Cold pressed
· Glass bottle (plastic chemicals may be absorbed by the oil)
1. Pour approximately 1 tablespoon into your hand and rub on the upper right side where your liver sits under your rib cage.
2. Cover the area with a cloth to prevent staining. or bedding.
3. Apply a heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack to provide gentle heat. This step is optional; if you have a sensitive constitution or suspect you have a lot of toxins to eliminate, you may want to skip the heat at first to see how you respond.
4. Relax and allow the castor oil pack to remain in place for at least 15 minutes, or up to an hour. You can start slow with just 15 minutes.
5. Afterward, remove the pack and gently cleanse the skin with warm water and mild soap to remove any residual oil.
I also highly recommend the castor oil packs from Queen of the Thrones. They are heatless, easy, the most effective on the market and less messy. To order and receive 10% off click here.
Note: If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an underlying liver disease – talk to your doctor or naturopath prior to using a castor oil pack.
Do you have a question or a topic you would like covered? Send me a note to let me know more about what is on your mind or to book in for a free health assessment!