Winter is a time of year when many of us feel cold, sluggish and a bit weighed down by the pounds we put on over the Christmas holidays. The third week of January is also typically that week when people begin to give up on their New Year’s resolutions because they don’t see a change in numbers on their scale, didn’t make it to the gym every day or simply lost he will to get anything accomplished because the cold weather made them feel blue.
I have seen this mid-January slump in patients who come to my natural health center in Toronto for years and I recommend that they get “back on the weight-loss wagon” by eating foods that help clean their liver.
Why is Detoxifying the Liver So Important?
The liver is the second largest organ in your body and it is responsible for filtering out everything that is bad for you in your body including toxins. It has a huge job to do every day and if it is not kept in tip-top shape you will not be in tip-top shape either.
If you are feeling a bit toxic, irritable and bloated it can be the result of having an overloaded liver. Other symptoms of liver toxicity are itchy skin, acne breakouts, sweating heavily, body odor and trouble losing weight.
Even if you feel terrible and have no energy at this time of year, you can improve your energy levels and even experience some weight loss by eating foods that are healthy for the liver. These foods are rich in zinc, sulfur, indoless and antioxidant vitamins that help regrow damaged liver tissue that has degenerated into fatty tissue and help scour the liver free of free radicals, pollutants and other toxins.
Foods That Are Healthy For The Liver
Here are the top that are healthy for the liver and that should be on your shopping list for the next few months or at least until you start feeling better and losing some weight.
Cruciferous Vegetables Such As Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli and Cabbage
Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage are part of the cruciferous vegetable family. Other members of this vegetable group, that are also very healthy for the liver include broccoli, watercress, bok choy, watercress, mustard greens and turnips.
These foods are high in vitamin C and dietary fiber which helps detox the intestines and prevent toxins from reaching the liver. They also contain glucosinolates, the sulfur-containing compounds that prevent cancer and actively detoxify the liver.
Dandelion Roots and Leaves
Both the leaves and roots of dandelions have compounds in them that stimulate digestive enzymes in the liver and help it cleanse and regenerate itself. Dandelion is known for encouraging the growth of new liver tissue, repairing fatty liver and healing jaundice.
Jerusalem artichokes possess a group of unique carbohydrates called fructo-oligossachrides that are made up of natural sugars. This compound is called inulin. Beneficial bacteria in your gut love to consume the sugar produced by this complex starch to produce healthy gut flora such as faecium, bifidus and acidophilus. The reason this is important is because if foods are being processed properly through the intestines then the load on the liver to detoxify is substantially lessened. The less taxed your liver, the less overloaded it will be.
Jerusalem artichokes also contain high levels of silymarin and cynarin, which are the same compounds found in milk thistle, a herb also use for liver cleansing. These nutrients work with the high levels of Vitamin B and C in this vegetable to help support liver function. They clear gall bladder stones and help digest fats so they do not end up in the liver and cause fatty liver syndrome, which can lead to diabetes and obesity.
Jerusalem artichokes are fantastic for diabetics to eat to cleanse their livers because inulin, although a starch, does not impact blood sugar levels.
Pears and Apples
Pears are very rich in fiber, vitamin C and K, copper, pectin, anthocyanins and flavonoids that help keep intestinal flora in balance and aid the liver in detoxification. The high level of pectin in pears absorbs toxins in the intestines and move them out of your body before they can reach toxic levels in your bloodstream
Like pears, apples are also very rich in fiber, vitamin C and K and pectin. Eating a couple of apples a day along with a high protein food can assist with weight management as well as help kick-start the liver into working again.
Eating as raw and organic as possible is also beneficial for the liver. Be sure to also include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and berries of all kinds to further support your liver health and weight loss efforts.
You might also want to use the Pinewood Natural Health Centre Liver Detox tea, which contains milk thistle and other herbs to help detoxify your liver and regulate your metabolism.
For more information about natural liver detoxification or weight loss care inn Toronto or to book a consultation about anti-aging, naturopathic testing, weight loss programs or any health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products at www.pinewoodhealth.ca or call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.