Springtime Liver Lovin’
It’s out with the old and in with the new for springtime, and the same should go for built up toxins in your body. I’m a fan of giving your body a reboot as the seasons change, or at the very least, once a year. A period of focused, clean eating can better prepare us for the changes of the seasons. Just like the temperature, the foods we eat during each season changes. While winter is a time for conserving energy and turning inward, spring brings with it a feeling of renewal, new life, and expansive energy. Going from spring to summer, the body is working hard to prepare for some of the busiest months of the year. Traditionally, cultures all around the world have practiced seasonal cleansing in a variety of different ways.
In Chinese medicine, each organ is associated with a season, so I like to focus each seasonal reboot I do on selected foods that best support those organs. Further, Chinese medicine also holds that each organ is associated with an emotion. By cleansing seasonally, we not only rid our bodies of toxins and feel cleaner and lighter, but we are more focused, and find our moods more balanced as well.
In the Spring, we focus on the liver and the gallbladder. Today I want to talk a bit about the liver, which in my opinion, is of the utmost need for some serious lovin’. The liver is one of the hardest working organs in our bodies, because it’s responsible for filtering and neutralizing harmful substances in your body. It has over 500 metabolic jobs, which it cannot perform optimally when overburdened with toxins. Chinese medicine also believes the liver to be responsible for the smooth flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body. The liver works with many other organs in our body to detox blood, produce bile, break down hormones, and acts as a storage facility for our vitamins and minerals.
Liver health defines the health of your body. When the liver is unhealthy, digestion is impaired. Liver congestion will interfere with all of your body’s vital organs.
Some other important functions of the liver include removing old blood cells, helping the intestines process nutrients, chemical production for blood clotting, the breakdown and metabolizing of alcohol and consumed medications, and the production of necessary proteins and cholesterol. When people hear ‘liver disease’ they typically think of alcoholism, but that is not the only cause of liver disease or liver failure. Some other risk factors associated with liver disease include low potassium levels, drug use, exposure to certain chemicals, obesity, processed foods, viral infections and autoimmune diseases.
Some things you may notice if your liver is not performing at its best include:
- gas or bloating
- acid reflux
- yellowish tint to skin and eyes
- high blood pressure
- difficulty losing weight
- cognitive difficulties
- dark urine
- poor appetite
- chronic fatigue
If you want to support your liver, there are certain foods you should focus on. These foods include beets, carrots, tomatoes, grapefruit, spinach, citrus fruits, cabbage, turmeric, walnuts, avocados, apples, brussels sprouts, garlic, dandelion root, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green tea, artichoke, olive oil, and alternative grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat, if tolerated.
There are many programs available to cleanse your liver; you need to find the one that is best for you. Always consult your doctor if you have concerns or questions.
Here are some general tips that have worked for me to support optimal liver health:
- Eat clean and organic.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a low-fat diet that is high in fiber.
- Take a quality probiotic.
- Eat light meals more frequently.
- Get the proper amount of sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco products.
- Avoid processed foods and whole grains.
And be sure to try this Liver Cleansing Smoothie and you’ll be off to a great start!
You will find that when you give your liver a break, that you have much more energy, your digestion will improve, and your skin will look younger and brighter. You will also have better mental clarity and cognitive functioning, along with a boost to your immune system and more balanced blood sugar levels.
Interesting in giving your liver some lovin’ and removing toxins naturally? My Spring Reboot is just around the corner!
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