With all of the junk that we put into our bodies, whether purposefully or inadvertently, it is no surprise that the liver has a tough time keeping up with the removal of toxins. The liver plays a crucial role in the overall good health of our bodies, as it is responsible for filtering out toxins and waste from the body, and converting these items into a form that can then easily be secreted by the body.
If your liver has too much work to do and not enough time to get it all done, your body is likely sending you some signals that you may be unaware of. For example, when liver function is reduced and toxins build up in the body, they will hang out in any stored fat tissue until your liver can attend to them; this may be why you’ve had such a hard time shedding that unwanted extra weight.
Below you will find out more about some of the most common signs that something is wrong with your liver function, as well as tips and tricks as to what you can do to fix the problem.
Most Common Signs of Toxin Overload
As already mentioned, stubborn extra weight may be a sign that your liver is not able to keep up with all of the toxins in your body. Some other signs include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Negative emotions
- Foggy brain
- Frequent headaches
- Chronic joint and/or muscle pain
- New/additional allergies
- Acne and other skin conditions
- Excessive perspiration
- Digestive discomfort (gas, diarrhea, constipation, etc.)
- Chronic bad breath
- Feelings of depression or increased anxiety, and more.
This is not a complete list of all that can go wrong when your body is overloaded with toxins, but it is some of the most common warning signals that your body will send you.
What You Can Do About It
Fortunately, if you suffer from one, some, or many of these symptoms, all hope is not lost. Although it is very serious if your liver is unable to keep pace with toxin removal in the body, there are some easy remedies to boost the health and functioning of your liver, while also decreasing its workload.
First things first, you need to become more aware of your diet. Avoid as much as possible any and all processed foods, including most fast food, many breads, freezer items, box meals, and more. Also, be wary of any and all “healthy” substitutes that utilize artificial ingredients and sugar substitutes. Really try to cook all of your meals at home, from scratch, with healthy and fresh ingredients. Not only will it improve your health, it will likely save you money as well.
This is not about a liver cleanse “diet” but about being aware of what you eat and making healthier choices. You should also try to buy organic as much as possible, and avoid GMOs at all costs. If anything contains corn, soybeans, or any of their derivatives (corn oil, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup, etc.), it contains GMOs (unless certified organic) and should therefore be avoided. Opt for a well-balanced diet that includes high quality proteins (lean animal proteins and plant proteins), sprouted grains, organic vegetables, and healthy fats.
If it’s in its natural form, comes from nature, and has not been tainted by man, then it is likely a healthy option and is something that our bodies were intended to digest. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water, get your necessary amount of fiber, and avoid inflammatory oils such as cottonseed, sunflower, corn, canola, soybean, and vegetable oils. For cooking, replace your other oils (or margarine) with a high quality olive oil or coconut oil.
For internal health, you should also avoid refined sugars completely. This includes brown, white, and cane sugars, along with cane juice and beet sugar. You should also try to limit your intake of fructose, which is found naturally in sweet fruits. Increasing consumption of food-based sulfur will also support liver function; food-based sulfur is found in eggs, broccoli, brussel sprouts, garlic, onions, asparagus, and kale. Also, try to eliminate completely alcohol consumption, or at least severely restrict consumption if you can’t give it up altogether.
Bonus! The Three Best Food Sources to Support a Healthy Liver
Although you will likely need to re-evaluate your entire diet, there are some food sources out there that are particularly beneficial in protecting and supporting the liver. The first one is the globe artichoke, which helps increase bile production and the “flushing out” of this bile along with toxins. Steam some organic artichokes and sprinkle with coconut oil and raw garlic for some extra liver love.
The next item on the list is turmeric. This herb is great for reducing inflammation and flushing out toxins from the body. Thanks to these properties, turmeric protects the liver against damage and can even promote the regeneration of healthy liver cells. Combine turmeric with a source of healthy fat, such as avocado or fish, for maximum absorption.
Last but not least is milk thistle. This herb is hands down the best supplement for liver health as it protects the liver from damage better than anything else. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can reverse the negative effects of alcohol, acetaminophen, and other drugs or toxins on the liver.
The health of the liver is absolutely crucial to your mental and physical well-being. In addition to being more mindful of what you eat and opting for a healthier diet, you may also want to cut down on alcohol and incorporate a liver cleanse 1-4 times per year. Also, regular exercise will help support your liver in its function of eliminating toxins from the body. Be kind to your liver, and it will be kind to you!