5 Ways to Keep Your Liver Happy and Healthy
Spring is a time to support the liver and detoxify the body. Liver disease is a rising problem with an estimated 20-30% of the general population and 80% of people with diabetes suffering from fatty liver disease. Fatty liver can progress to liver cirrhosis, so it’s important to catch it early and reverse the damage before it becomes irreversible.
- Avoid excess sugar and fat.
Most of us know that sugar in the form of alcohol is directly toxic to the liver cells, but excess sugar in the form of cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, agave syrup as well as excess fat can also wreak havoc on liver cells and lead to high cholesterol, liver dysfunction and fatty liver.
- Don’t overeat.
Overeating causes the liver to overwork as it has to process everything you consume. It’s best to eat only until you’re 80% full because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to communicate with your brain that it is full.
- Avoid grazing.
Eating small amounts of food throughout the day means the liver is processing and making sugar and fat all day without resting. This causes enlargement of liver cells which over time can lead to cell death. One of the best ways to clean the liver is to do an intermittent fast by finishing dinner by 6 pm and fasting until breakfast at 8 am.
- Eat leafy greens.
Leafy greens like kale, arugula, bok choy, collard, turnip, dandelion and watercress have an uplifting energy that relaxes a congested liver. They also are sulfur-rich foods that support glutathione, an antioxidant which supports the liver by detoxifying fats and protecting its cells from oxidative damage and death.
- Eat sour foods.
The sour flavor strengthens the liver. Drinking warm lemon water or squeezing lemon juice over steamed or blanched greens is a great way to detoxify and support your liver.