Juicing, 7-day liver cleanses, and the Master Cleanse are popular short-term detox programs. Can a mere one week per year of enhanced nutrition, liver cleansing herbs, and improved bowel movements be enough for long-term liver health?
The answer is no.
The concept of liver detoxification has been practiced for thousands of years. Giving the body a break from everyday toxins, chemicals, and stress is important. However, a week long liver detox once per year is not enough to reverse damage from living a poor lifestyle year round.
A better approach is supporting the liver everyday, following the principles of a healthy lifestyle at least 80% of the time.
Since the liver is the major detoxification organ in the body, it’s working 24 hours a day. This vital organ processes virtually everything a person is exposed to. Its main function is to detoxify the body and filter everything that enters the bloodstream.
In today’s toxic world, the liver is overburdened and is forced to work harder than ever.
Excessive alcohol consumption, high levels of stress, environmental pollution, and processed foods are making it difficult for people to maintain good liver health. It’s no surprise that we’ve seen a rise in conditions such as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).
10 Tips To Support The Liver 365 Days Per Year
1. Eat real food from the earth as much as possible.
A daily diet that is rich in liver cleansing foods – cruciferous vegetables, dark leafy greens, garlic, goji berries, beets, ginger, artichokes and avocado – is the first step in supporting better liver health year round.
2. Avoid processed foods that contain artificial chemicals.
Steer clear of man-made additives. MSG, BHT, EDTA, FD & C colors are just a few ingredients to look out for. These chemical ingredients make the liver work harder than it wants to.
3. Upon rising, have a glass of warm water with ¼ sliced lemon, mint leaves, and a dash of turmeric.
This alkalinizing drink is like a ‘shot of energy’ to the liver. I suggest my patients consume this on an empty stomach for best results.
4. Drink a daily liver detox tea and consider a daily liver supplement.
Look for teas that contain some of the following certified organic ingredients: dandelion root, milk thistle, nettle leaf, and cilantro leaf. As for a daily supplement, here’s the list of ingredients for the liver support supplement that I recommend to my patients:
- Milk Thistle Seed (Silybum marianum) 50% Silymarin
- DL-Alpha-Lipoic Acid
- Garlic Bulb (Allium sativum) 4:1 extract
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
- Artichoke Leaf (Cynara scolymus) 4:1 Extract
- Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale) 4:1 Extract
- Turmeric Root, Rhizome (Curcuma longa) 4:1 Extract
- Selenium (selenomethionine)
5. Ensure proper elimination daily by consuming adequate fibre along with 35 ml of water per kilogram of body weight.
Try to increase fiber intake to 30-40 grams per day. Excellent sources of fiber are chia seeds, flax seeds, and psyllium husk. If you don’t consume enough water with fibre, you may experience bloating, constipation, and gas. So drink up!
6. Drink one freshly made green juice or smoothie daily.
Here are tasty and nutritious ingredients to try: spinach, kale, chlorella, parsley or spirulina. If you don’t own a juicer, there are great Juice Shops around the city. Be prepared to pay between $6-$12 / juice – but know that it’s well worth it.
7. Adequate protein will provide your body with the energy that it needs to cleanse.
My favorites include: hemp protein, quinoa, legumes, wild caught fish, or organic turkey/chicken.
8. Try dry skin brushing.
This ancient detoxification practice takes only 10 minutes per day and can be done before showering. With regular dry skin brushing, you may notice reduced cellulite, more energy, and healthier skin.
9. Consider a high quality probiotic daily.
A probiotic supplement supports healthy digestion and a stronger immune system. Healthy gut flora plays an important role in overall health and well-being. It also reduces inflammation, which is the leading cause of many conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
10. Regular exercise boosts circulation, promotes lymphatic elimination, and enhances sweating.
If possible, end workouts in the dry sauna, which will stimulate further sweating and toxin release. Always check with your doctor before implementing anything new or adding any supplements to your daily routine.
Year round action is required for better health and liver function. The quick-fix mentality doesn’t work, especially in this day and age where the liver is bombarded with chemicals constantly.
Since the world is more toxic than ever, the liver needs daily support.
Getting proper rest, eating antioxidant-rich nutrient-dense foods, exercising regularly, and managing stress all contribute to better liver health.
A measly one week of liver cleansing isn’t enough if you’re abusing your body the other days of the year.
“Take care of your liver. You’ve only got one!”
Happy Liver Cleansing!