Today’s post, 10 quick and painless ways to cleanse your liver is a must-read for anyone interested in getting healthy and losing weight.
Just a few years ago, cleansing or detoxification was something that only “alternative health nuts” would try. Most people viewed it as weird, unnecessary, extreme, or at the very least unpleasant.
Despite the fact that comedic sketches about colonics still abound (and let’s be fair, the material is irresistible), cleansing has suddenly become all the rage. Popularized by celebrity testimonials, and books like The Clean Program, The Fat Flush Plan, and The Detox Solution—not to mention our good friend Dr. Oz, cleansing is no longer just for alternative health nuts.
If you’ve never cleansed before (or even you’re a cleansing veteran in need of a quick post-holiday detox) a simple liver cleanse is a great place to start.
Why cleanse your liver? There are probably hundreds of health benefits that come from liver cleansing…but since we can’t be here all day, here are seven REALLY good ones:
1. Your body will eliminate toxins faster—Next to the skin, the liver is the largest organ of detoxification in the body. If your liver is backed up, toxins aren’t being neutralized and the rest of the body suffers.
2. Liver cleansing can help you lose weight—It is the largest fat-burning organ in the body. If you’re having trouble losing weight or are starting a weight-loss program, a liver cleanse can really speed things up.
3. Ladies! Liver cleansing can make that time of the month much easier—Your liver stores blood, and, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), is intimately connected with the health of menstrual cycle.
4. TCM also believes the liver affects the health of the spleen, tendons, eyes, and finger nails—Interestingly enough, many people report improved vision during a cleanse.
5. A healthy liver equals healthy metabolism—Your liver helps control your blood sugar levels and breaks down carbohydrates. ‘Nuff said.
6. You will become more likeable and popular!—Yes, I’m being funny…but it’s true! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a person with stagnant or imbalanced liver energy tends to be a bit angry and grouchy. So you likely will be more popular if your liver is clean and healthy.
7. It can help balance your hormones…again, making you more likeable and popular—Your liver plays a major role in the break down of hormones, particularly estrogen and thyroid hormones.
Enough reasons for ya? Good! Now let’s share some quick and painless ways to cleanse your liver:
1. Add lemon to your water, and drink at least 8 glasses a day. The sourness of the lemon stimulates the flow of bile, and drinking enough water helps keep the liver and all your organs clean.
2. Commit to eating dark, leafy greens every day. If you’re not a fan of the green stuff, try blending them into your morning smoothie…which brings us to our next tip.
3. Have a daily, berry smoothie. Berries are naturally-rich in antioxidants which help nourish and protect liver cells.
4. Take a break from sugar and alcohol. If this sounds impossible to you then start slow. Commit to one sugar-free, alcohol free day a week. You can do anything for one day, right?
5. Try milk thistle. Milk thistle is a popular herb that helps protect the liver from toxins. Due to the toxicity of the world we live in, many natural health practitioners recommend this herb to their patients as a daily or weekly supplement.
6. Swap out your coffee for green tea. Green tea is rich in catechins, an antioxidant that helps promote healthy liver function. If giving up your morning cup of joe sounds sacrileges, try swapping out one cup a week, then increase when you’re ready.
7. Give your liver an oil change. If the liver is our number one fat burning organ, wouldn’t it make sense to give it good fat to burn? Increase healthy fats, like extra virgin olive oil, pasture-based butter, flax oil, coconut oil; decrease unhealthy fats such as shortening, canola oil, and highly processed cooking oils.
8. Cook with turmeric. Turmeric is the bright orange spice found in curries. It has been used as medicine for centuries in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is one of the most studied medicinal spices out there. It is incredibly liver-friendly, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
If you’re not a fan of Indian food, try adding some to a pot of rice, or mix 1 teaspoon turmeric with 1 teaspoon raw honey and take it like medicine. You can also purchase turmeric supplements…however you get it, just get you some!
9. Invest in a bottle of dandelion tincture. While milk thistle is a powerful liver protector, dandelion is a powerful liver cleanser. If you can find the two in one bottle, even better!
10. Eat more onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. These sulfur-rich vegetables help the liver detoxify.
There, that was pretty quick and painless, wasn’t it?
Whether you go all out and try out all ten strategies, or cherry pick one or two, remember even small steps pave the way for big changes. And STICK WITH IT. If you haven’t cleansed you liver in forty years, don’t expect a miracle after a day of drinking lemon water. Be committed, be persistent, be patient…and you will see results.
Love your liver, be happy…
just for the health of it…