Your liver is one of the most important organs within your body without a doubt, it does such a lot of important functions within your body, and I dare say a lot of us don’t really think about how important it is to keep it healthy.
If you look after it then it will serve you well, weight loss essentially is about calories in calories out and having a deficit of so many calories per day, as well as getting regular exercise in order to use those calories. But have you noticed sometimes that no matter what you do, but when you want to do your work out, you may not have the energy to do it.
There could be a number of reasons for this but have you thought about the fact that, it may be that your liver is working a bit sluggish if it can’t provide the proper nutrition to various parts of your body then you are going to lack energy in order to do your exercise regime. We live in a modern society and there are lot’s of food that we come into contact with which contains too much fat or sugar.
The major problem with this is our livers aren’t necessarily geared up to eating these unnatural foods and this is where the problems tend to start, one of the particular functions of your liver is to remove toxins from your bloodstream this is so that, it will prevent the toxins from damaging other parts of your body, even though it likes to be your best friend in doing this function for you.
Sometimes it becomes a victim of its own over helpfulness and this is when problems start to occur, if you smoke or drink alcohol your liver is probably working overtime to try and rid your body of those toxins, it can only do so much if you continue to bombard it with such high doses of toxins then eventually it will break down and had lots of problems will start to occur.
It all starts in your stomach if your digestive health isn’t that good then toxins eventually will start to build up all over the place, what your liver can’t get rid of will end up in your bloodstream eventually have you noticed how some people have like pasty complexions, will very oily and don’t look very well.
This could be a sign that their body isn’t handling all the toxins within their body particularly well, you might notice that people who eat a lot of fast-food may tend to look this way or people who say smoke cigarettes a lot.
Bile helps to break down fat in your stomach when you eat fatty foods, have you noticed when you eat something like a pizza which has lots of cheese on it, after which you might, feel quite tired this is probably due to the fact that your liver is working overtime to try and break the fat down within your stomach.
How do you know if your liver is not working correctly?
You may tend to experience any of the following from having a sluggish liver
- Chronic lack of energy
- Mood swings and depression
- May have bloating
- You may be obese or overweight
- Intolerance to fatty food
- A Coated or puffy tongue which may look like a light limey colour
- Have dark circles under your eyes
- Have problems losing weight
- Have more infections during winter months
- Lower immune system function
If we have a sluggish liver what can we do about it ?
If you do have a sluggish liver then this will affect your overall capability of your body in not only handling fat, but burning it as well. This is why it is of the upmost importance to keep it in tip top condition and if you do it will serve you well.
If you do have a sluggish liver then apart from having a infection that has caused it, it is far more likely that what you have been eating has cloggged it up, and this is the reason that you can tend to feel lethargic and your mind will tend to feel foggy as well.
If it has been happening for quite some time you can tend to get gallstones, if you ever pass these in your stools then you will know how big they can be, they are made up of balls of cholesterol, sometimes surgery is needed to remove them but not always.
One of the first things that we can cut out is, if we are doing it that is, drinking alcohol this can do more damage to your liver overtime than any other one thing. Drinking it on it’s own without food which we do tend to do a lot in the UK, especially at weekends, is quite a bad habit to be doing over a lifetime it will lead to problems over a long period of time.
Cut out the amount fat you eat in your diet especially saturated fat if you eat lots of this over a long period of time what will happen is you will get deposits of fat building up in your liver, and even though you may not notice much at the time it will be sitting there causing problems.
if you have seen the film “Supersize Me” where Morgan Spurlock ate a fast-food diet it wasn’t long before his liver started to show signs of scarring, which is the beginning of cirrhosis which is something normally associated with alcoholics rather than people who eat food.
What foods are liver friendly?
Here is a list which may be non exhaustive of what foods are good for your liver
Concentrate on eating the following
Potatoes, tomatoes, peppers red and green bell peppers, green vegetables such as brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce onions, beetroot, sweet potatoes, carrots,baby carrots, garlic,broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, baked beans for protein and fibre.
Eat plenty of the following
Apples, pears, prunes, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, oranges, pink plums, grapefruit, cantaloupe, raisins, blueberries, here is a site that has various fruit listed as colours in case your stuck for ideas http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/fruits-vegetables.shtml
Poultry and dairy produce
Chicken,eggs turkey or duck go for free range if possible
Drink a reasonable amount of water, ditch highly laden beverages that are loaded with caffeine try either green tea, dandelion coffee, mint tea or dandelion tea. Have a lemon drink in the morning with hot water use a fresh lemon.
Porridge oats, wholemeal bread the higher the fibre content the better, barley and rye, wholemeal pasta,
This is going to be a two part post in the next one, we will look at liver recipes that you can prepare lookout for it.