Spring is Here! Liver Detox Naturally
This year has been a chance to check in about any worries we have about our health and whether we are at higher risk for certain conditions. Am I immune compromised? Is my blood pressure high? Do I have metabolic concerns? How do I deal with extraordinary stressors like a global pandemic? Given that spring is a time of renewal and regeneration I want to share a little about how detoxification happens naturally and how to support it.
If you are like me you’ve had to pivot around childcare, changes to your work environment and support network. While slowing down has been one outcome for many so has increased alcohol and processed food consumption. Mental health is now a topic many are talking about more openly. People are also thinking about the vaccines. Resiliency in our bodies and communities is on everyone’s mind. So here’s what you can do:
Cellular energy production happens in the mitochondria. We can support regeneration with foods high in ‘anti-oxidants’ or ‘pro-oxidants’ as we like to say because it is actually more accurate. At this time of year there is more of this type of food available. Spring greens are coming up and our bodies are craving them. It can be as simple as munching on a stick of celery. Eat intuitively and time your food so that you are fueling for your activity levels. A wide range of colourful vegetables is a great way to detoxify naturally. Sweating with a hot bath or sauna and exercise speeds along detoxification.
Be wary of fortified foods or poor quality b-vitamins as they can actually get in the way of our bodies natural detoxification. Taking a methylated b complex for a month can be an excellent support. You may also like to pick up NAC or glutathione. These along with a few other key nutraceuticals products like alpha lipoic acid and CoQ10 (ubiquinol) support a wide range of physiological processes as you spring into liver season.
Milk thistle also boosts glutathione production. It is protective to the liver but we want more than that. Burdock, dandelion and citrus support liver function. Sour and bitter are the flavours to seek out. Coffee is bitter and speeds up one part of the liver cycle. Ensure that you are also getting enough glycine for the second cycle. Collagen is a great source of glycine. Remember the health of our liver can be reflected in the health of our skin. Both collagen and bone broth can make your glow a little bit more sparkly.
Gut & Immune Reminders
The liver and the skin will express whatever our gut isn’t processing optimally. If we are constipated or the microbiome is not balanced the skin is more likely to flare. This is because it’s our other detox organ so it tells the story of our gut and liver.
Immunity is supported by how we eat, drink and rest. For example, bone broth regenerates the gut lining like few other beverages. Our immune systems are strongest when we manage stress and eat regular meals. This maintains stable blood sugar levels. Metabolic health is one key factor in worse outcomes when it comes to this virus. Alcohol and processed food consumption can undermine the gut barrier function and immune health. Knowing this is motivation for making small choices each day. This sets the momentum in the direction we want to go!
4 Steps for a Happy Liver
1. Optimize gut function. Reduce common irritants (gluten, alcohol, lactose, lectins) Add a probiotic or sauerkraut daily.
2. Optimize nutrition for detoxification. Use healthy fats (omega-3 fats & olive or avocado oil), have abundant amino acids and minerals, particularly zinc and selenium. Oysters and brazil nuts baby.
3. Open your liver’s detoxification pathways. Take methlylated folate, B12 and B6. Eat sulfur-containing foods such as broccoli, collards, kale, daikon radish, garlic, onions and eggs for their choline. Consume lemon, lime and grapefruit. Consider mitochondrial support or glutathione.
4. Hydrate. Make sure you take adequate electrolytes. Especially if you are on a lower carbohydrate or keto type diet. Let me know if you need a hand finding an excellent electrolyte. I have one that is awesome with science nerdiness backing it.