Life today exposes us to an array of toxins and chemicals on a daily basis making it almost impossible to live a toxin-free life. There are ways however to reduce your exposure to toxins and support your liver.
Your liver needs many nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants to function properly, and to be able to remove harmful toxins from your body. Different people’s livers process toxins at different rates based on their genetics and lifestyle. If the liver’s processes are put under pressure (by exposure to too many toxins), imbalances occur and the liver will be unable to effectively eliminate toxins, leading to symptoms of toxic overload. The body’s response and ability to deal with toxins varies amongst individuals and is thought to be a primary factor in susceptibility to certain diseases.
15 Ways To Reduce Your Toxic Load
- Buy and eat organic food when possible, especially dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc) and meats and eggs.
- Minimise the consumption of large fish (swordfish, tuna, etc.) as they are higher in mercury.
- Go to Environmental Working Group or Consumer Reports websites to keep informed about which fruits and vegetables are best to eat organic. “The Clean Fifteen and The Dirty Dozen” lists are published yearly.
- Filter tap water with a reverse osmosis filter or a multi-stage carbon filter.
- Avoid bottled water in soft plastic containers as the plastics often leach into the water.
- Avoid processed foods with additives and chemical preservatives.
- Avoid drinking from plastic water bottles that have been in a hot car.
- Minimise the use of cling wraps; try to use paper wraps.
- Avoid plastic bottles and containers with the numbers 3, 6 and 7 on the bottom. These are most likely to leach plastics into the food, juice or water that they contain.
- Do not microwave in plastic containers.
- Avoid spraying pesticides or herbicides in your home or garden.
- Go natural with your cleaning and household products.
- Avoid perfumes or other skin or hair care products that use synthetic fragrances (parfum).
- For skin and hair care and make-up products, avoid products with alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, propylene glycol, fragrances (parfum) and mineral oils.
- Detox your cookware – swap toxic non-stick Teflon for stainless steel, cast iron, enamel or carbon steel cookware. (If your non-stick items are scratched, throw them away immediately!)
Foods To Support Your Liver
Reducing your toxic load and providing your liver with all the nutrients it needs to work optimally will support its many functions. Foods to support your liver include:
- Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and watercress.
- High quality proteins, such as clean meats and fish, pulses, nuts and seeds.
- Antioxidant rich, vibrantly coloured fruits and vegetables, such as berries.
- Reduce exposure to toxins by moderating consumption of:
– Caffeine, including cola and chocolate
– Refined sugars
– Food additives
Nutrients To The Rescue
Amino acids – these building blocks of proteins are a major part of the detoxification system.
Antioxidant nutrients – vitamins A, C and E, in combination with the minerals selenium and zinc and the antioxidant alpha lipoic acid, help the liver render free radicals harmless.
Bioflavanoids– these plant compounds are very powerful antioxidants.
Co-enzyme Q10 – found in flesh food such as meat and fish, it is crucial for the release of energy in cells.
Diindolylmethane (DIM) – a compound found in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, watercress, kale, cauliflower, cabbage) that aids the metabolism of female hormones.
Dandelion – a diuretic and laxative, dandelion has traditionally been used to support the liver.
Green Tea Extract – Catechins from green tea are thought to boost liver detoxification pathways. They are also potent antioxidants.
Milk Thistle – contains the compound silymarin which has been shown to protect liver cells from toxic agents.
Turmeric – this tasty spice helps the liver to eliminate toxins from the environment.
Signs Your Liver May Need Support
Anger and irritability
Digestive issues, including bloating, gas and indigestion
Fatigue and low energy
Frequent colds and infections
Headaches and migraines
Unpleasant body odour
Unable to lose weight
Go Natural, Go Clean
Our livers are not designed to cope with the chemical onslaught of our modern-day lifestyles. Your liver is involved in most of your body’s processes, so supporting your liver is one of the best ways to support your overall health and prevent disease. Going clean and natural in your food and lifestyle choices is the first step in allowing your liver to do its many jobs without hinderance. If you feel you need support in a particular health issue or to transition to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle, nutritional therapy may benefit you.
Get bespoke health advice: Nutritional Therapy with Jo Rowkins
Dirty Dozen List 2021 here you can download the latest lists