Love Your Liver in the New Year

8981828144_66cb4568a1_kAfter the holiday season of eating and partying with friends and family, a return to healthy eating is probably just what the doctor ordered!  The extra alcohol, sugar and processed foods consumed during this time of year leaves many of us feeling tired, run down, bloated and out of sorts.  It also seriously taxes our livers, our main organ of detoxification.  Our liver filters our blood, regulates blood sugar and cholesterol, produces bile to breakdown fat and stores iron, glucose for energy and Vitamins A, D, K and B12.  Adding liver supporting foods at this time of the year can help your body recover from all of the holiday fun.  Some suggestions for beneficial liver foods include:

  • Beets:  The fiber in beets increases the production of antioxidant enzymes in the liver, helping the body to eliminate bile and other toxic substances.  The phyto nutrient, betalain, found in beets, provides anti- inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
  • Cruciferous vegetables:  Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage are high in antioxidant properties.  These vegetables have strong anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • Lentil and beans:  These nutritional powerhouses provide fiber to keep your bowels moving and help stabilize your blood sugar.  Regular elimination is important because it removes toxins and waste from the body.  Ideally, you will poop 1-3 times a day.  If you are not pooping daily, your body begins to reabsorb all the waste and toxins in the poop, forcing your liver to reprocess these substances.  This increases the liver’s work load.
  • Warming spices:  Warming spices such as turmeric, cinnamon, fennel, cumin and ginger have amazing anti-inflammatory properties, make food taste better, increase the warming properties of foods, help our bodies digest fat and enhance the body’s ability to detox.
  • Bitter greens:  Whether consumed as a tea, eaten in a salad or sauteed over heat, greens such as dandelion, mustard, collards, endive and beet greens help activate the production of bile, necessary for fat digestion.   Greens contain high levels of sulfur, which supports your liver in its detoxification process, signaling it to process free radicals and other toxic chemicals.

Now that the holiday festivities are over, adding these foods to your diet will give your liver a little love so you can enjoy a healthy and vibrant 2015.

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14 Responses to Love Your Liver in the New Year

  1. Great post, Teri! Our systems have been working overtime so I love that you give practical and attainable solutions for helping our bodies and liver especially to cleanse and detox. Hope you have a great start to the New Year, Teri!

    • admin says:

      It feels so good to be home and back to a normal routine after all the holiday craziness! My body is definitely thanking me!

  2. Melinda says:

    Interesting post! I am trying to “expand our palette” in our house, so I’m going to try to incorporate some of these.

    • admin says:

      I have been slowly expanding the palette in our house too. It is slow going but so worth it when I see one of my boys reach for something new or compliment me on something they never would have tried before.

  3. Such great information and advice this time of year. The older I get, the less I tend to indulge over the holidays, since I know what it does to my body. I love all of these liver supporting foods (except for beets) year-round, too! Thanks for the tips!

    • admin says:

      I too find that the older I get the less appeal all the holiday indulgence has- it just gets too hard to recover! I think beets are one of those love em or hate em types of food- I am firmly in the love em camp!

  4. kelsey says:

    i recently discovered that i am obsessed with beets! they’re so great in everything!

  5. Bea says:

    Yes, lets give our livers some rest and time to clean itself out. I very much appreciate the information about which foods to eat and am glad that we are already incorporating them into our diet 🙂

    Happy New Year to you and yours.

    • admin says:

      I feel like I ate pretty well this holiday season but I still feel like my body is ready to hit the ReSet button. I am definitely incorporating some of these foods in my life.

  6. Rachel says:

    I agree with Kelsey’s comment! I love beets, but I didnt realize this until last year. A lot of these foods are new to me! Excited to try.

  7. Oh good! I’m doing something right!

    (we won’t mention that deep fried shrimp toast I made the other day…)

  8. Create/Enjoy says:

    I do love my liver! =) I just realized I’ve eaten pork liver (from our pastured hog share) for the past 3 days of lunches, in some form. Ha! I disguise it in recipes. Liver itself is actually one of the most powerful foods for liver health, because it contains so much of the same micronutrients our livers need. More on that here.

    Yay real food!

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