Your liver helps remove toxins and waste from your body, so giving it a reset is a great way to improve your overall health and ensure weight loss is maintained. Here is nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill’s top five tips:
Swap coffee and high caffeine / energy drinks to green tea and dandelion ‘coffee’. Green tea contains antioxidants and powerful, epigallocatechin 3-gallate (EGCG) which is a key compound in phase 2 liver detoxification pathways.
There are 2 phases to liver detoxification. Phase 1 most people can achieve, however if the body is depleted of nutrients, phase 2 detoxification pathways can be impacted.
Swap alcohol for sparkling water spruced with lime, lemon and mint or enjoy a raw, unpasteurised probiotic rich kombucha.
In particular, probiotic rich drinks, through the production and release of short chain fatty acids can support gastro-intestinal integrity whilst also increasing antioxidant and detoxification enzymes in the body, important for effective liver detox.
Swapping alcohol also works two-fold. By decreasing alcohol consumption, you reduce the diuretic effect on the body whilst also improving hydration. Being well hydrated is vital for the body’s detoxification.
Reduce processed, refined foods and aim for an abundance of whole foods rich in high quality nutrients. Both phase 1 and phase 2 of liver detoxification places demands on different nutrients in the body.
However, if the body is depleted the essential phase 2 liver detoxification is inhibited. A poor diet, overloaded with processed foods negatively impacts nutrient intake and can burden the liver (fatty liver), whilst a diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes and whole grains will deliver necessary nutrients for both detoxification phases to occur.
Increase intake of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and in particular broccoli sprouts which have been found to have nutrients critical for the induction of phase 2 liver detox as well as sulfurophane which is known for both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity in the body.
Try to reduce toxic load on the liver by investigating the chemicals and compounds in everyday living – fragrances, skin care products, OTC drugs, make up, home chemicals for cleaning, storage containers and drink bottles, work and other environmental toxins. You don’t have to throw it all at once but taking steps toward reducing the toxicity in your environment reduces the burden placed on your liver to process and eliminate these toxins.