How to cleanse your liver: 3 steps to detox naturally

How to cleanse your liver: 3 steps to detox naturally
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.

Cleansing liver

Our livers are a crucial part of our bodies’ health, and when they’re constantly overloaded with work, they need a metaphorical vacation. This is when a liver cleanse is beneficial – to lighten the workload on your liver to give some time to catch up.

Read more about 15 signs and symptoms that you might be in need of a liver cleanse in my article on Curejoy.

The good news is that there is a lot we can do to support our livers. Here are 3 crucial steps to re-invigorate overworked livers:

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1. Eat lots of nutrient-dense foods.

That means lots of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, spices.
High-sulfur foods are beneficial, including garlic, onions, and legumes.
Soluble fiber helps bile and toxins flow easily out of your body, and is found inn pears, oat bran, apples, and legumes.
The brassica family of vegetables is helpful to your liver: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, artichokes, beets, carrots, dandelion greens.
Certain herbs and spices: turmeric, cinnamon, and licorice root.
Drink water to help promote cleansing, aim for 6-8 glasses per day, or 1 glass every 2 hours.

2. Decrease exposure to toxins.

Avoid refined and heavily-processed foods, particularly refined, hydrogenated, and trans-fats present in oils, margarines, and many prepared foods. Avoid saturated fats, refined sugar, and alcohol. Other sources of toxins include chemicals in household cleaners, artificial flavors and preservatives, non-organic foods (particularly animal foods, which accumulate the pesticides and herbicides from up the food chain and are subject to hormones and antibiotics), and nitrates from processed meat.

3. Nutritional and botanical supplements.

Take a multivitamin/mineral supplement, and use specific nutritional and botanical supplements to protect and enhance liver function. The antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, along with B vitamins as lipotropic agents (meaning they promote the flow of fat and bile to and from the liver) are important to help rebalance your liver. Milk thistle is a well-known herbal remedy used to help improve the liver’s ability to detoxify itself. The herb Gentian is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for liver cleansing. There are others that can make a huge difference in your liver’s rate of recovery, but depend on your individual situation and symptoms.

How to cleanse your liver: 3-day green smoothie cleanse

My definition of cleanse is a bit different from most though. I see it as a way to get out of the way, and allow our livers room to do their jobs the way they were designed to do them. I also incorporate certain natural supplements to help rebalance and catch up from nutritional imbalances or deficiencies.

There are different styles of nourishing cleanses you could do, and for a liver imbalance I usually recommend a lower-fat smoothie cleanse to lighten things up while still getting all the nutrients and fiber your body needs to function and purge any toxins that need to be released. If planned properly, this cleanse can help reset and boost your liver’s function, and cover all of these steps at once.

If you don’t want to plan this out yourself, check out my fully-planned and nutritionally-balanced cleanse program.

Some of these changes may seem overwhelming at first, but all you need to do is create a plan, and work towards it one step at a time. Remember that instead of a forced detox, your plan should incorporate both cleansing and nourishing. Our bodies need the proper fuel to keep working effectively. Just like you need to be paid appropriately for the work you do, so does your body in the form of nutrients to give you the energy and health to do what you want in your life.

Now that you know what your liver needs, let’s work to support it.

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