The organs of the body are constantly working together to maintain our health. However, our modern world and dietary habits have made it to where sometimes, our bodies need a little help. The liver, which is responsible for many vital body functions, is no exception. There are times when you might need to reset things with a liver cleanse.
What is the Liver and What Does It Do?
The liver is a large, roughly three-pound organ in the body located on the right side of the stomach and underneath the rib cage. It has a reddish-brown color and if you could reach through your skin and touch it, it would feel like rubber.
The liver has many different “jobs,” but basically it does two things:
- Works with our gallbladder (located underneath the liver), our pancreas, and our intestines to digest and absorb of food
- Filters and detoxes the blood
As you can see, the liver is very important! But unfortunately, many of us have overworked our livers due to our lifestyles and our environment. When that happens, it can mean this great organ needs a little assistance.
When the Liver Needs a Little Help
The liver is normally made up of 5-10% fat, but sometimes that percentage can get too high. This is known as fatty liver disease, and there are two types: (1) alcoholic liver disease (ALD), caused by drinking too much, and (2) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
The main causes of NAFLD include:
Diet: Eating meals high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods.
Toxins: We are unfortunately exposed to many toxic substances, including heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, preservatives in foods, and more, every day through what we eat, drink, breathe, and use in our homes and on our bodies.
This amount of toxins can build up in many areas of the body, including in the liver and fat tissue. When this happens, it’s harder for the body to absorb and process nutrients effectively, increasing the chances of disease and putting the body into a low-energy, acidic state. The liver spends energy trying to clear out these toxins that should be used instead for its normal role in detoxing and digesting.
So, how do you know if your liver has been overburdened? Here are some common signs:
Signs of Impaired Liver Function
- Gas and/or bloating
- High blood pressure
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Trouble losing weight
- Unexplained weight gain
- Trouble digesting fatty foods
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, or other moodiness
- Excessive stomach fat
- Discomfort or pain over the right upper abdominal area (near the liver)
- Dark-colored urine
- Yellowish color of the eyes or skin
- Dark spots on the skin
- Excessive sweating or feeling overheated
- Rosacea or acne
If you experience any of these symptoms, it might be a sign a liver cleanse is in order. If you’re unsure how to do that and what steps to take, we’ve provided a quick and easy guide below.
How to Do a Liver Cleanse Naturally
A natural cleanse gives the liver a little boost. It removes elements preventing the liver from performing its functions and adds in natural ingredients that help it do its job. Here are the steps we recommend to cleanse the liver:
Start by removing toxic foods from your daily diet. That includes refined sugars, hydrogenated oils (also known as trans fats), lunch meats, and other packaged foods. These foods contain added preservatives, chemicals, nitrates and nitrites, and artificial flavors and colors that can cause harm and inflammation in the body.
Replace these foods with whole foods sources of healthy fats, proteins, and whole carbs. As much as possible, make these foods organic and try to add at least a couple fermented foods (such as sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, yogurt or kefir, and fermented vegetables) to your diet each day.
Think in color! The more variety of fruits and vegetables, the better. Focus on bright colors and dark, leafy greens. Try to keep it raw as much as possible to get benefit from the phytonutrients, vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes that are great for detoxing and digestion, as well as high amounts of fiber to move waste along quickly.
A great way to instantly increase your servings of raw fruits and veggies is by juicing. Juicing also makes it easier for your body to digest and absorb all the goodness. Vegetables that are great for reducing acid levels during a liver cleanse include cauliflower, cabbage, beets, Brussels sprouts, cucumber, carrots, parsley, mint, and leafy greens.
When cleansing the liver, there are some specific liver-supporting nutrients, supplements, and other substances that are helpful for the detoxing process. Those include:
Advanced Liver (Supplement): Advanced Liver utilizes the natural detoxifying properties of milk thistle, watercress, beets, and parsley. These ingredients, along with choline bitartrate, inositol, and betaine HCl, help the body detoxify substances in the liver, and help support the liver itself. Advanced Liver helps the liver do its job, and at the same time replenishes and strengthens it.
Essential fatty acids: Sources include seafood, fish oil, avocado, or nuts and seeds.
Vitamin K: Sources include leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, and liver.
Selenium: Sources include brown rice and other whole grains, Brazil nuts, grass-fed beef, sardines, tuna, garlic, and onions.
Methionine: Sources include fish, eggs, meats, Brazil nuts, and sesame seeds.
Arginine: Sources include chicken, turkey, pork loin, pumpkin seeds, and spirulina.
Milk thistle: A potent antioxidant highly recommended for detoxing. Helps get rid of heavy metal buildup, environmental pollutants, alcohol, and medications in the liver, protects it from damage, and helps it to stay strong and healthy.
Dandelion root: Helps balance blood sugar, support the immune system, soothe the digestive system, and acts as a natural diuretic, helping the liver eliminate toxins faster.
Turmeric: Helps prevent inflammation, balance blood sugar, and support healthy metabolism of the liver.
Choline bitartrate: Helps the body better use fats by making lipotropic agents and making good (HDL) cholesterol.
Betaine hydrochloride: Helps the body digest food better, especially when the stomach doesn’t secrete enough hydrochloric acid (which can happen with stress, age, or other factors).
Inositol: A B-vitamin that helps cells function properly and stay healthy, affects nerve transmission, and assists the body in transporting fats.
Parsley: Natural diuretic that supports healthy digestive and contains elements important for the liver like magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, beta carotene, chlorophyll, and vitamin C.
Watercress: An aquatic plant that is rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid, beta carotene, iron, iodine, protein, and calcium to support the liver.
Beets: Amazing for the blood and pH of the body. Contains carotenoids that acts as antioxidants and beta carotene.
This last step can get a little tricky and overwhelming if you aren’t sure how to juggle the right supplements. Our Advanced Liver Extra Strength takes away the overwhelm by providing many of the crucial substances mentioned above. This makes it easy for you to cleanse and detox the liver without the extra stress or planning! Find out more and try it out for yourself today here.