To Detox or Not to Detox?
If your liver isn’t running at top speed, you’re going to feel it, even if you aren’t sure what exactly is wrong. You’ll feel tired, a little heavier than normal, your digestion may be a little off, your skin could even become discolored. Your liver performs a huge job, providing hundreds of different functions.
So, do you want to help one of your body’s largest internal organs get and stay healthy? Follow these five simple tricks from Dr. Josh Axe, a specialist in natural medicine, who’s also developed one of the Top 10 most-visited natural health websites in the world.
- Ditch the Toxic Stuff
When you think about toxic substances in your liver, your first thought is probably going to be alcohol. After all, that’s what most of us think of when we imagine harming our liver in any way. However, there are many other substances that can cause bodily toxicity. Until you get rid of these, no special process, supplements or dietary additions will truly help you.
What are some of the items you need to get rid of fast? Processed grains, sugar, packaged foods, fast food, any processed foods and pretty much any of the meat or dairy that you’ll find in your average grocery store. These contain harmful substances that have been injected over the creation of the food item in order to maintain a long shelf life and earn the manufacturers top dollar — pesticides, herbicides, GMOs, antibiotics, hormones, steroids and the list goes on and on. You only want to be eating real, organic and raw foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and all-natural and ancient whole grains.
2. Add the Special Ingredients
There are a few little ingredients that you can add to your (now clean) diet that are specifically created to help your liver detox. These all-natural herbs include milk thistle, turmeric, and dandelion. You may know turmeric as a spice in your cabinet, and you may know dandelion as the weed that grows in your yard, but what’s milk thistle, and how is a dandelion supposed to help your overall health?
Milk thistle is known as a huge detoxifying herb, because it boosts glutathione, an antioxidant that helps both your liver and your cells detox. All you need to take is 150 milligrams twice daily.
Turmeric also has a lot of antioxidants that assist your liver and your gallbladder. Put about a tablespoon of it in your food every day, or take a few capsules orally. In addition, the turmeric reduces inflammation through your digestion system.
Then comes the dandelion. Dandelions have a huge amount of potassium and other substances that make your liver release its toxins and your gallbladder produces bile. When you take all of these combined, it makes a huge chain reaction that really dumps all of the bad stuff out of your liver.
3. Detox Your Spirit
According to ancient Chinese medicine, the health of your body is directly tied to the health of your spirit, and the health of your spirit may just be affecting your liver. There are four emotions that have been found to be tied to liver health, and those are frustration, resentment, the inability to forgive and anger. Dr. Josh Axe believes that too much of these emotions can literally begin shutting your liver and body down. He recommends sitting down and making a list of all the people that you still need to forgive, and then make a conscious effort to do so.
If you can’t quite do it on your own, you may want to seek the help of a trained counselor to help you work through your emotional issues. Let go of the harmful emotions and begin practicing enriching ones, such as gratitude, forgiveness, and joy. Bring positivity into your life through the reading of God’s Word and self-help books. Develop relationships with people who can help hold you up when things get tough, and become active in your church, which can be an excellent support system.
4. Eat Your Liver
Yep, that’s right. You’re going to need to eat some liver. For centuries, liver issues have been combated by eating the livers of chickens or cows. Many doctors throughout history have recommended liver consumption for a variety of problems, from cancer to oral diseases. In fact, liver contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. It has lots of protein, vitamin A (3.5 oz. of liver contains 200% of your daily requirement), all the B vitamins, folic acid, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, and purines. It helps with fatigue and even cardiovascular functions.
Even if you’re not a great chef, cooking liver for dinner is simple. Just throw in some chicken liver with some other chicken cuts (best bought from a local farmer, or a health food store, so you know it’s organic), into a slow cooker, along with your favorite veggies, and let it go.
If you’re cooking beef liver, you can easily grind it up along with grass-fed, organic ground beef, and use it in any recipe you like.
To make it a little easy to digest, if you’re not quite used to the potency, you can out-flavor it with seasonings, herbs, spices and vinegars. You can also blend it in, like the beef above, with just about any heavily-seasoned recipe that calls for a protein component (like chili).
If you just can’t bring yourself to tolerate the flavor, no matter what you try, you can also thankfully buy liver tablets online, to take orally without the trouble.
5. Eat Spring
Lastly, you’ll want to establish a new diet for yourself, that’s themed around the tastes and foods of the spring season. Things that are sprouting up, fresh veggies, are the way to go. Sour foods are also great for your liver, according to ancient Chinese medicine, so you’ll want to incorporate these into your diet as well. Spinach, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, apple cider vinegar — it can all pull together to be a completely healthful and tasty salad. Sauerkraut, kimchi, beets, dandelion greens, artichokes, kefir, veggie juices…the list goes on and on!