Emily McGowen and Diana Anderson inside NourishMe
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Taking Care of Your Liver
The liver has in it the most important word possible in terms of health: Live. Without a liver, one simply can't live. There is no way to compensate for the absence of liver function long term. The liver is the most rejuvenating organ in the body, which is why it's imperative to treat it with care and attention.
The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body, and about a quarter of our body's blood flows through it every minute. Imagine it as the body's washing machine. Oxygen-rich blood is delivered directly from the heart, and nutrient-rich blood travels nonstop from the intestines. Liver cells handle more tasks than any other cells in the body.
The liver metabolizes food, turning it into fuel (glucose), which is stored as a reserve. The liver also transforms vitamins and minerals into forms the body can use, stores reserves of numerous nutrients, and breaks down various substances into waste products, which the body then excretes.
Toxic substances, such as alcohol, prescription and nonprescription medications (which some people cannot properly metabolize for genetic reasons), and all kinds of other toxins end up in the liver where they are processed through our skin, and urine.
It's not surprising then that poor liver function can lead to a wide range of physical and mental health problems such as allergies, skin problems, and bad breath to bloating and chronic fatigue, food sensitivities, memory problems and migraines.
In naturopathic circles, there's a saying, "If you aren't sure what a patient needs, treat the liver."
A healthy diet with plenty of fiber that is low on fats and rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with a regular exercise routine, helps support this process.
- Take herbs such as milk thistle. (See side bar.)
- Take vitamin C, which helps the body produce glutathione, a liver compound that drives away toxins.
- Drink plenty of water (preferably PH balanced)
- Eat fermented foods,
- Add at least a teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water.
- Drink green tea.