Happily Liver After!

Under appreciated and often overlooked, our livers are powerhouses for our bodies.

Essential for metabolizing nearly everything that goes into our body, not only is our liver responsible for its detoxifying power, it also regulates glucose and maintains cholesterol status.

Now I know you probably do not want to hear this, but our environments, the products we use and more importantly the foods we eat, all have a huge impact on the health of our bodies and our liver function.

The liver does an amazing job at breaking down the toxins we are exposed to from our foods and environments into less harmful particles so that we can continue to function.

And you thought it just focused on alcohol?!

Although excess alcohol intake can lead to chronic liver conditions including cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver and fibrosis. Excess sugar intake, basically the (Western diet), is a more dire issue and is contributing to the rise in the non -alcoholic fatty liver disease epidemic in our population.

Although metabolic factors and genetics play a role in the development of NAFLD, the real finger on the trigger is our diet and lifestyle. High sugar intake, red meat consumption, processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverage intake is leads our bodies down the path to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome refers to a combination of conditions: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, increased visceral fat, and low HDL or good cholesterol.

So what exactly happens when we eat too much sugar or refined carbohydrates. I could sit here and type it all out – but Osmosis explains it better 🙂

It may seem like I laid it on ya thick – but don’t worry, I am here to provide some nice and easy strategies you can start implementing right now to support your happy healthy liver!

  1. Milk Thistle
    • I absolutely LOVE milk thistle! Silybinin, Silymarin, Isosilibin are the shining stars here and what they help to do is maintain liver detoxification processes by increasing protein synthesis in liver cells.
  2. Hydrate
    • I talk about fluid needs and hydration every chance I get. Why? Because we never get enough! Think about it. Drinking clean water helps to flush out toxins from our bodies, energizes our cells and supports optimal organ system function.
  3. Green Tea
    • What can’t it do? Green Tea contains powerful polyphenol called EGCG and EGCG has been shown in studies to alleviate liver damage. It also helps to fight metabolic syndrome and support healthy cellular communication.
  4. Veggies
    • Get creative (and choose organic)! There are more vegetables in the world aside from broccoli and spinach so think outside of the box! Basically, we must think opposite of western diet which is low carb, no processed, un-refiened and clean. The standard American diet is loaded with toxins, chemicals and additives- so clean it up, your liver will thank you.
  5. Cut the sugar
    • Way to leave the best for last! I suggest to start out slow when cutting the sugar. Start with your cabinets and look at the labels at all your packaged foods. Any added sugars, high fructose corn syrup or things you cant pronounce TOSS ‘EM! Ditch the soda, for green tea or water and choose an apple instead of the lays.

Making a change isn’t always easy. Take it one step at a time and you will reach the finish line. Health is a journey and I am happy to be along for all the fun with you. Here to answer your questions!

Leave some love 🙂 Happy Eating! #savvyeats

 

 

Written By: Sarah Allison RDN LD MBA
References:
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0146942
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5468341/
https://medlineplus.gov/metabolicsyndrome.html
https://examine.com/supplements/milk-thistle/

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