It's all too common to get that feeling you need a detox after too many days enjoying food and alcohol, or you simply feel like a good cleanse. Dora Walsh (Registered Nutritionist, mBANT, CNHC), shares 5 signs your liver may need a detox, and how to avoid the toxic overload that can lead to ill health, weight gain and low energy.
5 signs you need a liver detox
Constant exposure to toxins
Constant exposure to toxins from foods, pollution, pesticides, toiletries and detergents can put the liver under strain as it works to transform those toxins so they can be released out of your body.
A body overburdened with toxins can show various sign and symptoms, and the toxins can end up stored deep in your body's fat.
As a major fat burning organ, your liver plays a significant role in weight loss.
A liver overloaded with excess sugar, alcohol and toxins can become damaged, inflamed or fatty, reducing its efficiency so it stops burning fat and begins to store fat instead, and causing you to gain weight.
Tired all the time
You may feel fatigued and struggle to get up in the morning, or find your energy dwindles, despite a good night's sleep and plenty of rest.
Allergies and sensitivities
Reduced liver function and less efficient detoxification systems can lead to the accumulation of high levels of toxins which can lead to food and chemical sensitivities, with symptoms such as headaches, rhinitis, laryngitis, asthma, rashes, muscle and joint aches, attention deficit and hyperactivity.
Fatty floating stools
Bile produced from the liver plays a key role in separating nutrients from toxins and waste, as well digesting fat in the small intestine. A lack of bile from the liver can lead to a build-up of toxins in our bodies as well as fatty floating stools, due to fats not being absorbed or broken down properly.
Tips for liver health
Try bitter foods and herbs
Bitter foods, herbs and spices such as artichoke, dandelion, rocket, chicory, beetroot, turmeric and fenugreek seeds have traditionally been used to help stimulate bile production and support the liver at fulfilling its job of removing toxins from the body.
You may enjoy our blog: The best foods for detoxifying your liver.
Eat liver supporting vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kale can help increase the liver's natural detoxification enzymes, protect it from damage, and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
Try our Baked Chilli tofu with Kale & Noodles recipe
Hydrate yourself well
Dehydration can directly affect your liver's ability to detoxify the body, making it harder for waste products to be expelled. Drink at least 8 glasses of filtered or mineral water a day, and more in hot weather or when you are working out.
Avoid aerosols and toxic personal care products
Use aerosols in a well-ventilated area and wear a mask to avoid exposure. Wear gloves and long sleeves when using cleaning solutions, insecticides and other toxic chemicals and keep the room well ventilated. Also, make the switch from chemically based to natural personal care products to avoid further toxic burden on the body.
Dora Walsh is a Registered Nutritional Therapist mBANT CNHC and Registered Nutritionist mBANT. She runs Nutriheal specialising in nutritional therapy and lifestyle medicine for women's various health concerns, hormonal health and weight management.
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