About this time of year, many of my clients’ thoughts turn to detoxification. People’s memories of their recent holiday food-and-drink indulgences are fresh in their minds and also on the scale. Fortunately, so is the optimism that spring is just around the corner. Both are excellent motivators for health-minded people to work with the liver to support the body’s ability to neutralize toxins.
As the master organ of detoxification, the liver is an impressive performer. It filters the blood, breaks down hormones, stores vitamins, makes bile, maintains blood sugar level and even plays a role in maintaining your immunity. By supporting your liver’s ability to detoxify, you’re doing your body a huge favor.
Some well-known ways to take a load off your liver and help it do its job include abstaining from alcohol, cigarettes, fast food, refined sugar, processed food and caffeine, including coffee. Some of my patients up the ante and do a week-long liver cleanse, during which many report they’ve experienced much more energy.* Some report taking off unwanted pounds, as well!
If you choose to do a liver cleanse, here’s some important advice to follow.
1. Eat an organic, vegetarian diet. Focus on liver-supportive foods such as Jerusalem and globe artichokes, beets, garlic, beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, turnips and brussels sprouts. Include oranges and tangerines, and avoid grapefruit.
2. Drink vegetable and fruit juices twice daily. In addition, add the juice of one lemon to 48 ounces of filtered water, and drink this amount daily.
4. Take a lipotropic complex. A lipotropic supplement consists of vitamins, amino acids and herbs specifically designed to support the liver’s ability to detoxify.*
Vitacost Liver Detox* includes Oregon grape root, milk thistle, yellow dock root, burdock root and red root. These herbal compounds have demonstrated powerful antioxidant action, and help support normal pathways of detoxification in the liver, promote broad-spectrum immune health and GI activity, healthy intestinal flora and healthy skin.* They also maintain healthy levels of glutathione, whose antioxidant properties help protect cells from free radical damage.*
5. Brush your skin daily. Use a soft shower brush to help circulate your lymph, and stroke your skin in the direction that your blood moves as it flows toward your heart. Do aerobic exercises four or five times a week. And, as an extra benefit, get into a hot sauna to sweat toxins out through your skin two or three times a week.
Do you have a post-holiday or pre-spring regimen that’s proven to be trustworthy and healthy? Share it with us in the comments below.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Laurie Steelsmith, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic physician and licensed acupuncturist who specializes in women’s health. She is the co-author of Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman’s Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine and co-author of Natural Choices for Women’s Health: How the Secrets of Natural and Chinese Medicine Can Create a Lifetime of Wellness.