You may not know it but the liver is very important when it comes to losing weight and detoxing. This often overlooked organ acts as a filtering system by cleansing the body of toxins, breaking down hormones and food by products.
When the liver is overworked, toxic residues can build up causing inflammation and the build-up of fat, especially around the middle. Detoxing your liver helps it to function better by relieving the burden on it. A stressed-out liver can’t break down fat as well, so this affects your body’s ability to digest foods, too. The result can be bloating and sluggishness as well as weight gain. Cleansing your body can help your liver to work more effectively.
According to expert nutritionist for USANA Health Sciences, Ravinder Lilly: “Contrary to common belief, it’s not just alcohol that leads to a fatty liver, there are many factors that can compromise it such as a bad diet, and lack of exercise. A liver detox is a great way to improve your overall health and get your body bikini ready.”
As well as regular exercise and sticking to moderate alcohol consumption, Ms Lilly shares her 6 top tips for the ultimate liver spring clean:
1. Get your downward dog on. Everyone knows yoga is great for your health, but most people don’t know it’s particularly good for your liver. So, not only do yoga poses make you fitter and more flexible, they also stimulate the liver and help with the body’s detoxification process. Time to roll out that yoga mat!
2. Go green. We’re not talking green frogs and peppermint chocolate here, but spinach, avocado, kale and broccoli neutralize heavy metals within the body that put a high level of strain on the liver. Increasing the amount of green vegetables you eat is an easy way to detoxify your liver.
3. Wake up and smell the water. Drinking a glass of warm water first thing in the morning helps kick start your liver’s detoxification process. People often limit how much liquid they drink; fearing it will lead to water weight, but water actually has the opposite effect thanks to its cleansing ability. If weight loss is what your main priority is, then drinking water (and lots of it) is the way to go.
4. Try some curry. The Indian spice, turmeric which is a relative of ginger and gives curries their golden glow is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Curcumin, its active ingredient may also protect the liver by helping to expel toxins via phase liver detoxification reactions.
5. Less of the sweet, more of the sour. It may be surprising but the flavour of your food affects your liver function. Try and incorporate bitter foods into your diet every day, ideally at each meal. Foods like lemon, vinegar and olive oil are important for assisting and increasing the bile flow. Sugary foods and drinks are broken down into a type of fat called triglycerides and excess are stored in and around the liver, making liver function sluggish. Cutting out sugar helps the body breaks down the fat in your liver and thus it will work more efficiently.
6. Crack more jokes. Laughter naturally increases the production of an antibody that is responsible for protecting us against infections. It’s a great way to stop yourself from getting sick. So whether you think something is funny or not, best to laugh anyway!