Are you munching on a crunchy snack or drinking that extra cup of tea or coffee this very minute, while reading this very line? If you are, stop! You’re damaging your liver! The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body and we don’t even know it! It is responsible for over 500 functions some which are vital for your metabolism, immune system, digestive system and most importantly due to our unhealthy, fast paced lifestyle, detoxification. I don’t think many of us know what the liver even does, let alone give it enough credit for us to function.
FUNCTIONS OF THE LIVER
The main functions of the liver are:1
• Bile production and excretion
• Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs
• Provide metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
• Enzyme activation
• Storage of glycogen, vitamins, and minerals
• Blood detoxification and purification
In a nutshell, the liver makes many of the chemicals required by the body to function normally, breaks down, and detoxifies substances in the body, and it also acts as a storage unit. Did you know that the liver filters out every single quart of blood you have, which means it is working all day every day 24/7 just to protect your body from the toxins you consume on a daily basis! This includes the processed foods we eat, pollution, alcohol, and even smoking. Your liver is also responsible for filtering out and processing your hormones. Many people today face hormonal imbalance such as excessive estrogen, faulty insulin production, but not many know that this could be due to the liver not functioning properly.
HOW DOES THE LIVER WORK?
The liver produces bile, which is a liquid that removes chemicals and helps breakdown fats, convert foods into energy through glucose, which is then released through the bloodstream. Bile also breaks down nutrients from food so that they can be properly absorbed into the bloodstream, and most importantly, it also breaks down toxins and chemicals and releases them through the urine.
Since the liver is the main organ for detoxification, our current lifestyle creates too much workload on the liver thanks to all the foods and drinks we consume are processed, chemically loaded, junk, alcohol, caffeine, or aerated drinks. This makes the liver work overtime reducing its ability to do the functions well. This leads to fat build-up in the liver cells as the liver fails to break down, transfer and store fat effectively, causing abnormal liver function and inflammation, which can lead to liver scarring (known as cirrhosis), weight gain and other major diseases. A poor liver can lead to:
● Digestion Issues
● Stomach Ulcers
● Weight Gain
GIVE YOUR LIVER A BOOST! (RECIPE INCLUDED!)
So it is a good idea to give your liver a healthy smoothie as opposed to alcohol or coke once in a while. The Liver Cleansing Smoothie will help stimulate your liver function and improve its detoxifying and toxin neutralizing ability. For this recipe, you will need:
• ½ Beetroot
• 1 Carrot
• 10 Spinach Leaves
• 1 Celery Stalk
• 4-5 Basil Leaves
• ½ Tsp. Turmeric
• Tiny Ginger
• 1 Lemon Juice
• 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- Chop beetroot, carrot, spinach, celery, basil and add to the blender
- Add turmeric, ginger, lemon juice, and coconut oil
- Blend it all and drink!
The benefits of each ingredient are explained. Beetroots are a high-antioxidant vegetable that contains betaine, that helps the liver cells eliminate toxins; pectin, a fiber which clears the toxins that have been removed from the liver so they don’t come back into the body; and betalains, pigments with high anti-inflammatory properties to help with the detoxification process.2 Carrots contain a high level of glutathione, a type of strong antioxidant. This antioxidant is really good at cleansing and detoxifying, which helps the liver to work less. Spinach contains high levels of vitamin E and vitamin E helps with reducing fat accumulation and inflammation in the liver according to a study at Cape Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio. 3 Celery is rich in vitamins and iron; making it a great tonic for the liver. It is also highly alkalizing and hydrating, which helps flush out toxins. 4 Basil’s strong detox properties help prevent fat build-up in the liver and keep your liver healthy; it also has anti-inflammatory properties. 5 Turmeric, ginger, and lemon carry properties that help flush out toxins and prevent fat from building in the liver. While turmeric powder contains curcumin, a property that helps to reduce the molecules responsible for liver damage, ginger saves the liver from fibrosis, a disease that degenerates liver. Lemon’s citric acid helps in the detoxification process. 6 Coconut oil provides energy during the detox period of the liver. 7
So try out this smoothie and surprise your liver with water and natural and healthy foods and you’ll definitely see a change in your body, mood, and health. Do let us know if you tried out our recipe and if it helped you!