Are you thinking of detoxing this spring? Detoxification is a hot topic these days, with health fanatics touting the benefits of detox left, right and centre. However, many people who attempt liver detoxes aren't even sure why they’re doing so! Do you know how the liver works and how to protect its health? Read on to discover how this vital organ functions, what clues it might be giving you about the state of its health, and how to safely detoxify should you choose to do so.
How the liver works
Did you know that the liver receives 25 per cent of the blood pumped by your heart? This is according to Indiana University Health. The liver needs a lot of the energy and oxygen delivered by the blood in order to carry out its very important functions.
First of all, the liver provides a variety of vital functions. It manufactures all of your body’s necessary proteins. It also creates bile, which is a liquid that allows our bodies to eliminate toxins and absorb nutrients.
What you’re probably most interested in is the liver’s role in detoxification. Your blood flows from your intestines (where it has absorbed nutrients, toxins and any other substances you’ve put in your body) and flows to the liver, where it is filtered for toxins.
Signs of poor liver health
There are a number of very serious liver problems that can occur. The most common are probably alcohol-related liver diseases such as cirrhosis. The liver absorbs a lot of the damage caused by alcohol and drug use.These substances are toxic to our bodies, so our livers must work overtime in order to purify blood that contains them.
A few symptoms related to poor liver health include jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), dark urine colour, abdominal pain, chronic fatigue, itchy skin, tendency to bruise easily and loss of appetite.
Why you might want to detoxify
Ridding your body of toxins is never a bad idea (there are bad ways to do so, but we’ll get to that in a bit). Going easy on your liver is important – it plays a crucial role in keeping you healthy.
Spring is a great time to detoxify! You probably have friends and family members who participate in spring cleaning (or maybe you do yourself). Why not give your body a much-deserved spring cleaning?
Safe ways to detoxify
Many health experts discourage detox methods that are anything but gentle. Most professionals recommend avoiding laxatives, fasting on sugary juices or avoid eating altogether (maybe “avoiding food altogether”). There are plenty of gentle, natural ways to detoxify your body. Try doing the following to give your liver the love it deserves:
- Start the morning with water and lemon. According to ABC News, health experts recommend this because lemon stimulates bile production, helping your body to detoxify.
- Sweat. Sweating is a natural way for your body to eliminate toxins. Heading to a sauna can be relaxing, but remember that much of the water you’ll feel around you will be condensation rather than your own sweat. Exercise is a better option, as you’ll detoxify while working your heart!
- Drink lots of water: Another way your body eliminates toxins? Urination. It isn’t a glamorous detox technique, but it’s vital to rid your body of toxins.
- Take a gentle supplement that promotes detoxification. Milk thistle is a popular option for liver support, and evidence supports the claim that it may help the livers of those with cirrhosis and liver disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
- While you’re doing your spring detox, you may want to avoid alcohol for a few days. Though wine has many health benefits, alcohol is a toxin that stresses our systems and livers. Besides, after a few days of detox, you’ll be perfectly entitled to treat yourself to a healthy glass of red vino. Cheers to good health!
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Many of us have probably thought about detoxing, but have you actually done it?
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