Your Liver Needs Love: How To Support Liver Health in 2023
Your liver is one of the most important organs you have which is why learning how to support liver health is essential. It protects you from many things and is intrinsically tied to your digestive system. This places your liver at the core of your health and wellness. Natural health practitioners will often go straight to supporting your liver if you're experiencing health issues.
What Does Your Liver Do?
Your liver processes your hormones, medication, alcohol, environmental chemicals, toxins, carbohydrates and fats. Given that we encounter most of this list daily, you can see why it's an incredibly important organ. When you are overworked and tired or when you have been eating pretty average food, you feel sluggish and slow. The same goes for your liver, so sometimes it needs a helping hand.
There's a common misconception that after you've been binging on unhealthy food or alcohol and want to reset, you need to 'detox'. But doing a juice cleanse isn't necessary because your liver is detoxing for you every day. Your liver does, however, need support, and this can come from both your lifestyle and diet. If you're wondering how to support your liver health, here are some symptoms you might notice if your liver is struggling and some amazing plants you can incorporate that can help.
🌿Related: Is A Detox Really Good For You?
Signs Your Liver Needs Support
The most crucial part of knowing how to support liver health is knowing when your liver is struggling. So, how do you know if your liver needs support? You might be on long-term medication (like the oral contraceptive pill etc.), eating foods that have been heavily processed and are high in fat, or drinking a lot of coffee, alcohol and sugary beverages. All these things place a burden on your liver and lead to congestion.
Congestion within the liver can affect bile flow which can lead to inflammation. Under stress, your liver can find it hard to process the ingested fats and cholesterol, which can lead to gallstones for some. Others may find they can’t tolerate certain foods anymore - they may become constipated or suffer from diarrhoea after a fatty meal. Others may notice their skin is more prone to breakouts or feels itchy or irritated.
As we have just started a new year and now have the excesses of Christmas and New Year behind us, you should actively focus on supporting your liver if it has taken a hammering over the silly season.
How you can support your liver using food
Beetroot is high in betaine which supports your liver detoxification pathways. A 2021 study found that the high levels of nitrate found in beetroot also helped boost blood flow and increase the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to muscles during exercise. Increased blood flow helps athletes perform better and supports faster recovery. Beetroot can also protect against alcohol-induced hepatotoxicity. So, maybe at the next BBQ you attend, you could bring a raw beetroot salad…
If you’re wondering how to support your liver health with beetroot, here are some easy ways to incorporate it into your diet. As mentioned above, a beetroot salad. Grate it raw or cut into chunks and roast it. You can also have it as a juice or blend a can of drained beetroots with olive oil, garlic and salt and add it to your pasta for a quick midweek meal.