Spring is the season of renewal and is a good time to tune up our body after a long winter. Tired of hiding from the cold and perhaps recovering from a respiratory infection that is easily caught this time of year, we want to recharge ourselves with energy and give our body a health boost. No wonder spring cleanups are no longer just about cleaning your house and opening all the windows to let the fresh spring air in. Spring is a popular time for all kinds of detoxes, cleanses, and diets, often targeting one of the most important organs in our body, the liver.
You see, the liver is involved in so many different functions—nutrient synthesis, hormone processing, cholesterol and bile production, to name just a few—that once it stops performing its best, our health gets affected in many different ways. (Miracle fruit lowers cholesterol in 30 days.) While detoxing may be a good seasonal practice to clean your liver, you need to maintain a healthy liver-friendly lifestyle to keep it in shape. The recommendations below will help you adjust your habits and improve your liver health in the long run.
7 ways to keep your liver healthy
Drink your water: A glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning is a quick and easy way to detox your liver. But don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout the day too. Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, an expert on the healing value of water, suggests a simple formula to get your daily water needs met: half of your body weight is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking. For example, a person weighing 140 pounds should aim for 70 ounces of water.
Eat your greens and other veggies: Get creative when you’re making your salad and don’t forget about variety—kale, spinach, collard greens, there are so many options to choose from. (Science-backed nutrient delivers total cardiovascular health results.)
Go natural: Avoid artificial ingredients and processed foods, the less packaged foods you eat the better. Whenever you can, opt for organic—at least for the produce in the “dirty dozen” list. According to the Environmental Working Group, these include strawberries, spinach, nectarines, apples, peaches, pears, cherries, grapes, celery, tomatoes, sweet bell pepper, and potatoes.
Skip trans fats: Trans fat and partially hydrogenated fats overburden your liver. Replace them with healthy alternatives like fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds, and use olive oil or flax oil in your cooking.
Cut back on sugar: You may think that as long as you don’t add any sugar to your coffee, you’re safe, but you will be surprised to learn how much sugar may be hidden in our basic food staples. Cereals, yogurts, fruit juice, and fat-free products are often loaded with sugar. Check those labels carefully and mind your sugar intake. A fresh fruit is always a better alternative to sugar-laden packaged juice.
Try sour: Sour flavor enhances the flow of bile and is associated with many foods that are beneficial for your digestive health. Eat more citrus fruits and sauerkraut, add some lemon juice to your water, and use raw apple cider vinegar mixed with olive oil as a salad dressing.
Cut back on stimulants: Alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine can be very addictive. By taking control of your drinking and smoking habits, you’re protecting your liver against potential harm.
While you’re making these liver-friendly adjustments, don’t forget to keep up a positive attitude and stay active. An optimistic outlook can do wonders for your health. Happy spring cleaning!
Reprinted with permission from Bel Marra Health.