According to the American Liver Foundation, the number of people with liver disease is on the rise. And your risk is just as great as anybody else’s…
That’s because ever-increasing exposure to pesticides, heavy metals, industrial chemicals and other “everyday pollutants” is wearing down your liver.
And without a strong, healthy liver you lack protection that ensures your long-term health — including your ability to ward off cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
But there are a few things your can—and should do—to give your liver a helping hand, beyond the occasional detox. You need daily liver support from the right anti-inflammatory foods, nutrients, and lifestyle practices…
Loving your liver
Chronic inflammation and liver disease are linked in a vicious cycle. Impaired liver function elevates the levels of toxins and inflammatory proteins in the circulation, which causes further liver damage, in particular fibrosis (excessive scar tissue build up) — not only in the liver, but throughout your body.
This devastating spiral of damage was once thought to be irreversible. But new research shows that you can intercept this destruction at the cellular level, and help to repair and regenerate our most vital organs.
By reducing chronic inflammation, increasing antioxidant activity and supporting liver tissue health, you can help to reverse “permanent” scar tissue in the liver and other organs, and help optimize organ function. These are some of the secrets to long-term vitality.
Foods to keep your liver healthy
The foundation of anti-inflammatory support — and overall health — is your diet. For liver-boosting benefits, emphasize whole, unprocessed foods, mainly green vegetables and fiber-rich foods that naturally detoxify your body and reduce inflammatory compounds. Nutrient-dense whole foods provide your systems with the antioxidant and nutritional support needed to perform efficiently.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale support your liver health by helping to promote detoxification, immunity and hormone balance. Vegetables that help neutralize acidity in the body and reduce inflammation include avocado, celery, cucumber and cooked spinach. High fiber foods, including rice bran, flax, chia seeds and psyllium, help to clear out toxins from the digestive tract, easing the strain on your liver.
Culinary medicinal mushrooms are also great detox and anti-inflammatory foods. They help balance immunity, remove toxins and provide an abundance of important antioxidants and nutrients. I particularly recommend shitake and maitake varieties.
On the other hand, certain foods cause inflammation and impair organ function. For optimal liver and overall health, these foods should be avoided:
- Processed foods
- Gluten-containing foods made with wheat, rye, and barley
- Red meat and deli meats
- Cooked oils
Lemons also offer great support for liver and gall bladder health. I recommend drinking this olive oil and lemon mixture occasionally: blend an organic lemon, 1¼ cups water and a tablespoon of olive oil and partially strain, leaving a little pulp. The pectin from the lemon peel also supports digestive health, and many patients report that this formula softens their skin and helps them sleep more deeply.
Even with regular detoxification we’re not completely safe….
Block liver fibrosis and damage
Research shows there are certain supplements that also help prevent liver damage, by blocking the process of fibrosis and organ failure that occurs from chronic inflammation and liver disease.
In particular, a new peer-reviewed study shows that Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) can help prevent liver fibrosis through several distinct mechanisms of action.
Researchers demonstrated that MCP binds and blocks galectin-3, a protein that at elevated levels is involved in chronic inflammation, fibrosis and resulting organ damage. Elevated galectin-3 is also involved in the growth and metastasis of cancer, as well as heart failure and other life-threatening inflammatory conditions.
MCP is currently the most-researched galectin-3 blocker, shown in numerous studies to halt the destructive effects of elevated galectin-3 throughout the body.
The study showed that MCP also worked to help protect liver health through antioxidant action, as well as apoptosis of damaged liver cells.
Your liver works very hard to keep you healthy, filtering toxins, digesting food, and manufacturing countless proteins, hormones and enzymes. For long-term health and vitality, energy and overall wellbeing, it’s critical that you take the right steps to protect this vital organ – daily.
Luckily, researchers are demonstrating the value of specific natural compounds that can do just that, promoting a healthy liver and even reversing damage that has been done. Stay tuned for more exciting research developments in this important area of health and wellness.