There must be 50 ways to love your liver, but to truly love something you have to know what it is all about. Right?
Well, what impresses me most about the liver is not that it is the largest internal organ of the body, but that it performs over 5,000 functions. A small list includes balancing your cholesterol, storing vitamins, activating hormones, and metabolizing fat into glucose to give your body energy. It also acts as a filter to remove toxins (harmful substances) and waste products from the blood. Check this out - a healthy liver filters blood at a rate of about 1.5 quarts per minute. That's 540 gallons of blood a day and more than 13 million gallons over a lifetime! Wow.
The liver continues to function even with considerable damage, but that doesn't mean it is doing all of its jobs well. Signs of poor function include: tiredness, dark circles under the eyes, poor digestion and dull skin.
If your holiday season started out with a partying bang and lots of alcohol and fatty foods, you might want to do something nice for your largest organ. Want to know what foods help your liver out, then
- Bitter food like broccoli, dandelion greens, cabbage and brussels sprouts have a cleansing effect on the liver.
- In multiple studies, artichokes have been proven to promote liver health.
- The spices turmeric, cinnamon and licorice are beneficial to the liver.
Of course it helps to avoid: saturated fats, refined sugar and alcohol (limit yourself to two drinks a day). Drinking plenty of water is always a good idea.