It’s liver awareness month, so let’s spend a moment getting to know this mighty organ a little better!
Where is your liver and what does it look like?
Weighing in at roughly 3.5 pounds, the liver is the largest internal organ (second only to the skin which is larger in size and weight). Soft and smooth, this little “football” averages 7cm in length for women and 10.5cm for men and is located on the right side of the body, tucked neatly under the lower ribs.1
What does the liver do?
Your front line of detoxification is the liver. It can be thought of as a filter for the blood, weeding out toxins and finding a way to neutralize or eliminate them from the body.
The liver manufactures cholesterol which is crucial for many of the body’s functions, such as building new cells, protecting the nerves and producing sex (fertility) hormones and vitamin D.
The liver is part of your digestive system, producing bile which is necessary for the absorption of fats and fat soluble vitamins as well as the elimination of waste.
How can you support your liver?
There are several ways that you can keep your liver functioning at its best.
1. Reduce your toxic load. Eat organic when possible, use nontoxic cleaners, avoid using medication unnecessarily and keep alcoholic beverages to 3/wk for women and 6-7/wk for men. If you can manage the escape, spend some time at the beach, mountains or countryside, breathing in the cleaner air.
2. Eat liver supporting foods. With 80,000 chemicals approved for commerce and thousands more being added each year2, it’s impossible to create a pristinely nontoxic environment. Food to the rescue! Greens, dandelion root tea, apples, beets and turmeric are examples of foods that support your liver in today’s imperfect environment.
3. Know your food sensitivities. One man’s food is another man’s poison. When we are sensitive to a food, it is like a toxin to our body adding to the liver’s workload.
4. Try juicing! To get a concentrated dose of liver-boosting compounds, try this refreshing ruby-colored detox juice.
Liver Detox Juice
- 1 beet, scrubbed
- One handful of greens, washed (dandelion greens are very good for the liver if you are ok with the bitter taste)
- 1 apple
- 1 cucumber, peeled
- 1 lemon, peeled
- Juice all ingredients, stir and enjoy!