We´ve all had that feeling. Sluggish, bloated, woke-up-on-the-wrong-side-of-the-bed, angry-at-the-world, the last thing we want to do is go to the gym or take that yoga class. It may not be all in your head. It might be in your gut; upper right side, maybe you like to kill it on Friday nights, and it gives you a big headache the morning after__ that´s correct. It´s your liver.
We know that the liver is resilient and regenerates. That´s why we party like there´s no tomorrow. We know it´s badass! The thing is…if we just showed it a little love, we could reap so many benefits, especially in weight loss.
First, let´s learn about the liver. The liver has about 500 functions and connects to every major organ that has to do with fat metabolism. In fact, the liver itself metabolizes fat as well as storing glycogen. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is believed that the Liver is responsible for emotional stability. An imbalance in this will cause irritability and anger. Which makes sense because if the storage of glycogen is impaired, it will cause hypoglycemia which causes irritability.
So it seems like it all has an explanation or connection. The liver even bridges the gap between eastern and western medical practices. I see so many people buying protein shakes, diet pills and thyroid supplements for weight loss when one of the biggest reasons they are not achieving their goals is the way they are treating their liver!
How do we turn this around?
When it comes to nutrition and your liver it’s not about cutting foods out as much as it is adding more liver-friendly foods: garlic, grapefruit, beets, carrots, Green Tea, Leafy Green Veggies, Avocados, Apples, Turmeric, Olive Oil, Ancient Grains, Cruciferous Vegetables, Lemons, Limes, and Walnuts. Make a salad containing some of these with a lemon vinaigrette or add some turmeric and cumin to your quinoa (cumin just goes really well with it) and you´ve done something to make your liver happy.
Use that glycogen! Burn some calories! Even an hour walk will do! I know most books and articles say 20 minutes of running will suffice, but you have to burn above 300 calories to make your body go into fat metabolizing mode. So get on that treadmill or get out and explore your neighborhood!
3. Omega 3s
What if you don´t drink as much and try to eat healthy but you still have weight loss issues, bloating, or some of the other symptoms? It might be because your food choices may contain a lot of Omega 6 and not Omega 3. Omega 6 is found in oils, especially the cheap oils used to fry and process factory-produced food. By countering that with Omega-3 found in flaxseed or fish oil, you neutralize the bad effect on the liver and even restore its function. According to a recent study, omega-3 fatty acid treatment may have beneficial effects on metabolism and inflammation. Meaning it repairs and restores your liver.
These three areas are a great place to get started if you want to start treating your liver better and reaping the benefits!