Why it’s important to give your liver a break…
We’ve all done it at one point or another... y’know, the whole wake up with cereal and a liberal dose of honey, revel in a warm and comforting mid-morning latte, pick up something sweet after lunch (maybe even an energy drink?) and then finish the day with a nice glass of vino (or three!).
If you’re eating and drinking this way consistently, or even just from time to time, chances are you have one or many of the following problems: unwanted body fat, low energy, spotty or dull skin, mood swings and emotional instability (perhaps even verging on depression at times?), constant food cravings, an inability to sleep properly and/or poor digestion.
This is because your poor liver is copping quite the beating and as your major detoxification and fat burning organ, you need this baby to be in top working order, for the benefit of your body, as well as your mind.
To give your liver a break, we recommend ditching all alcohol and stimulants for at least a few weeks – yep, even your daily coffee! Let’s look at why this is so important to do from time to time, or better yet, MOST of the time…
What you need to know about your liver
The liver is the processing centre for the body and as such, is incredibly vulnerable to the consequences of high blood sugar, high blood fats, lots of inflammation, and insulin resistance – and remember, whether you’re skinny, rounded, or in between, if you’re not really careful about what you put in your body, you could be in big trouble on the inside and not even realise it.
The first sign that your liver is starting to struggle is raised liver enzymes or inflammation in the body – and this is something you can only find out by getting a blood test, so it’s often something that goes unnoticed for a long time.
If your liver is clean and working effectively, your body is able to remove unwanted, stored fats easily and your metabolism works effectively. However, if your liver is unclean, the opposite occurs.
Basically, when there is an overload of toxins, or excessive waste to deal with, your liver will not be able to remove the fats and sugars circulating in your blood stream. All that excess energy has to go somewhere and unfortunately, where it eventually ends up is as fatty deposits under the skin... either fat or (argh!) cellulite!
A dysfunctional liver can also cause an imbalance between our good and bad cholesterols, leading to more serious health concerns. So.... until our liver is clean and working effectively, those final bits of stubborn fat that you are hoping against hope to lose, will hold on tightly.
How to give your liver a break
How can you make sure your fat burning furnace is fired up?
- Cut down on alcohol (for at least 2 weeks, none at all please!) – it makes your liver work overtime, all the excess sugar ages you from the inside-out and makes your metabolism all slow and sloppy, which is just how your body will look if you indulge too often.
- Kick the caffeine habit- I know, I know, you love your morning coffee (me too), it’s so warm and friendly and inviting BUT do you love it more than you love your body, or your health? The problem with coffee is that it contains a heck of a lot of caffeine. This encourages cortisol production - the stress hormone. These days, many of us are well over our stress limits anyway and the extra cortisol will be stored on your lower abs, making it near impossible to budge that ‘spare tire’ until we kick the habit.
- Follow a low-carb, high protein and high fat diet – yep, we actually did just use the words ‘high’ and ‘fat’ in the same sentence and in a positive light. Why? Because this is the way of eating proven to get most results in both weight loss and increased liver/organ health. Remember, stick to quality sources of good fats, such as grass-fed meats (like our beef bars and biltong), free range poultry and wild caught fish, as well as avocado, seeds and nuts (like our collagen bar range), flaxseed or LSA mix, some full fat yoghurt and butter/cream if you tolerate dairy well, coconut and olive oils.
- Eliminate gluten from your diet – gluten affects not only your digestive health but your organ health and importantly, brain function! With gluten in your system, the part of your brain that controls your emotions, focus and drive could be taking a big hit. Not fun for anyone! FYI all our products are gluten free.
- Eat your veggies – all the colourful varieties you can find and some of them raw. These add fibre to your diet, help with digestion and provide live enzymes to help with waste removal.
- Limit fruit for a while but eat your berries and dark-coloured fruits. The more antioxidants the better!
- Start the day with some warm water and a big squeeze of lemon.
- Add as many anti-inflammatory and detoxing herbs to your diet as you can – try turmeric, ginger, fennel, dill, chives, mustard seeds and onion for savoury dishes, or cinnamon and nutmeg to add sweetness.
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