Monday, February 6, 2012

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Although everyday activities can put stress on your liver, there also are simple ways for you to keep your liver healthy.

A variety of cabbages
Increase your intake of Brassica vegetables to keep your liver healthy.

Have you ever wondered about the health of your liver? From hormone processing to detoxification, our liver has many important jobs. Many of us put additional stress on the liver with daily activities such as drinking alcohol, breathing unclean air and eating processed or unhealthy foods.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to give your liver the upper hand against these assaults:

1. Diet

Try to increase your intake of the following foods:

  • Brassica vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, collard greens, broccoli and cauliflower
  • Leafy greens such as spinach, dandelion greens and kale
  • Foods that are high in fiber such as pears, apples, oats and cinnamon

Foods to avoid or decrease in your diet include:

  • Nonorganic foods in general, but especially meats, poultry, eggs and dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee

 2. Sweating

Whether through exercise or sauna, sweating allows your body to eliminate toxins through the pores, lowering the detoxification burden on the liver.

3. Clean Water

Replace any soda, juice or coffee you drink with clean water. Getting enough water in your system is very important for detoxification.

4. Get Individualized Advice

There are many herbs and supplements as well as other therapies that can also be helpful for liver support and detoxification. For additional help, contact Bastyr Center for Natural Health at (206) 834-4100 to make an appointment with a naturopathic doctor and get individualized advice based on your lifestyle. 

Lela Altman, ND, naturopathic physician and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health, the teaching clinic of Bastyr University.

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