Over time the body holds onto toxins from exposure to smog, exhaust, conventional beauty products, medications and conventional meats. The liver is one of the organs in charge of clearing these toxins from the body and preventing the development of serious health problems.
The liver performs over 500 functions, one of which is detoxification. The liver neutralizes toxic substances by breaking down harmful fat soluble toxins (dissolve only in fat and difficult to remove) into less harmful water-soluble substances for elimination. Exposure to large amounts of toxins can overload the liver and reduce the body’s ability to perform efficiently. Performing a detox or cleanse helps to give the liver a boost.
5 simple ways to cleanse:
- Drink lemon water – stimulates the liver. Studies show that lemon helps to control excess bile flow, strengthens liver enzymes, and improves blood oxygen levels. Lemon water also promotes better digestion and elimination of waste and helps to purify the blood. Drink a glass of lemon water every morning – squeeze half a lemon into an 8 oz. glass of lukewarm water.
- Eat your greens – Green vegetables contain chlorophyll which is known to be an anti-carcinogenic and helps protect the body from free radical damage. Chlorophyll also binds with heavy metals that can accumulate in the body and promote their elimination. On top of helping with the removal of toxins, chlorophyll also contains nutrients which help support the body during a cleanse, such as copper, potassium, iron, and magnesium. It is important to eat your greens raw as the cooking process destroys a large amount of the chlorophyll naturally present. Include: kale, spinach, cilantro, Spirulina, and broccoli as the darker the green the more chlorophyll. How to use: consume greens on their own or add them to salads, soups, smoothies, and stews.
- Eat your beets – this high antioxidant vegetable also contains betaine, betalains, pectin (fibre), betacyanin, and betanin which help support liver detoxification and promote removal of toxins. Pectin is an especially important component of beets and cleansing as it helps clean toxins therefore allowing them to be flushed from the body instead of reabsorbed. Studies have also shown that beets help heal the liver, decrease homocysteine levels, decrease inflammation, and prevent the formation of free radicals which all help support overall body health. How to use: grated, pured, roasted or baked beets make a delicious side dish or additions to soups, salads, or even baked goods.
- Dry skin brushing – skin is the largest elimination organ and is the first organ to show signs of toxicity. Your skin releases a pound of waste each day. Dry skin brushing can improve elimination of waste through the skin by stimulating blood and lymph flow, removal of dead skin cells, strengthening of the immune system and nurturing of the body. The simple act of dry brushing helps to move lymph and unclog pores which helps promote better elimination of waste and supports the body’s ability to fight infection. Directions: dry skin brush before showering or bathing. Start at your feet and brush towards the heart using brisk circular motions. Brush up your legs, then over the abdomen, butt, and back. Brush lightly over breasts brushing towards the armpit and finally brush up the arms starting from your fingertips. Finish by showering. Perform daily for 5-15 minutes.
- Get moving – exercise promotes circulation and sweating which helps to naturally remove toxins from the body. Exercise helps to promote function of the elimination organs while improving blood and lymph circulation and bowel movements. Pick an activity that you enjoy. You can also try rebounding (jumping on a trampoline) which helps to stimulate lymph flow and further promoted elimination of waste.
Implement these simple tips into your daily life and give back to your liver … after all it does a lot for us!