The liver is one of the busiest organs in your body. Weighing in at around 3 pounds, it is the largest organ inside the body, and it is responsible for an estimated 500 functions. Among these are converting the thyroid’s hormones for use in the body, processing the body’s stored sugar, converting sugar into usable energy, creating bile to aid in digestion, removing unnecessary hormones, and manufacturing proteins and blood clotting factors. And, if all of that wasn’t enough, it is the body’s main detoxification center. Wouldn’t you agree that it’s about time to start loving your liver? Here’s what you can do to help out this vital organ:
Remove processed or refined carbs, sugars, and foods from your diet
The liver is greatly affected by the foods that you eat, as one of its jobs is to “read” the insulin levels in the blood, and absorb or release glucose according to the need of the body. When the body is inundated with high amounts of processed sugars and carbs, as is the case with a traditional American diet, the liver becomes overloaded. It must then take the glucose it absorbs from the blood and turn it into fatty acids to be stored as body fat. An accumulation of this toxic storage can in turn lead to the symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, an imbalance of cholesterol, and liver disease.
Get up and move
A primary job of the liver is to remove toxins from the body. Know what else does this? Exercise! Any amount of exercise will increase oxygen to the cells and improve circulation to all parts of the body, which allows for greater detoxification of each and every cell. And the good news is that all types of exercise can help with detoxification, be it running, walking, dancing, weight training, pilates, yoga, swimming, or whatever your favorite activity is! If you need a little help to get up and move, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our fitness instructors at Well Spa & Fitness.
Get enough sleep
Like many functions of the body, the liver is affected by your circadian rhythm. This means that at night, around 9 o’clock, your body’s detoxification kicks into high gear, beginning with the lymph nodes, and moving through the liver, the gall, the lungs, and ending with the colon (and hopefully a healthy bowel movement) in the morning. This process needs your cooperation to work optimally, though. If you are staying up too late and waking up too early, your body will not detoxify properly throughout the night. So make sure that when 9 o’clock rolls around, you are winding down and preparing your body for sleep within the next couple of hours, and you are getting eight hours of quality sleep each night.
Cleanse the liver
Even if you are doing all of the above, your liver would still appreciate a good cleansing at least once a year. Talk to your clinician about the different purification programs we offer here at the Well, which are designed to gently and thoroughly clean out the liver, and which can be customized to exactly what your body needs.