Nutrients for Liver Support: Even superheroes need nurturing.
In my opinion, that’s exactly what the LIVER represents: a superhero. The liver protects us in the face of toxic danger. The liver doesn’t judge us. It doesn’t pick and choose when it will help us out based on whether we are knowingly abusing it or not. No, it’s there for us no matter what. But with all that we throw at it, it makes sense that it may not work quite as efficiently as possible. The least we can do is nurture it a bit. With that in mind, I’ve put together information on specific nutrients and herbs that will provide the liver with some additional support … and nurturing!
Our liver is there for us no matter what.
In a previous post on toxins I made some suggestions regarding lifestyle changes and those things that we should try to avoid in our daily lives in order to lessen the stress placed on our bodies. Unfortunately though, even if you do your best to live the “cleanest” possible lifestyle, it’s inevitable that you will still be exposed to toxins that are out of your control.
So, rather than sit back and accept the cumulative effects of the buildup of junk in your system, there are several nutrients and herbs that can be used to help your body manage the toxic challenges it will likely face throughout your lifetime. And the cool thing is that you’ll be able to notice the positive effect of these supportive supplements rather quickly. This is because, both directly and indirectly, the toxic overload in our bodies is negatively affecting every system and process that is necessary for our well-being. Thus, the effects of a liver-support regimen may manifest in newly found energy, the “melting off” of excess fat, improved PMS symptoms due to effectively balanced hormones, and even the elimination of that brain fog and forgetfulness that was once so annoying!
Here are a few of my favorite liver/detox support supplements:
- Probiotics (lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacteria): These are the “good” bacteria that reside in your gut that will help to keep the bad bacteria under control. Not only that, they assist with the production and absorption of nutrients, boost immunity, regulate hormones, improve digestion, and so on. Read more about the benefits of probiotics here.
- Vitamin C : A powerful antioxidant, meaning it protects the tissues of the body from oxidation – what occurs when oxygen becomes unstable during normal biochemical reactions and causes cellular damage. It is used by the immune system for many basic functions and it is capable of neutralizing a variety of disease-causing free radicals. It promotes detoxification and aids in digestive elimination. Take 1000-3000 mg per day and choose a buffered variety (won’t irritate your stomach) that also has bioflavonoids (antioxidant nutrients that help Vitamin C work most effectively.)
- Vitamin E: Works together with Vitamin C and is a fat-soluble anti-oxidant whose benefits range from increased sex drive to disease prevention. 400 iu’s per day is an effective dose.
- Milk Thistle Seed: This herb has an incredible track record for protecting, nourishing and repairing the liver. Silymarin, a compound in milk thistle, is known for its exceptional antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Look for milk thistle with Standardized Silymarin Extract 30:1 and take 1-2 150 mg capsules per day.
- Dandelion Root: This plant gets a bad rap in our culture! Treated by most as a weed and quickly eliminated as it sprouts yellow flowers in the spring, dandelion enjoys a flawless reputation elsewhere in the world for its healing capabilities specific to the liver. It’s high in vitamins and minerals and is an excellent blood detoxifier. I highly recommend consuming dandelion in tea form, at least once daily. It tastes good and it’s easy to find organic dandelion root tea bags in the organic section of the grocery store or at the local health food store.
- Chlorella: This is a single-cell algae loaded with a ton of antioxidants that supports liver and digestive detoxification. It’s incredibly effective at absorbing toxic metals like mercury and lead and helping the liver to eliminate these.
- Fish Oil: Essential Fatty Acids that promote heart health, memory, liver function, skin health and support the immune system. They are termed “essential” because, for the most part, our body cannot manufacture these substances on its own, so it must be obtained via diet. Be sure to look for high-quality fish oil, as cheap grocery-store brands may not have been tested and certified to be free of heavy metals such as mercury. 1000 mg per day is a good start.
- Curcumin: This bioactive compound is found in the herb Tumeric and is known for influencing two separate pathways of detoxification in the liver. In other words, curcumin helps to make unhealthy toxins less harmful while also helping those substances move through the liver and out of the body more efficiently.
Remember, there’s no “magic pill”
These nutrients and herbs will most definitely help to keep your natural detoxification systems in excellent working order. But, like I always say, there is no magic pill. You can take all of the recommended supplements but if you don’t clean up your diet and drink plenty of water, you’re just going to be throwing good money after bad. So, I must place my final emphasis on the importance of a varied, healthy, fiber-rich diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables along with plenty of water – at least 2 quarts per day – to flush out the toxins that your body has mobilized and keep you feeling your best!
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