How much do we take care of our skin – the only organ visible to self and others. Cleansing, toning, moisturizing … How much more, then, must we bother about our liver – the largest organ that regulates most body functions, including nourishment of skin.
The liver weighs about three pounds, and is perched on the upper right side of the abdomen. It is the most hard working organ in the body, performing many essential functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity, and the storage of nutrients within the body.
Functions of the liver:
Production of bile, which helps carry away waste and break down fats during digestion
Detoxification of blood from drugs and other poisonous substances
Processing of haemoglobin for use of its iron content
Production of some proteins for blood plasma
Production of cholesterol and special proteins to help carry fats through the body
Conversion of glucose into glycogen for storage (glycogen can later be converted back to glucose for energy)
Regulation of blood levels of amino acids, which form the building blocks of proteins
Conversion of ammonia to urea (urea is an end product of protein metabolism and is excreted in the urine)
Boost resistance by producing immune factors and removing bacteria from the bloodstream
Since the liver processes many vital functions, it is prone to infections, causing serious diseases, if not well preserved.
Our environmental conditions, irregular and unhealthy eating habits, lifestyle build toxins in our tissues, which if not excreted at the right time, can prove harmful. While water soluble toxins dissolve and are eliminated through sweat and urine, fat soluble toxins need the liver for precessing. The rise in toxic level impeded liver efficiency, causing problems in the above mentioned processes. The process of cleansing the liver is called liver detoxification. Thus, detoxification of liver is as important as eating nutrient den foods.
Food needed for liver detoxification
Consuming a detox diet is the way to eliminate the toxins being bombarded into our body through pesticides, smog, alcohol, caffeine, medications, noxious substances such as artificial sweeteners, sugar and impure water.
Carrot: A food rich in glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver. It is an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals.
Garlic: Garlic is brimmed with sulphur, a mineral that helps create an enzyme that purge the liver from toxins.
Cabbage: One of the most versatile vegetables, cabbage is a natural detoxifier. It is loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Spinach: The chlorophyll found in leafy vegetables act alone to clean environmental toxins like smog, pesticides, and heavy metals out from the body.
Broccoli sprouts: Baby broccoli is extremely high in antioxidants which stimulate the detoxification enzymes in the digestive tract.
Beetroot: Elements like betaine, betalains, fiber, iron, betacyanin, folate, and betanin are obtained from beet, which work parallelly to boost liver efficiency.
Parsley: It is a herb which includes an array of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, chlorophyll and volatile oils. Parsley also helps in bile acid production, thus removing the toxins form the body.