Why liver toxicity could be the major cause of your weight gain
Are you exercising and gaining weight instead of leaning down?Are you feeling tired, sluggish and irritable, lack concentration and seriously in the ‘no motivation zone’? This may be a sign of liver distress.
By Andriana Elezovich
The food we eat, air we breathe, water we drink, household cleaning products we use, outdoor fumes and pollutants we’re exposed to, are just some of the hundreds of toxins we are exposed to every single day.
Adding to these external toxins are our diets.
Diets that are high in sugars, saturated fats and alcohol (95 per cent of the alcohol you drink is processed via the liver), filled with packaged, processed and chemical-laden foods, place an even greater burden on our already overworked livers. An unhappy toxic liver will leave you feeling miserable and add unwanted weight gain no matter how much you may be exercising.
THE HARDWORKING LIVER
It is the job of the liver to filter these toxic substances from our blood so they can be eliminated from the body. If the body were an automobile, the liver would be its engine. It is the largest organ inside the body and performs many functions to run the body smoothly.
The livers main function is to detox the body and clear it of junk to prevent illness. The liver is also the body’s primary fat metaboliser! A highly toxic liver is unable to perform either of these jobs well with continued toxic overload. The liver will eventually resemble a dirty wet sponge that needs to be wrung out.
If regeneration of the liver via detoxification is not given, the liver will continue remaining blocked, fatty and bloated and you begin to pack on unwanted weight, with the added difficulty of loosing the weight once already gained. The livers’ fat-burning mechanics are hindered and unable to work at optimum levels.
SIGNS OF A TOXIC LIVER
Signs of liver distress may include problematic skin, including itchiness, chronic fatigue, depression, irritability, abdominal pain and digestive complaints, chemical sensitivities and poor tolerance to fatty foods. Hormonal imbalances, such as mood swings, PMS, hot flashes and difficulty losing weight may be signs of liver dysfunction. Liver spots, dark circles under the eyes, yellowish eyes, bad breath, nausea, loss of appetite and pale stools may also be signs of liver distress.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR LIVER
For optimum liver function, good health, wellbeing and ideal body weight, liver detoxification is highly recommended. Without good nutritional detoxification, liver overload will only result in toxins being pushed back into the blood, causing long-tem fatigue, poor memory, immune dysfunction, overall irritability and continued weight gain.
Natural foods can give your liver a helping hand in detoxification and improved liver function. Some of these are below.
- Beetroot and beetroot juice: Beetroot contains a chemical called betaine that stimulates the liver cells and protects the liver and bile ducts.
- Dandelion root: A healthy caffeine-free alternative to coffee used by herbalists to promote liver detoxification, it is a wonderful blood purifier and liver antioxidant.
- Garlic: Containing methionine, which is necessary for liver detoxification and increasing glutathione levels (one of the main detoxifiers used by the liver), garlic helps strengthen and cleanse the blood for a liver spring clean.
- Cruciferous vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower contain natural sulphur compounds that aid in liver detoxification.
- Carrots: High in beta-carotene, they help regulate blood-sugar levels, reduce inflammation in the body and provide tonnes of energy.
- St Mary's thistle: Antioxidant and acts as a toxin blocker. Enhancing liver repair, detoxification and protects against liver cell damage and serves to regenerate already damaged liver cells.
- Herbal bitters: Also known as Swedish Bitters, these are medicines beloved by herbalists. The bitter taste stimulates digestive processes, including the liver's production of bile. Bile, part digestive juice, part waste product, is made by the liver and excreted via the bowel.
- Lemon juice: The bitterness of the lemon juice triggers nerve and hormone activation to the liver and digestive system. The juice of half a lemon in warm water, first thing in the morning, is a wonderful way to kick start the liver for the day.
- Herbs and spices: Turmeric, cinnamon, liquorice root, curcumin and artichoke have anti-inflammatory effects throughout the body, including the liver. They are excellent for those with a liver virus or infection.
- Zinc-rich foods: An important enzyme in many chemical reactions throughout the body, zinc helps protect against acute and chronic liver disease.
- Drink plenty of water: Not drinking enough water may increase the risk of gallstones (bile becomes too concentrated in the gall bladder). Drinking sufficient fluids such as water, tea and herbal tea, improves the flow of nutrients to, and waste products from, the liver. Aim for at least two litres of water each day.
- Eat fibre: Fibre binds to bile and eliminates fat-soluble toxins from the body. Aim for 30-40g of fibre each day.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep has many health benefits and aids in regeneration and detoxification. Sleep also strengthens the immune system and helps the body repair from many ills such as stress and pollutants and regulates hormones that affect appetite control.
Andriana is a fitness professional that specialises in women’s weight loss, health, wellbeing, functional fitness, strength training and athletic conditioning. Her passion for all things health and fitness began 20 years ago and she loves watching others achieve their health and fitness goals. She is a certified personal master trainer, group fitness instructor and Les Mills instructor. She also has 12 years experience in martial arts, a diploma in clinical nutrition and is a certified professional model and mum to two children. She believes a physically fit body is fundamental to a strong, happy, confident life and that growth in mind, body and spirit is paramount to a happier life!