Warmer weather means more cold drinks on the patio, more red meat on the grill, and more frozen treats to end the evening. With the influx of these tasty items, your liver needs some extra lovin' to keep your body functioning properly!
Why should we give our liver some love? It does SO MANY things, but we are highlighting just a few today.
Your liver is responsible for:
- metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and protein
-regulating blood sugar
- producing bile, the substance required to break down fats
- breaking down alcohol, drugs, and other toxins to be removed from the body
This means that your liver can do many things in a balanced diet; however, too much of a substance like alcohol can make the liver sluggish. This increases toxins in the body, decreases macronutrient metabolism, and decreases bile production so fats don't break down as quickly.
While all of our organs are important (duh!), the liver is a mighty powerhouse! When the liver disfunctions, common conditions include Fatty Liver Disease, liver viruses, and liver failure. Common signs of liver disfunction include:
- jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
- swelling of the legs and ankles
- dark urine colour
- abdominal pain/swelling
- mental confusion/extreme fatigue
- nausea and loss of appetite
So with extra drinks, burgers, fries, and ice cream in the picture during warmer months, keeping your liver happy is super important. Now that we've convinced you...
Here are 3 ways to support your liver this summer!
1. Increase your fiber intake: Fiber is a wonderful thing! Fiber keeps you fuller longer, improves digestion, and lowers both blood sugar and cholesterol . When fiber helps lower blood sugar and cholesterol, it reduces the liver's work load significantly so it can focus on many other tasks. Some practical ways to boost your fiber intake this summer:
- Grilling some steak ? Make a garden fresh salad with greens, cucumber, carrots, beets, and some seeds, a squeeze of lemon, and topped with a healthy fat dressing like olive oil + balsamic vinegar. Fill up half your plate with this summer fresh salad for a huge fiber boost!
- Planning on hitting up a bar patio tonight? Start your morning fiber fueled by adding chia/flax seed to a berry smoothie, making chia seed pudding, or topping oatmeal with some seeds and berries.
- Short for time? Psyllium husk carries the benefit of both insoluble and soluble fiber, keeping you fuller longer. Add it to water and carry on with your day!
2. Reduce your toxin load: The liver is the body's primary detoxification system, filtering through toxins and converting them to waste. As we've already mentioned, your liver has LOTS to do already - so an increased toxin load will slow it down. Here are some ways to reduce your toxin load:
- Be mindful of alcohol consumption. We hate to remind you, but alcohol is treated as a toxin in the body! Spacing out drinks over the day and swapping some drinks for non-alcoholic versions are great ways to be alcohol- conscience.
- Reduce household toxins to lessen the load. You may not even be aware of what toxins you are exposed to around the house - this blog gives you a room-by-room guide to reducing the unknown, out of sight chemicals.
-consume more detoxifying foods to help the process! Wild blueberries, spirulina, wheat barley grass, carrots, ginger, and broccoli are good examples of detoxifying foods to incorporate.
3. Add Milk Thistle to your routine: Milk thistle is a plant containing an active ingredient called silymarin, a powerful antioxidant. Milk thistle is a supplement that may protect the liver cells from toxic damage, treat acne, and protect the bones. Our Liver+ formula contains milk thistle to improve liver function!
Are you looking to have a fun, balanced summer of 2022? Your nutrition goals don't have to pause to enjoy all that summer has to offer. SFL's nutritional program offers tasty meal ideas and lifestyle concepts to take with you wherever you go! Click below for a FREE consultation: