Is Your Liver in Need of Detox?
During the course of our lifetime, the human body is exposed to a vast amount of foreign chemicals and substances, also known as toxins or poisons.
These may come from from the food we eat, pharmaceuticals we may take, products we put on our skin, the environment, while others are released by dying cells or invading bacteria.
How Do We Survive This?
Our bodies are able avoid damage from these substances by detoxifying themselves, using a huge battery of detoxification enzymes that exist inside us.
Your skin, respiratory system, immune system, intestines and kidneys all help the body detox, but a large part of the responsibility falls to the liver.
All of the blood that leaves the stomach and the intestine passes through the liver, where the blood is processed, broken down, balanced and made into nutrients for the body to use.
Toxins in the blood are broken down and removed before they can do any damage.
The liver is constantly working to detoxify blood and produce bile to store essential vitamins, minerals and iron.
Some toxins are sent to the kidneys to be excreted in the urine.
Evidence suggests that this complex body detoxification system may protect us from diseases such as Parkinson’s, cancer, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue/immune dysfunction syndrome.
If the liver isn’t working properly, the detoxification process of the body is impaired and we may be at higher risk of these diseases.
The effectiveness of the body’s detoxification system greatly depends on lifestyle, environment and heredity.
The Body’s Detoxification Process
In the mid-19th century, it was proven that toxins are transformed by enzymes that exist in the liver and also in the gut, into water-soluble substances and excreted through the urine, so detoxifying the body.
About 100 years later, scientists found that this detoxification of the body happens in two phases:
Phase 1 detoxification- In this phase, also known as activation, the cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver, use oxygen, with the help of certain nutrients, to turn the toxin into a reactive molecule.
This molecule may be more toxic than the parent molecule.
Phase 2 detoxification- This phase is also known as conjugation, and it involves the transformation of the reactive molecule formed in phase 1, by enzymes, into a water-soluble molecule which can be excreted through the urine or bile.  
In order to preserve good health and well-being, we must ensure we are detoxifying efficiently.
How to Detoxify Your Liver Naturally
Most of us could benefit from a good detox now and again.
However, small changes to your diet and lifestyle will benefit you for years to come!
There are many ways you can help your liver detoxify naturally.
These include avoiding certain foods and drinks, adding detoxifying foods to your diet, and by clean living.
1) Eat Sensibly
Eating sensibly and not over-indulging on harmful things such as the following, is the place to start for a complete body detoxification:
- fatty and fried foods
- processed foods, such as ham, sausage, bacon
- excessive caffeine
- excessive alcohol
- excessive sugar
2) Foods to Detoxify the Liver
As well as avoiding certain foods and drinks, there are foods that can be included in your diet that have been shown to detoxify the liver faster:
- Garlic- garlic contains minerals and vitamins that assist in the liver detox process, such as the mineral Selenium and Vitamin C, which are anti-oxidants, and Vitamin B6 which is an anti-inflammatory.
- Grapefruit- high in Vitamin C as well as glutathione, which helps the liver produce detoxifying enzymes.
- Leafy Green Vegetables-these have been shown to detoxify the liver by neutralizing toxins and increasing bile flow to help get rid of body waste products.
- Beets- these naturally cleanse and purify the blood and boost liver function.
- Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts- these help the liver to produce enzymes which break down toxins.
- Avocados- this is the best food you can eat for liver detox. As well as containing the anti-oxidant Vitamins C and E, they also contain glutathione, and the anti-inflammatory Vitamins E and K.
- Walnuts- walnuts contain the amino acid arginine, which is essential for helping the liver detoxify ammonia. They’re also high in glutathione and Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to detoxify the liver. Walnuts are full of antioxidants and healthy, unsaturated fats that protect against fat accumulation in the liver.
- Turmeric- this spice is rich in curcumin, a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It improves the flow of bile from the liver and protects the liver from damage by alcohol and other toxins.
- Green Tea extract – This may be the most beneficial of all the detox products. The active ingredients it contains are not only antioxidants but also support the body’s natural ability to detoxify.
- Warm Lemon Water- Purified warm water and a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice is a great way to detox your liver on a daily basis. Some experts believe that the liver produces more enzymes in response to water with lemon than any other food.  
- Coriander- This herb can help remove heavy metals from the body, something your liver could be struggling with right now.
- Dandelion- Dandelion root tea assists the liver in breaking down fats, producing amino acids, and generally ridding it of toxins. 
3) Live Well!
What you do when you’re young will always catch up with you later on in life, so, have fun, but think twice before you do anything that could endanger your health.
Lifestyle factors that put strain on the liver include:
- Drug use
- Smoking tobacco
- Unprotected sex
- Tattoos and body piercings 
The best time to detoxify is in the warmer months of Spring and Summer.
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Until next time,
Yours in Health
From the Team at Unique Health and Wellness
Disclaimer: The information provided does not take into account individual needs of any particular person. When providing this information it is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research. The information provided should not be construed as personal medical advice or instruction and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.
 Role of metabolism in chemical toxicity. In: Ioannides C, ed. Cytochromes P450: Metabolic And Toxicological Aspects. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, Inc; 1996:29-53.