8 Foods to Love your Liver (and your Gut!)
By Karlene Georgiadis, Author and Biomedical Naturopath
Why only 8 foods, and not more, or less? You might be wondering…
Well, the significance of the number 8 is reflected in the Hermetic (ancient Greek) proverb:
“As above so below, as within so without.”
In many ancient healing traditions too, the number 8 reflects that whatever happens here on earth, so too is happening in the astral plane. That what is happening in the microcosm is reflected in the macro. From a human body point of view, what we take in (e.g. foods, water and breath) is reflected on the outside in our physical health as well.
Diving into gut health research, I also see this play out in so many ways. This includes our various thoughts and choices around food, which are connected with the role of our liver and microbiota, deep within our bodies.
So, I chose only 8 foods to love your liver and not more. Because these 8 foods are among the best. That is why. Read on to find out what these 8 foods to eat are to love your liver (and to love your body both inside and out) that little bit more…
I also have a saying in my clinic, which I often include when I sign off an email. It is this:
You are your own medicine.
While it is so empowering, the flip side is that we can also be our own poison too.
This leads me next to a well-known poison we, as social beings, often lean on as a crutch to get us through social settings, anxious times, the need to unwind, relaxing with mates, celebrating life events, or even just to add flavour to cooking. I am referring to alcohol, of course.
Lesser known facts about alcohol…
Is there still such a thing as lesser known facts about alcohol? With so much having already been written and said (good and bad) about alcohol, what more is there still to say? As a Biomedical Naturopath and Poo Queen, I can tell you there is still quite a lot.
In the past, I have had some clients get angry when I’ve advised them to reduce their alcohol intake, only to have the same clients thanking me profusely a month later, saying they feel soooo much better for taking my recommendation on board. Why does it make such a positive difference?
Here’s a list of conditions that improve when alcohol intake is reduced or avoided:
1. Poor digestive function
2. Toxic liver and toxic liver symptoms including headaches
5. Altered mood
6. Sleep disturbance
7. Weight gain
8. Inflammation and pain
But, why does it make such a big difference? Because from your body’s point of view alcohol is a primary toxin and while the liver has many vital functions, all other functions get put on hold while the liver is dealing with (detoxifying) the alcohol.
Your vital liver functions
Here are just some of the important jobs performed by your liver each day:
Bile production (bile is the body’s own natural laxative!)
Fat emulsification and the carrying of waste products
Protein production for blood plasma
Conversion of excess glucose to glycogen
Conversion of ammonia to urea
Processing of haemoglobin (the oxygen-carrying component in red blood cells)
Regulation of amino acids, including for amino acids used in neurotransmitter production
Production of cholesterol
Regulation of blood clotting
Clearance of drugs
Clearance of bilirubin
Making immune factors
All of these vital liver functions get put on hold while your liver has to deal with alcohol detoxification.
Did you know that the main enzyme that deals with alcohol is called alcohol dehydrogenase? And the amount of this enzyme we produce each week is only enough to deal with less than 2.5 standard drinks per week!
Other negative effects of alcohol
Alcohol creates debits to the nutrient reserves in your body. Some of the nutrients that are quickly depleted, or are otherwise lost via the urine due to the diuretic effect of alcohol include:
– Vitamin D (which everyone needs more of during winter, not less!)
– Vitamin C
– B-group vitamins
What am I feeding?
Life is often a series of choices, so making the best choices possible can only be a good thing. This is especially true when it comes to foods choices. As promised, here are my 8 top choices to feed your gut, love your liver and help to regenerate your health.
– Fresh garlic
– Olive oil
Each of these foods supply one or more of the following: alkalising minerals including magnesium, potassium and calcium; many B-group vitamins, vitamins C, E and K; good fats, such as omega-9 fatty acids and other protective antioxidants. Collectively, these foods all help to reduce inflammation in the liver while also feeding the gut and supplying excellent nutrients to support all the important jobs the liver performs each day. This makes these foods amazing food choices for your health, so why not enjoy a good selection of these each day?
A final note
If you want to further explore why we drink alcohol, our belief systems around alcohol and possibly even challenge yourself to taking back control for 30 days I recommend a fabulous book called The Alcohol Experiment by Annie Grace. Her technique of Awareness, Clarity and Turnaround (ACT) is also transferable to any other unwanted habit too!
So why not take up the 30-day challenge and let me know how you go?
Not only will your liver love the break, your gut will be happier too.
Follow the link below to find out more:
Biomedical Naturopath and Poo Queen