Love Your Liver This Christmas

Well the Christmas season is well and truly upon us now and the office parties are coming thick and fast. However, with the parties come the hangovers too.

Nights out of drinking more than we usually do is not only detrimental to your health but could also cause embarrassment.

The drunken texts to an ex or the snog in the corner of the bar with a colleague can leave you mortified when the booze wears off coupled with a stinking hangover may mean you aren’t feeling like it’s the season to be jolly and a bit more arghhhhhh than fala la la la. 

So this year when you are out partying save the blushes and show your liver a little love too.  

The liver is responsible for so many functions in your body including digestion, immunity and metabolism so soaking it in alcohol is not going to do it or you any favours.

Liver Facts

A liver that functions well can help with burning fat. Together with the Gall Bladder the liver helps us to excrete fatty substances, including stored body fat.

The liver also guides other areas of metabolism including cholesterol and oestrogen.

It’s the body’s 2nd largest organ after our skin and it is located just behind your right ribcage.

A crucial role for the liver is detoxification. Any substance that would be harmful to you if it were to accumulate in your body is changed by the liver into a less harmful form so that it can be excreted safely from the body. The choices we make influence how effectively the liver can do its job. Almost 1.5ltrs of blood goes through the liver every minute.

Liver Loaders

These are the things that can negatively impact how efficiently your liver can function;

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Trans Fats
  • Sugars
  • Synthetic substances such as pesticides, chemicals in skin care, medication etc.
  • Infections from viruses such as glandular fever.

Your liver also transforms substances your body makes so that they can be excreted such as, cholesterol and steroid hormones such as oestrogen. 

Your body cannot deal with alcohol, the liver MUST transform alcohol otherwise you will die pretty quickly. So when you overload with alcohol the liver says ‘ uh oh, I need to deal with this as a matter of urgency so I’ll have to put other things on the back burner’ because remember the body’s number one priority is keeping you alive. So the other stuff such as pesticides, chemicals and oestrogen get stored or worse still in the case of oestrogen, when the liver gets congested, it releases it back into the body. Recycled oestrogen and oestrogen overload are bad news.

Liver Helpers 

These are the things that will help your liver to function optimally so that you can enjoy good health;

  • Plain old water.
  • Up your intake of leafy green vegetables and veg from the brassica family such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage as well as artichokes, carrots, beetroot and dandelion. Green smoothies are great for cramming in a load of veggies.
  • Herbs and spices that can aide liver function are turmeric, liquorice, cinnamon and milk thistle.
  • Eat foods high in sulphur such as garlic, legumes, onions and eggs.
  • Eat foods high in soluble fibre such as pears, oat bran and apples.

However, that is not to say you can drink to oblivion and eat some broccoli, have a green smoothie and it will all be ok, I'm afraid that's not how it works. I’m not trying to be a party pooper but the keyword is moderation. Your liver will thank you but you may also save yourself some embarrassment. 

Have fun and stay safe!

PS. If you haven't signed up to the Flourish Wellbeing Newsletter just click here, enter your details and you'll get my health and wellbeing tips and healthy recipes straight to your inbox. You'll also get access to my '3 Days to kick the sugar habit' programme for FREE! 

PPS. Here is a liver loving green smoothie recipe for you to try......

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