Ways To Help Your Liver Detox
The festivities have come to an end and the New Year is finally here. With the New Year comes the desire to detox, cleanse and "flush out" all of the toxins from the holidays. This therefore brings with it detox diets and products.
Furthermore, however, women with PCOS suffer from a hormone imbalance which means they are more prone to endocrine disrupting chemicals found in food or the environment, compared to women without PCOS. These chemicals and toxins disrupt our hormones, in turn making PCOS symptoms worse, however, despite our best efforts it is difficult to avoid all toxins in our environment. Therefore, implementing a simple detox can help.
The liver along with the kidneys and spleen are 3 organs in the body that have a role in helping the body detoxify. There are so many products claiming that they detox your body and liver but in reality, they do not.
While there are no products which marketed as the liver cleanser, there are, however, natural supplements and ways in which you can help your liver detoxify. These ways simply aid the liver to be able to be stronger and do its job.
The ways to detox mentioned below are not fad diets in which you follow low-calorie diets or purchase detox teas. Dieting on low calories for a short amount of time will not detoxify your liver nor will it help you or your PCOS in the long term.
Curcumin is an active component found in turmeric and is believed to be the source which holds all the benefits. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer properties.
Research has found that curcumin can reduce the effect of liver injuries caused as a result of the iron overdose and ethanol. There have also been many clinical trials examining the therapeutic potential of curcumin against human disease.
Glutamine is an amino acid, making up about 60% of the skeletal amino acid pool. It is stored predominately in the muscles and then the liver where most is made. The body produces plenty of glutamine, however, during times of extreme stress, your body may require more glutamine than it can produce. Producing enough glutamine is important as it is a key fuel source for the immune system which helps to protect against microbes.
Glutamine can be found cabbage and beetroots.
While there are many teas marketed as detox teas which can help you lose weight and will help you flush out of the toxins in your liver, none of them will work. However, a very well known tea which has many proven benefits for overall health is Green tea. Green tea is rich in catechins.
Green tea has been shown to protect against degenerative diseases as well as protecting against many cancers. EGCG, the main catechin in green tea is believed to reduce liver oxidation stress.
Dandelion has been used for many years to treat conditions such as liver problems, inflammation, kidney disease and skin problems. While there is no quality evidence on dandelion, today dandelion roots are commonly used as for liver and gallbladder problems. Dandelion leaves are used as a diuretic to help the body remove excess fluid.
Dandelion contains nutrients such as, vitamin A, C, B6 and magnesium which helps to cleanse the liver. Due to its high antioxidant properties drinking Dandelion tea can help protect against free radical damage, which is harmful to the body.
Glutathione is an amino acid and is described as the most powerful antioxidant produced in the body. It can be found in all parts of the body but is concentrated in the liver and it has great capabilities including, preventing damage to cells in the body caused by free radicals and heavy metals. Glutathione enhances the immune system and detoxifies the liver. It detoxifies the liver through excreting the toxin, via urine or bile, which has been converted by the liver enzymes for easy removal. However, if there is not enough glutathione the toxins begin to increase in the body and liver.
Glutathiones ability to detoxify the liver is due to a sulfur-rich amino acid called cysteine.
However, as a result of diet and ageing, the levels of glutathione in the body decrease.
Foods that optimise glutathione supply include; garlic, avocados, walnuts, asparagus, Brussel sprouts.
NAC or N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine
NAC is a precursor of L-cysteine that results in the replenishment of glutathione and promotes detoxification. NAC is a powerful antioxidant that fights against free radicals, especially oxygen radicals.
It is also a highly recommended supplement for women with PCOS, due to its effect on insulin and fertility.
Milk thistle is a plant containing various flavonolignans, with silybin being the major one. It has been used as a herbal remedy for liver treatment for years. Researchers suggest that the antioxidant properties found in Silymarin ( an extract from milk thistle) is what is believed to be responsible for its protective actions. Silymarin protects the body through fighting free radical damage.
The benefits of fasting are well researched and discussed. It is known that when you are continually consuming food, you are not giving your body and organs a break. Your body keeps making and storing fat, resulting in enlarged fat and liver cells. The frequent consumption of food leads to the liver releasing glucose and raising blood-sugar levels.
Fasting for a few hours allows the liver to stop producing glucose, in turn, lowering blood sugar levels. The glucose instead of being sent into the bloodstream is delivered to make new DNA and repair damaged cells, which can help with chronic inflammation.
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