The liver is a reddish brown organ weighing in at about 3 to 5 lbs., resides under the diaphragm on the right hand side of the body, and has many functions. It has two large arteries, the heptic artery, which has the job of carrying oxygen rich blood from the heart into the liver, and the portal vein that carry’s out the blood with digested foods.
The liver is one of the hardest working organs in the body, and excellent liver health means wellbeing, an overstressed liver however, means ill health and potential poor quality of life.
Its functions are:
– Filters harmful toxins, chemicals, preservatives, alcohol etc. The liver is the main line of defense against poisons entering and damaging our system.
– Turns glucose into glycogen which is fuel for your body. Some glycogen is used immediately and the rest may be stored in fat to be used at a later date. It processes protein and fats from digested foods and makes it available for transportation through the blood, which also includes proteins used to make beneficial clotting (such as for cuts and scrapes).
– The liver also produces bile which further enhances the digestive process and waste products are carried away.
– The liver also is a place of storage for vitamins such as B, A, D and K for use as needed.
– It is the major producer of cholesterol and triglycerides which are necessary for all then tissues of the body. Most cholesterol we get is from consuming animal fats but when we do not receive dietary cholesterol; our liver makes it and then distributes it to the bloodstream for transportation throughout the body.
– The liver also produces immune factors for the body that assist in removing bacteria from the blood, enhancing our resistance to infections.
Symptoms of a sluggish liver:
– chronic fatigue
– jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
– frequent headaches
– sleep disorders, nightmares
– hot flashes
– hormonal imbalances
– bloating of the stomach
– smelly diarrhea
– chronic constipation
– skin problems
– weak eye sight
There are many reasons a liver can become over burdened. We live in a world today where toxins are everywhere. There are literally hundreds of FDA approved chemicals, pesticides, fungicides, preservatives, MSG and now genetically modified foods. Processed food is so prevalent in north America’s daily diet that there is absolutely no wonder why we have such an obesity problem.
We are also bombarded with petro chemicals every single time a car, truck or bus etc., passes by us. Living in any city makes it impossible to get away from inhalation of these toxins.
Then there is industrial smoke that plumes out on a daily basis. Anyone living near one of these huge stacks will tell you that when the wind blows in their direction, the smell is definitely present.
Our water sources are also cause for some of the toxins our bodies absorb with chlorine and in some places, fluoride. In some states, they have to deal with toxins reaching underground water (the aquifer) from chemicals used on golf courses etc. It may look pretty but the environmental effects are very evident.
The point is, we live in a toxic environment and unless you are eating organic and live in the wilderness far away from mainstream life, you can benefit from periodic detoxing, especially the hardworking liver.
Some things you can do to unburden the liver are:
– Reduce stress in your environment
– Start your day with lemon juice in warm water, then eat fruit and drink non sugary juices.
– Make sure you eat salads and veggies at lunch.
– Drink a lot of water throughout the day. You can also get some of your water intake through herbal teas. They have beneficial anti-oxidants and depending on what kind you get, some have calming properties, detox properties etc.
– Get enough fiber in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber.
– Get at least 15 minutes of sunshine per day.
– Get yourself more exposure to negative ions. These are present in nature, in forests, at the beach, and in the country. In short, get out of the city whenever you can. If you cannot get out of the city, consider getting an ion generator of some kind. Negative ion therapy is great for helping one detox and rebalance the body, plus negative ions gives you that feeling of wellbeing.
Help your body detox by addressing the liver and just see if you don’t feel better!
This article was written for information purposes only and does not suggest a cure for any disease.