"Have you ever done a liver cleanse? It’s something I recommend to all of my patients."
This is something my NYC doctor asked me a few years back.
My liver? Hmmm. No. I had never done a liver cleanse, but maybe it was time to take a deep dive into this.
The liver filter is designed to remove toxic matter such as dead cells, chemicals, drugs and any other “nasties” from the blood stream. It can also remove microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, viruses, and parasites from the blood stream, which is exactly what we want since I’m sure you’ll agree that we don’t want these dangerous critters building up in the blood stream and invading the deeper parts of the body.
The liver detoxifies these harmful substances by using 2 detox pathways, Phase 1 and Phase 2.
Now this is the part that gets super interesting, especially if you’re someone who has struggled with stubborn fat that just seems like it will not go away, particularly on your thighs, butt and stomach area.
Both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification are dependent on giving your body certain critical nutrients for it to occur. Without these nutrients it just won’t happen.
So the process goes something like this…
- Enter potential harmful substance into the body
- Phase 1 Detoxification
- Phase 2 Detoxification
- Now a waste product to be eliminated by the body via the gallbladder and kidneys (which will end up in your urine or bowel movement to be released by the body).
This process is exactly what you want to be going on in your body to successful remove any of the above mentioned nasties from your body.
Now, where problems arise for some people is when either Phase 1 or Phase 2 pathways become overloaded or are not functioning properly.
If either of these phases is not getting the nutrients it needs, then the whole process gets “stuck” there, leading to a buildup of toxins. Many of these toxins are fat soluble (which means they will store themselves in fatty tissues in the body) so they will make a happy home for themselves in all the areas where you have the most fat-stores… Yikes!
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Q: So how do you prevent this buildup or back up from occurring?
A: You ensure the you are giving your body the exact nutrients it needs to successfully accomplish the phase 1 and phase 2 processes.
Here are my 4 simple strategies to ensure your liver is functioning on all cylinders and helping your body detoxify any “nasties” roaming around in your system:
- Add a veggie or fruit to every meal: If we needed yet another reason to eat your veggies every day, here’s a great one. As you can see from the chart, both pathways are highly dependent on getting an adequate number of nutrients like calcium, folic acid, Vitamin C and B vitamins. The best way to do this? Eat your veggies and fruits. A daily dose of foods like spinach, berries, leafy greens and citrus fruits will give you many of the vitamins and minerals you’re looking for here. At every meal, you should ask yourself, “where is my veggie or fruit on this plate?” By adding berries to your morning oatmeal, including carrots and red peppers with your snacks, and including leafy greens into your lunch and dinner, you will ensure you get a wide variety of your daily fruits and veggies.
- Get out in the sun for a minimum of 10 minutes each day: Many people have become so fearful of sun exposure; it is estimated that 85% of people in the U.S. are Vitamin D deficient. Although there are plenty of wonderful supplements we can take, the sun is a great natural source. If you wear sunscreen on your face every day like I do (it is in my natural make up), you want to be sure somewhere on your body is exposed to sun for 10 minutes per day. This is a great excuse for many people to leave their office midday and go for an afternoon stroll outside. Even in the winter, when it’s much colder out, I suggest you do the same. It’s only ten minutes and the crisp cold air and sun is a great afternoon pick me up.
- Include a protein in every meal: Protein is a vital component of the Beyond Diet meal plans because it’s your secret weapon to keeping blood sugar stable throughout the day. Now, you have another great reason to ensure you’re consuming enough protein each day. Phase 2 liver detox requires vital amino acids that can only come from consuming natural proteins. Eating natural lean beef, poultry, eggs, wild fish, and raw nuts and seeds will give you the variety of nutrients you need to accomplish Phase 2 detox. The good news is, all of the Beyond Diet meal plans already include these critical nutrients in your meals.
- Use a natural greens like Daily Energy as your nutritional insurance every single day: I can’t remember the last time I missed my essential daily dose of Daily Energy. I just don’t miss it. It’s seriously that important to my health goals. Daily Energy serves as my every day nutritional insurance, to guarantee that I have all my nutritional bases covered alongside following the Beyond Diet meal plans. It’s also great for someone like my hubby, who is just not as good as I am at ensuring he eats a veggie or fruit with every meal. I also love that Daily Energy contains things like milk thistle (also needed for liver detox) which are much harder to obtain from natural food sources.
Remember, if you’re struggling with your weight loss, it may be a backup in your liver detoxification pathways. Ensure that you are giving your body the tools and nutrients it needs to perform this vital function, and you will see a difference in your body’s ability to release unwanted fat.