My grandson, Levi, was born with a diseased liver and had a transplant before he was one year old. We remember that day, May 17, with prayers of gratitude, along with prayers for the donor family who lost their loved one. Without a liver transplant, our precious 6 1/2-year-old Levi would not be alive today.
The liver is the largest and hardest working organ in the body. It must filter and cleanse the bloodstream of toxins, which protects the immune system from overload. Many people who have auto-immune conditions may have an underlying liver problem. Reducing the liver’s workload can strengthen the immune system, helping to reduce allergic reactions and digestive problems.
The liver is also a major fat-burning organ. It helps to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates, making it important for weight loss.
Some signs that may indicate that your liver needs to be strengthened and cleansed include:
Inability to lose weight
Belly fat and/or abdominal bloating
Gall bladder problems
High blood cholesterol and/or triglycerides
Skin problems like rashes or brown spots (“liver spots”)
Bad breath and/or coated tongue
Dark circles under eyes and/or red, itchy eyes
Allergies and/or other immune problems
Advanced signs include yellowing of eyes and skin (jaundice)
Some factors that can influence liver health include:
A diet high in refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, which can lead to a fatty liver
A diet deficient in fresh and raw fruits and vegetables
Toxic food and beverage additives
Alcohol and/or drug abuse
Side effects from prescription drugs
Viruses like hepatitis A, B, and C
Auto-immune disorders (chronic inflammation)
Negative stress and emotions
On May 17, in honor of Levi’s liver transplant, I challenge you to love your liver by choosing foods to help support and cleanse it. The following list includes foods to help you get started:
Cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, horseradish, mustard greens, radish
Apples/apple cider vinegar
An added bonus is that these foods can help stimulate the liver to burn fat, making them beneficial for weight loss and cases of fatty liver.
Choose at least one fruit and one vegetable from the above list to include in your diet on May 17. Afterwards, make a plan to add something from this list to your daily diet. Don’t get in a rut by eating the same foods every day. Variety is key to a nutrient-dense diet.
Some supplements that may improve liver function include milk thistle, dandelion leaf and root, beetroot, artichoke, turmeric, and lecithin. Ginger contains lecithin and is anti-inflammatory.
You can find many of these supplements in tea form. Be sure to choose organic to keep from introducing additional toxins for your liver to filter.
Nature’s Sunshine makes a supplement called LIV-J that contains dandelion leaves, horseradish, beetroot, parsley, fennel, and other herbs to help nourish and cleanse the liver.
Keep learning to be healthy!
Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Health Coach
1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need. Consult your health care provider about making dietary and lifestyle changes that are right for you.