My grandson, Levi, was born with a diseased liver and had a transplant before his first birthday. We remember that day, May 17, with prayers of gratitude, along with prayers for the donor family who lost their loved one. Our precious Levi is now 10 years old and doing well!
The liver is the largest and hardest working organ in the body. It must filter and cleanse the bloodstream of all toxins, both physical and emotional. When the liver is overloaded with toxins and can’t keep up with detoxification, they may continue to circulate in the bloodstream and either be stored in fat cells or trigger an immune response.
Those who have auto-immune conditions and/or stubborn weight loss may have an underlying liver problem.
Lightening the liver’s workload can help calm an over active immune system and reduce allergic reactions and digestive problems.
The liver is also instrumental in weight loss. It helps to regulate the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Toxins that aren’t removed from the body may be stored in fat cells in order to protect vital organs from damage. This can lead to excess fat that is difficult to lose.
Some signs that your liver may need to be strengthened and cleansed include:
Stubborn weight loss
Belly fat and/or abdominal bloating
Gall bladder problems (especially pain in the right side under the rib cage)
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)
Note: These signs by themselves do not necessarily indicate a liver problem and could be indicative of other health issues. If you have three or more signs, consider consulting your health care provider.
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 a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, fiber, and healthy fats
Toxic food and beverage additives
Exposure to environmental, household, and personal care toxins
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 encourage you to love your liver by choosing foods to help support and cleanse it. The following list includes foods and herbs to help you get started:
Cruciferous Vegetables: cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, horseradish, mustard greens, radish, turnip, kohlrabi, rutabaga
Apples/Apple Cider Vinegar
Beetroot (encourages good bile flow necessary to break down fats)
Fennel and Fennel Seeds (good digestive aid)
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.
Check the Dirty Dozen List (ewg.org) so you don’t eat produce high in pesticides that will add more toxic burden to your liver.
Milk Thistle is a well studied herb for helping to protect the liver against toxins and cellular damage. You can take it as a supplement or drink it as a tea.
Nature’s Sunshine also 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 negative thoughts like fear, anger, resentment, unforgiveness, bitterness, and worry at bay. These all put stress on the liver.
Philippians 4:8, 9–“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable–if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise–dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
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.