Protect Your Liver—Naturally

Protect Your Liver—Naturally

So, you recently discovered that your liver is responsible for a million crucial functions in the body and you want to start taking better care of yours. Good for you! Wanna hear the best part? There are tons of natural methods (daily habits, ingredients from nature, food safety practices) that can help a liver out. 

First, let’s discuss what’s at stake when it comes to your liver health.

How Does a Strong Liver Support Your Health? 

Did you know that your liver is actually the largest solid organ in your body? It’s the size of a football! When you add up everything the liver does, it makes sense that it’s so big. The liver is, at once, a filtration system, an energy plant, and a nutrient storage facility for your body. 

Out with the bad 

The first thing your liver handles is detoxing your blood. (Probably what it’s best known for.) It does this by filtering out harmful substances. This includes things like alcohol, medications (which need to be sent somewhere they can be helpful—not stuck floating about in the bloodstream), and even byproducts of your own metabolism. Without this filtration, toxins would accumulate in the body, leading to organ damage and even failure. 😬

Creating nutrients and maintaining balance

Second, your liver is a factory. What it produces keeps the whole operation running. 

For example, your liver makes proteins that are crucial for blood clotting, immune function, and moving substances throughout your body. Without these proteins, even minor injuries could lead to excessive and potentially life-threatening bleeding.

Bile, that yellowish fluid produced by your liver, is essential for the digestion of fats. Bile helps break down fats into smaller pieces, allowing your body to absorb them properly. Your liver also helps break down carbohydrates and proteins for energy production, getting you the nutrients you need from your food. Otherwise, food’s just coming in and going out. 

Thirdly, your liver produces and manages your cholesterol. Your liver makes sure that you have an optimal amount of cholesterol—enough to support bodily functions without tipping the scales toward health concerns.

Without the elements your liver produces, your body couldn’t perform necessary functions. Your health, balance, and energy would be dangerously compromised. 

A packed pantry of vital nutrients

Lastly, your liver acts as a storage unit for essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, iron, and copper. Now we’re not saying that extra gummy vitamins will carry over just because your body has somewhere to put all that extra B12. Your liver can only handle so much and it will make sure that you still pass superfluous substances that your body can’t use (good or bad). But by storing these nutrients, your liver ensures your body has a steady supply to function optimally in the short term.

What Can You Do to Support Your Liver (Naturally)? 

Whenever we talk about holistic or natural healthcare, we’re always going to start with diet, lifestyle, and avoiding dangerous substances. There’s no magic bullet for guaranteeing a perfectly healthy liver, but there are many ways you can support your liver’s overall function just through your day-to-day living. (Plus one natural supplement we’ll mention later.) 

For one thing, your liver’s going to get the brunt of everything you put into your body. So diet comes first. 

Find balance in your diet and lifestyle 

The note we play over and over is always balance. Diet fads like keto, caveman, and counting macros are popular (they’re effective for losing weight or putting on muscle). But your body is more than fat and muscle. You’re a complex machine of overlapping and cooperative processes. You need a wide range of fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, and healthy fats to support all of your body’s amazing functions. 

Bet you won’t see this coming: To support your liver, don’t go overboard on protein. Yeppp, for once, protein isn’t the hero of the story. Yes, we need protein. And yes, your liver produces it. But too much protein puts a strain on your liver. So, if you’re mixing three Muscle Milk protein shakes a day, consider the extra work you’re putting on your liver and how that might be affecting your overall health. 

A more obvious one: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of fatty liver disease. Losing weight, if needed, can significantly improve liver health. Regular physical activity helps manage weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce inflammation, all of which can benefit your liver.

Further, aim for 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night. Adequate sleep allows your body, including your liver, to repair and regenerate. In fact, during sleep is when your liver does its best work. 

Avoid the natural enemies of your liver

Starting with the least dangerous: Garden-variety stress is the silent saboteur of your liver health. Stress activates the body’s “fight-or-flight” response, leading to the release of the hormone cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol levels are associated with increased inflammation throughout the body, including the liver. This inflammation can damage liver cells and contribute to conditions like fatty liver disease. 

Practicing a few minutes of mindfulness a day (we’re talking breathing in for four seconds, out for four seconds a few times in the car or in the line at the grocery store) can radically bring down your stress levels. Mindfulness won’t make your problems go away, but it’ll send your body the message that you’re not in immediate danger. 

And the kicker—alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for liver damage. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation to give your liver ample chance to filter out toxins and recover fully. Again—balance. Or better yet, go the way of Tom Holland, Blake Lively, and Robert Downey Jr. who chose to quit alcohol altogether for a healthier lifestyle. 

Extra (natural) liver support 

But we’re not done. 

If you want to provide your liver with some added support, incorporate a natural health supplement that supports your liver health. Milk thistle is a purple flower with prickly leaves that grows in the Mediterranean. It’s been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It’s best known for its benefits to your liver. 

Milk Thistle Plant Photo by Igor Tudoran on Unsplash

The primary active compound, silymarin, is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-protective properties. Recognized for supporting the liver’s detoxification processes, milk thistle can stimulate enzyme production crucial for toxin elimination—taking some of the load off your liver. 

Milk thistle is the primary ingredient in Natural Balance’s Liver Love Formula. We recommend it for anyone trying to give their liver an extra boost of support or attempting to fend off liver disease. 

Dial in Your Liver Health and Feel Your Best 

In conclusion, nurturing your liver through natural methods is a commendable step toward overall well-being. Acknowledging the liver’s multifaceted role as a guardian of detoxification, nutrient production, and storage underscores its importance in sustaining bodily harmony. 

By embracing a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and steering clear of stress and excessive alcohol intake, you provide your liver with the optimal environment for peak performance. 

Consider incorporating natural supplements, such as milk thistle with its potent silymarin content, to offer additional support in the liver’s intricate dance of maintaining vitality. Remember, the journey to optimal liver health is a holistic one, and small, mindful choices in your daily life can make a substantial impact on your overall wellness.

Cover Photo by Benjamin Wedemeyer on Unsplash

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