Christmas holiday liver support

Monday, December 16, 2019
The ‘silly season’ is now in full swing; Christmas parties have started and overindulgence is common. Over-consumption of alcohol and rich foods may leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic. However, while you are starting to relax, your liver is having to work overtime to maintain balance in your body.

Your liver has many jobs as it performs over 500 functions, but during the holidays it spends much of its time detoxifying your body. Toxins need to be processed by your liver and are then sent to your kidneys or your digestive system for removal. When your liver gets overwhelmed, you may start to get congested and notice signs like digestive discomfort, skin breakouts and feeling sluggish. 

So, if you want to enjoy the fun times, is there anything you can do to help support your liver and keep the balance? Here are four handy tips to get you through the Christmas period. 

1. Keep hydrated
It is essential to keep your water intake up, especially as the days get warmer. Your liver needs water to remove water-soluble toxins via your kidneys and uses water to make bile; a substance that binds fat-soluble toxins and moves them to your digestive system for removal.

2. Remember your vital vegetables
Fresh vegetables and fruit are important for liver health for a number of reasons. They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals – all of which are used by your liver to break down toxins. They are also full of fibre, which is needed for normal bowel regularity, an essential part of removing toxins from your body. 

Vegetables that your liver particularly loves include those from the brassica family, including broccoli and cabbage. This is because they are used in the second phase of liver detoxification to bind toxins for removal. The same is true for sulphurous vegetables such as garlic and onions. Beetroot is also another liver favourite as it activates the liver enzymes and increases bile production.

Any bitter tasting vegetables can be helpful (such as rocket or most leafy greens) as they stimulate bile production too. 

3. Fabulous fibre
Fibre is important as it helps support regularity for toxin removal. Particularly important for toxin removal is the type of fibre called soluble fibre. This can be obtained from foods such as oats, psyllium and apples. If bowel movements are not regular, then toxins can be re-absorbed and your liver must deal with them all over again.

4. Try liver-supporting herbs
There are several herbs that can be very supportive to your liver at times when it is under stress. You may have heard of popular ones such as milk thistle and globe artichoke. They help the liver to support its cellular health and support it with the detoxification process. Turmeric is also helpful in this area and supports bowel health. 

Clinicians carries a range of products designed to provide additional nutritional support.

Dietary supplements are not a replacement for a balanced diet. Always read the label and use as directed. Do not exceed the  recommended daily dose. If symptoms persist, see your healthcare professional. Douglas Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Auckland. TAPS MR6526.


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