Spring – The Season Of The Liver And Gallbladder
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Spring has always been synonymous with internal cleansing. But these days detox should not just be relegated to a seasonal event, and instead should become a daily affair to assist the liver in its 400+ daily processes.
A lean, mean, chemical-clearing machine, the liver cleans one and one-half quarts of blood every minute of the day so that other organs can be nourished by purified blood, and it neutralizes toxic wastes, sending them off to the kidneys for elimination.
The liver also chemically deactivates vital hormones (such as estrogen), thereby maintaining hormonal balance, sustains the body’s major detoxification pathways, makes bile salts, produces cholesterol and amino acids, stores vitamins A, D, B12 and Iron, metabolizes fat for energy, and regulates blood sugar for energy.
Plus, it cleanses toxins via the bloodstream, bile and the two-step (Phase 1 and 2) enzyme process. Quite the powerhouse, wouldn’t you say?
However, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, fatty foods, smoking, and a plethora of environmental toxins (from pesticides and exhaust fumes to hair spray and gasoline) thwart the work of this all-star organ.
Toxic Overload On The Liver
If toxins, rancid fats, or drugs clog up the liver’s detoxification pathways, secondary symptoms will arise. Blood sugar levels fluctuate, and chronic fatigue and hormonal problems such as bloating, anxiety, and irritability manifest.
Plus, when the liver is congested, it presses on the vein that connects it to the colon and causes hemorrhoids, sometimes referred to as the “varicose veins” of the colon. If toxins run rampant, the body chooses to store them in fatty tissues — which are metabolically less active than other tissues — where they can stay for years!
Liver Toxicity And Impact On Skin
When your liver is on overload, toxins find their way through your skin, and radically affect its clarity and elasticity. The skin, like the liver, is a major detoxifying organ, so waste materials exit through the skin’s pores and show up on your face, hair and nails.
Even worse, wrinkles, blotchy patches, acne, and blemishes will also appear, and your complexion may start to look sallow, grayish, or discolored. There will be more bad hair days that you care to mention, and your fingernails can turn yellow, split easily, or develop white spots — which are major alert signals that vital nutrients are lacking.
Your body has become deficient in major nutrients like vitamin A (the wrinkle fighter), B complex (the stress soother), C (the collagen builder), E (the rejuvenator), and the beautifying minerals zinc, manganese, and magnesium. These are needed for eliminating toxins in the liver’s detoxification pathways and without them your system is aging prematurely!
Brocolli Sprouts – Effective Detox Food
But, one of the best ways to help the liver detox is with the phytonutrient with nutrigenomic powers known as sulforaphane. If you’re going to make only one change to your diet, I strongly encourage you to add broccoli sprouts (and plenty of them) to your daily diet.
Broccoli sprouts — unlike their cruciferous sister veggies (think broccoli, cauliflower, and kale) — are packed with sulforaphane. This small molecule enters human cells with ease, behaving like a “signaling molecule” to communicate with other cells.
With the ability to affect over 2,000 genes, activating numerous defense mechanisms and neutralizing free radicals, sulforaphane allows your body to reprogram its DNA to perform at the optimum ability.
The great news is that broccoli sprouts are absolutely delicious and delightfully easy to add to salads, wraps, sandwiches, you name it! Your liver will love you for it!
(For those of you who are not broccoli sprout lovers, powdered sulforaphane is available which provides a standardized amount of the bio-active product. When mixed with water, the enzyme myrosinase is activated providing you with therapeutic levels.)