Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Liver Time

Spring is Liver Time
April 28th, 2011

Give this incredible organ the treatment it deserves.

I’ll admit it: I am in awe of the liver. As far as I’m concerned, this amazing organ nestled away in the right side of the abdomen has more than earned its name, which is derived from an old English word for “life.” The liver is your key to life, even possessing the unique ability to regenerate itself. Although your liver may need up to two years for this regeneration process, you can rebuild this vital organ with the right diet and detox plan. These liver-loving nutrients will keep it running smoothly and promote its detoxification—for optimum weight loss and health.

Sulfur-Rich Foods – garlic (at least one clove, minced, preferably raw), onion (1/2 cup cooked), eggs (2), daikon radish (1/4 cup sliced, either raw or cooked)

One of the processes by which the liver eliminates toxins is known as sulfation—so called because sulfur is an indispensable part of the procedure. These foods make toxins easier to eliminate.

Daikon radish goes a step further—it also aids in the digestion and metabolism of fats. That’s why in Asian cuisine, you’re always served a bit of daikon with any fatty or hard-to-digest food. This long white radish, with its crisp texture and somewhat pungent taste, also acts as a diuretic and decongestant. I like to use it as a relish by placing ½ cup shredded daikon radish in a bowl and sprinkling it with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley—making 4 servings. It’s a fantastic way to dress up fish, lamb, or beef.

Eggs are rich in the amino acids methionine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, and taurine. Your liver needs these acids to successfully complete phase 2 of its detox process. And eggs offer the lecithin your liver needs to produce that beautiful bile.

Liver Healers – artichoke (1 small or 4 cooked hearts), asparagus (1/2 cup cooked), beets (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw), celery (2 medium stalks), dandelion root tea (1 to 2 cups), whey (1 to 2 scoops)

Artichokes, especially the hearts, contain powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids that protect the liver’s cells and tissues. Artichokes are also good for the secretion of bile, which helps the body better digest and assimilate fats. The artichoke is a close relative of milk thistle, queen of the liver protectors, which offers major defense against free radicals and is especially good for people with compromised immunity or alcohol-related liver problems.

Asparagus contains high amounts of vitamin A and potassium, another mineral on which the liver depends during detox. They make a great side dish to chicken or beef.

Beets are full of betaine, which helps protect the liver against the damaging effects of alcohol. Betaine also thins the bile and helps it move freely within the bile ducts. Though I’m not a beet lover myself, when they’re grated and sprinkled over a salad they can be quite delicious.

Dandelion root stimulates liver function. It also contains inulin, a fiber-like substance that functions as a probiotic—an element that helps nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut. As if that weren’t enough, the humble dandelion root is also good for lowering blood sugar.

Try Dandelion Root Tea—which many Fat Flushers use in place of an organic cup of coffee—or Dandelion Root Capsules.

Whey is a rich source of the amino acid L-cysteine, which, like vitamin C, is the precursor to glutathione. Remember, the liver’s own two-phase detox process uses up huge amounts of glutathione, so it’s up to us to replenish it daily. Whey also contains methionine, glycine, glutamine, and taurine—amino acids that are crucial to the liver’s phase 2 detox process.

I recommend Fat Flush Whey Protein because it’s 100% natural. It’s also lactose, hormone, pesticide and chemical-free, and is derived from disease-free herds. It has no added sugar and is only sweetened with stevia, a natural herb.

Most U.S. cows produce milk with A1 protein, a genetic mutation. Some researchers have linked whey from A1 protein cows to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and digestive problems. Fat Flush Whey Protein contains non-mutant A2 protein that has not been associated with any of the problems that A1 protein has. Easy to digest, A2 protein also contains the amino acid proline—which fights aging by supporting collagen.

If you’re not a fan of any of these foods, you can always opt for Liver-Lovin Formula, a unique blend of the following nutrients:
• Artichoke (300 mg) – a well-known liver healer, loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through the liver’s detox pathways and boost bile production.
• Chlorophyll (500 mg) – rich in purifying magnesium to further enhance elimination.
• Taurine (250 mg) – boosts the liver’s production of bile to aid in fat digestion and absorption.

Giving your liver special nurturing during spring will nourish your detox pathways, support the purification of your blood, and energize and soothe your nervous system.

-Edge on Health, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman