Supporting your liver
What to eat and why

Does the word 'detox' make you cringe? ⁠

Somewhat over-popularised in the wellness space, it’s perhaps helpful (and important) to understand detoxification in the body – especially if you’re being offered all kinds of magic pills and potions to support you(rs)!⁠

The liver is considered the primary pillar of detoxification in the body, removing and sorting toxins and wastes from the body 24/7. ⁠

Your liver filters hormones, drugs, heavy metals, pesticides, chemicals, alcohol and all other foreign substances through its Phase 1 and Phase 2 detoxification pathways. These two pathways work together to eliminate compounds that need excreting from the body.⁠

Phase 1 breaks down and neutralises substances so they are less harmful to the body via a group of P-450 enzymes, while Phase 2 then makes them water-soluble for elimination.  ⁠
The importance of efficient elimination can’t be underestimated – and that’s because your cells cannot function effectively when there is excess waste and toxin build-up! ⁠

Phase 1 byproducts can damage your DNA and proteins – the building blocks of your whole body…!⁠
What To Eat & Why 
A diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals is crucial for maintaining both phases of liver detoxification. For example, glutathione is needed for proper Phase 2 elimination. While it can regenerate itself in the liver, the body needs key building blocks from certain foods to make it. These building blocks are found in selenium, vitamin E, milk thistle and cruciferous vegetables. 
  • Cruciferous vegetables also add some all-important fibre to your diet and include bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and radishes.  
  • Fibre binds fats and sugars to toxins in the intestines. Be sure to add flaxseed, psyllium husk and chia seeds to your salads and vegetables to get your fill.
  • Vitamin C has an important role to play, having a protective effect on your detox enzymes and liver tissues. Your best sources are grapefruit, kiwi fruit, mango, oranges and other citrus, strawberries, watermelon and rockmelon.
  • Bitters like dandelion, chicory and artichoke support the secretion of bile and your digestive juices, and a healthy digestion is key for healthy detox pathways. 
  • Your best sources of selenium are brazil nuts, onion and garlic. 
  • Vitamin B is also necessary for efficient liver detoxification and is found in whole grains and grass-fed meats. 
In certain instances, it may be beneficial to supplement and use botanicals to support your liver detoxification, but your naturopath is best placed to advise you on this. 
After all, some can over-stimulate Phase 1 detoxification without supporting Phase 2, which could result in the liver being overwhelmed with a build up of Phase 1 byproducts.
Want to know more? Find out about our $50 Naturopath Assessment below.

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