What is a Liver Detox?
Our health is uniquely tied to how well our bodies can eliminate toxins. With increased exposure to harmful chemicals, processed foods, and other unhealthy ingredients, most people desperately need a cleanse. A liver detox is a great way to do just that by implementing an easy home remedy with natural foods and supplements.
The liver is one of the main ways the body rids itself of toxins — working tirelessly to detoxify the blood, produce bile to digest fat, and store essential minerals, vitamins, and iron. If liver function is not optimal, we’re unable to digest our food properly, which is why a liver cleanse diet may be needed to remove excess toxins from the body.
A liver cleanse diet typically involves removing toxic foods from the diet — such as highly processed foods, refined sugars, and alcohol — consuming raw vegetable juice and eating potassium-rich foods. Additionally, some companies offer supplements specifically designed to cleanse the liver.
How Do You Follow a Liver Detox?
A liver detox generally involves a home remedy which removes foods from the diet that are harmful to the liver, such as alcohol, processed foods, or refined sugars — while also adding some beneficial foods to improve liver function. Although each detox can vary, most recommend following a diet for 1–2 days.
There are different liver detox styles, however, most of them include a simple home remedy of these five main components.
- Remove toxic foods from your diet: Consuming a diet high in processed foods puts the health of your liver at risk. A typical liver cleanse recommends removing processed foods, hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, and most convenience or prepackaged foods.
- Drink vegetable juices: Vegetables help reduce acid levels in the body, creating a more optimal pH level. With impaired liver function, vegetable juice is a simple way to easily get the 4–5 servings of veggies per day. Some ideal veggies for a liver cleanse include cauliflower, cabbage, or brussel sprouts. Although not the most appetizing mix, you can add in your favorites to improve the taste.
- Avoid alcohol: The liver is responsible for breaking down most of the alcohol we drink. Overconsumption can be harmful to the liver, which is why most cleanses remove alcohol from the diet.
- Eat more potassium-rich foods: Potassium-rich foods support a healthy cardiovascular system, and help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and help cleanse the liver. Try adding more sweet potatoes, tomato sauces, beans, spinach, and bananas into your diet.
- Added supplements: Some liver detoxes also recommend consuming milk thistle, dandelion root, turmeric supplements, or liver tablets. All of these supplements claim to improve health and help remove any lingering toxins from the body.
Signs That a Liver Detox is Working
The inital signs you experience with a liver detox may be unpleasant but it said to also show that it is working. There are doctors that say most people do not experience severe side effects, though it is still a possibility. It is recommended to start slow.
Some common signs that a liver detox is working include:
- Abdominal pain
- Increased heart rate
Why Have Liver Detoxes Become So Popular?
Detoxes have become increasingly popular in recent years. With an increase in alcohol and processed food consumption, liver detoxes have become even more popular. Cleansing the liver helps to clear harmful chemicals, pesticides, and other unhealthy ingredients from the body. Here are some other benefits of a liver detox:
- Detoxification: The liver is the body’s natural detoxifier. However, consuming processed foods, added sugars, and other unhealthy foods can overwhelm the system. Avoiding these foods for a period of time will help assist the liver in detoxifying the body.
- Energy boost: Additionally, when you stop eating the foods that make you feel sluggish, you’ll also experience a boost in energy and focus.
- Improve your immune system: The liver plays a major role in how effective your immune system is. Detoxing your body with a liver cleanse can also improve immune system function.
- Help with weight loss: As a result of cleansing the liver, you’ll improve your hormone balance and more easily break down fats. Imbalanced hormones are often a cause of weight gain.
Although the liver cleanse promises quick weight loss and detoxification, there are still some challenges you should be aware of if you plan to follow along.
- Unhealthy supplements: Some companies offer liver detox supplements that can potentially be harmful to your body. Be sure to understand the ingredients before taking any new supplement.
- Liver repair takes time: Although it is possible to improve your liver function, it takes time to override years of excessive alcohol consumption and an unhealthy diet.
- Lack of research: Unfortunately, there isn’t much research that proves a liver cleanse can quickly improve liver function. That said, removing harmful and unhealthy foods can help you turn things around over the long term.
There is a variety of different liver cleanse and detoxes. While some recommend a liver detox supplement, research suggests that the most beneficial cleanses remove unhealthy foods and instead include more liver-friendly foods.
Due to the increased consumption of processed foods and alcohol, liver cleanses have become increasingly popular. As a result, there are tons of free resources available online.