Your liver is one of the hardest-working organs in your body. It’s about the size of a football and sits in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen over the stomach.
One of its main roles is to filter toxins from the blood as it arrives from your digestive tract, before sending it on to the rest of your body. Toxins in the environment and those resulting from your diet can overwhelm the liver and negatively impact its function and your body’s ability to maintain a normal weight.
The good news? You can help your liver function at its best by making a few simple changes in your lifestyle and dietary habits, which can also lead to weight loss rather than weight gain.
Defining liver toxicity
Alcohol, certain medications, some herbal supplements, and chemicals that may have slipped into the food supply can be toxic for your liver. These substances can lead to liver inflammation and scarring that interferes with its ability to function. In your diet, processed foods containing additives and artificial coloring are some of the liver’s worst enemies, because the organ has the burden of detoxifying these unhealthy substances.
It can also be said, however, that certain foods and beverages contain substances that are good when consumed in healthy quantities, but damaging or toxic to your liver when you regularly overindulge.
Sugar is one of these good/bad dietary substances. Your cells require a steady level of blood glucose (sugar) to provide the fuel they need to maintain good health. Too much sugar in your diet, however, can cause your liver to dump more glucose than necessary into your bloodstream. This can eventually lead to Type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
Also, diets high in saturated fats and refined carbs, such as white bread and sugary snacks, cause your liver to store fat. This can lead to fatty liver disease. As it advances, this condition prevents your liver from functioning at peak performance and is often related to a sluggish metabolism and excess weight.
Dietary fats and sugars may not fit the technical definition of a toxin/poison, but overindulgence can certainly overburden the liver.
Nutrition for a healthy liver
Along with maintaining a diet that’s low in saturated fats, high in fiber, and otherwise nutritionally sound, there are several foods you can try to potentially promote healthy liver function.
These foods include:
- Blueberries and cranberries
- Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
- Coffee and green tea
- Olive oil
Eating fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel, also protect your liver and fight the inflammation known to contribute to weight gain. A small study of people with fatty liver disease suggests that a teaspoon of olive oil daily can lead to improved liver enzymes and better blood flow in the liver, and can help prevent excess fat accumulation when balanced with an otherwise healthy diet. While more research is needed, we already know that olive oil is a healthy fat, so enjoying it in moderation makes sense.
Customizing your approach to weight loss and liver toxicity
Defining your best approach to weight loss and improved liver health can be confusing. Dr. Stalker and his team of weight-loss experts at East Bay Wellness take a patient-centered approach to health and nutrition.
His trademarked and extremely successful Slim & Trim Weight Loss System™ is designed to detoxify your system, reduce inflammation, boost energy, and improve your overall health as you achieve your weight-loss goals. And you can expect a customized diet of normal foods that satisfy your appetite and intrigue your taste buds.
Schedule a visit at East Bay Wellness today for more information about losing weight the healthy way. Call the office in San Ramon, California, or book your appointment online.