Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces the healthy cells in the liver. Liver failure is the next biological step and occurs when the scar tissue has created so much damage that it no longer functions. Today, we are faced with so many environmental toxins occurring in our homes, places of work and in our food supply. It is essential for our general health and well-being to maintain good liver health. Below are some of the risk factors associated with impaired liver function. If you have recently noticed any of the symptoms listed below, you could be suffering from impaired liver function.
It is particularly important to consider these symptoms if you identify with one or more of the risk factors mentioned above. Through a thorough liver cleanse, you can start to feel better in a matter of a couple of weeks. If you are eating a diet high in processed foods, you are putting the health of your liver at risk as these foods basically work against liver health.
Hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, convenience foods and lunch meats are notoriously toxic to your system. The chemical structure of the oil itself has been altered to increase shelf life.
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Consumption of trans fats dramatically increases the risk for heart disease by 25 percent or more. In addition, it is believed that trans fats cause problems with our immune system and can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Added nitrates and nitrites, commonly found in convenience foods, fast foods and lunch meats, have been linked to serious health conditions. These chemicals are used to preserve foods to make them last longer, inhibit bacteria growth and preserve color. Healthy foods taste great, and, with a bit of creativity, you can create healthful meals for your family that will support liver health.
Roast your own organic chicken breast and turkey breast to replace deli meats for quick lunches and after school snacks. Replace chips and other processed snacks with fresh fruit, carrot sticks, nuts and homemade granola bars. For a healthy and tasty alternative to kid-favorite macaroni and cheese, try my Cheesy Spaghetti Squash with Raisins and Walnuts. Spaghetti squash is low in calories, low in saturated fat, and considered a good source of niacin, vitamin B6, manganese, pantothenic acid and is rich with potassium. The walnuts are packed with omega-3 fatty acids and contain anti-oxidants to boost cardiovascular health.
However, by juicing a variety of raw vegetables, you can easily get the 4—5 servings of fresh, organic vegetables you need. With impaired liver function, juicing vegetables has the added benefit of making the vegetables easier to digest and more readily available for absorption. Vegetables ideal for liver cleanses include cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. While that combination may not sound very enjoyable, you can add other vegetables that you enjoy to the mix including carrots, cucumber, beets and greens. All of these vegetables help to reduce acid levels in the body, helping to create a more friendly pH balance.
Experiment with your favorite flavor combinations; you can add fresh herbs including parsley, mint and others to make the juices more enjoyable. Try my kid-friendly Orange Carrot Ginger Juice. Fresh, organic carrots are essential to any liver cleanse 5. In the liver, the beta carotene is converted into vitamin A to help flush out the toxins in the body while reducing fat in the liver. The high fiber content helps support a healthy digestive tract, hastening the elimination of toxins in your body.
The ginger root helps to soothe the digestive tract, reduce intestinal gas, and has strong anti-inflammatory compounds. The fresh oranges in this recipe not only add tangy sweetness, but also add significant vitamin C, additional vitamin A and vitamin B6. Are you getting the recommended 4, milligrams per day of potassium? Potassium-rich foods help to lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping cleanse your liver.
If you have been tempted to take potassium supplements, instead add these healthful foods to your diet. Surprisingly, it is not the banana that is the richest in potassium. It is the sweet potato. A single medium sweet potato contains nearly milligrams of potassium, not to mention the high fiber and beta carotene content.
A sweet potato only has calories, yet is rich with vitamins B6, C, D, magnesium and iron. While naturally sweet, the sugars actually are slowly released into the bloodstream through the liver, without causing a spike in blood sugar. Potassium, and the other beneficial nutrients in tomatoes, is significantly concentrated as a sauce, puree or as a paste. As an example, 1 cup of tomato puree contains 1, milligrams of potassium, but 1 cup of fresh tomatoes contains only milligrams.
When selecting tomato sauce, paste or puree, be sure to choose those made only from organic tomatoes. To make your own concentrated tomato sauce, slice organic tomatoes in half and roast face down in the oven for 30 minutes at degrees F, until the skin has shriveled. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Slide the skins off and gently crush in your food processor or blender. Strain to remove seeds, if you desire. Pour into a Dutch oven, and let simmer until thick, 1 to 2 hours. Rich in antioxidants, beet greens contain over 1, milligrams of potassium per cup. Beets also naturally cleanse the gallbladder and improve bile flow.
White beans, kidney beans and lima beans are all rich in potassium, protein and fiber. Enjoy it with carrot sticks and celery sticks.
Just 2 teaspoons of this rich all-natural syrup contains 10 percent of the daily-recommended amount of potassium. In addition to potassium, blackstrap molasses is rich with iron, calcium, manganese and copper. You can use it to create barbecue sauces and to top oatmeal or quinoa porridge in the mornings. Two teaspoons added to coffee intensifies the richness of the coffee, while lowering the acidic taste. And finally, add a banana to your favorite smoothie.
Bananas assist in digestion, and help to release toxins and heavy metals from the body — all of which are essential during a liver cleanse. Please note: If you have high levels of potassium in your kidneys, foods rich in potassium should be consumed moderately. Coffee enemas help with constipation, reduce fatigue, and aid in liver detoxification. Engaging your relaxation response will help you better digest your food. I find deep breathing easiest when I am sitting comfortably in a chair with my spine erect, my shoulders back, and my hands in my lap.
Then I take three or four deep breaths to center myself into my inner power before beginning to eat.
Breathing is a powerful way to naturally cleans and detox the body. Get in touch with your hunger gauge. The demands of a busy life may lead us to forget to eat, or to undereat or overeat without realizing it. Staying in touch with your internal eating rhythms—and eating regularly—helps you keep your internal power rather than giving it over to irregular eating times and under- or overeating. Sometimes this takes a bit of retraining! Try rating your hunger before and after eating to tap into how well you are maintaining your fuel reserves. Aim for the level at which you are able to take a light walk after eating.
Know your fuel. Eating is meant to energize you rather than deplete your reserves. Some special detoxifying and cleansing foods give you the punch of power you need, while others seem to drain you of your power.
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When you do, you risk unbalancing your fire. Sugar is one such food, and added sugars are ubiquitous in the food supply, even in unexpected places such as salad dressings, ketchups, and sauces. Although they provide an initial burst of energy, in the long run, they will rob you of your energy through the roller coaster of blood sugar spikes and crashes. Stay on an even keel by balancing your sugar intake with dietary fiber and avoid artificial sweeteners, which can set you up for additional cravings and metabolic imbalance.
Schedule regular eating times. Many of my clients find it helpful to create a regular eating schedule of small meals four to six times a day. This might be a good way to retrain yourself to get in touch with your eating rhythm: research has shown that eating more frequent meals throughout the day compared to a few large meals helps us to maintain our blood sugar, and, therefore, provides more energy. However, your eating balance needs to be personalized to your needs: you might need to nibble and graze, or you might need a few large meals.
Listen to your body to detox this system in flow with your own unique rhythms and needs. The diet that has become increasingly common in the modern world tends to include far too many of these high-energy, yellow foods, which perhaps is part of the fuel for an overactive fire. A more balanced fire is fueled by slow-burning, low-glycemic, high-fiber carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains and legumes, which are great, natural cleansing foods. The fire also requires a whole team of B vitamins, such as thiamin B1 , riboflavin B2 , niacin B3 , pyridoxine B6 , folate B9 , and cobalamin B12 , all of which are crucial for generating a healthy metabolism and extracting energy from our foods.
Mind-Body Systems Detoxified, Cleansed and Rejuvenated: Thymus, heart, blood vessels, lungs, compassion, expansiveness, service. Moving up from the belly and into the chest, we arrive at the love, the fourth system of health, which resides in the kingdom of the heart and lungs.
Here we open up to compassion and service as well as expansion, in the way that love in all its forms makes us feel larger and more generous. Central to this fourth system is the thymus, the organ that governs our adaptive immune system. Also central is the magnificent heart, which is far more than just a pump. Science suggests that it is also a neuroendocrine gland, affecting hormone balance as well as blood flow.
Clearly an important body system to detox and cleanse. Just as love and compassion enable us to respond to a wide variety of threats, so do the thymus and heart help the body distinguish between various challenges. Meanwhile, the blood vessels, lungs, and lymphatic system serve us by spreading nourishment and oxygen throughout the body which helps us detox and cleanse waste from the body , while the lymph carries toxins away. You might see the love organs as providing compassion and self-care to our entire being while helping us overcome the obstacles to growth and healing.
One of the challenges of love is to make sure that we are giving it to ourselves. Many of my clients find that their love has become imbalanced, always expanding out to children, parents, friends, spouses, and perhaps even clients or colleagues, but rarely directed inward toward themselves. Forgiveness—of both ourselves and others—is an example of a way to balance the love system. The Western tradition associates love with the heart while Traditional Chinese Medicine views the lungs as the seat of grief.
Too much pain can also cause us to shut down our hearts, closing off our urge toward compassion, service, and love. As we have seen, there are so many ways in which plant foods add to the quality of your health and help you naturally cleanse toxins from your body with diet. Here are some quick tips on how to expand your love into your everyday meals:. Before starting to eat, take a couple of seconds to move from your busy head into your beautiful heart. You can easily do this by thinking of a time when you felt loved.
Let your heart go to that feeling of being filled with love. Imagine that this feeling infuses your food. Sit in that loving space for 20 to 30 seconds. Sending love into your food can help cleanse the body of toxins. Have a heart image visible in your space. Eat from heart-shaped bowls, and put heart stickers on your refrigerator, blender, kitchen cabinets, and drinking containers, to keep the spirit of love alive in the places where you cook and eat.
Give thanks for your meals. Research suggests that gratitude has lasting health effects. Think of how it might help you to appreciate the meal and even digest it better. Share meals with others whom you love. Sing while preparing food. Green is the color of the love. Green detox foods include spirulina, chlorella , leafy greens, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and kale.
These detoxifying foods are amazing for cleansing your body of toxins. You will also consider how to expand your sense of compassion, gratitude, generosity, and self-love. It helps to purify the body of toxins and cleanse the blood. Mind-Body Systems Detoxified, Cleansed and Rejuvenated: Thyroid gland, throat, mouth, ears, nose, speaking, choice, authenticity. From the heart, we go up to the throat area, where both the voice box larynx and the thyroid gland are located. Now we are in the fifth system of health, which I call the truth.
The truth includes an array of sensory organs that provide us with inputs to integrate: ears, nose, throat, and mouth. Listening and speaking are therefore part of the truth. The truth also guides the image you present to the world—your sense of who you are.
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If you can tell the world your truest thoughts—if you can share your most genuine and authentic self —you have taken a powerful step to support your truth system. Go slow, with slow-food restaurants, slow eating, and especially slow chewing. Eating too quickly can pack on the pounds. Research has associated fast eating more bites per minute with greater body weight and reduced ability to cleanse any incoming toxins.
Studies show that cultivating a daily practice of mindfulness can help to reduce stress, binge eating, and emotional eating. Choose truthfully. Check out every choice about food that you are presented with and make sure it resonates with your inner truth. Become aware of the truth of your portion sizes. Expand your range of choices: look wider and broader, explore and discover, be adventurous.
Shake up your food routine and try some foods you might not normally eat: perhaps Indian, Middle Eastern, European, or Ethiopian. Each food has different detoxifying properties and new foods from exotic cultures can give your body needed cleansing nutrients. Keep a food log to identify food ruts —habits that restrict your self-expression through food. Allow yourself to be free of dieting. Research shows that the more we feel restrained in our eating, the more likely we are to feel anxious, depressed, or unsettled.
This often leads to eating comfort foods which can be counterproductive when detoxing your body. Many of my clients struggle to face their personal truths and express them to the world. Aquamarine is the color of truth. These foods are powerful detoxifiers and rejuvenate and cleanse the body. These hydrate the body during the detoxification process.
This central hub of your physiology and psychology is well recognized in ancient traditions of healing as a pivot point for meditation. The pituitary is also sometimes called the inner eye , as it maintains surveillance over a wide range of activity throughout your entire biochemistry. Your physical eyes belong to this system too.
In other words, both outer and inner sight are part of the insight system. Similarly, the insight includes all your neurons, neurotransmitters, and brain cells, which process and interpret what you see, perceiving metaphorical and abstract truths as well as literal, physical ones. Clearly and important body system to detoxify and cleanse.
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Mood, thoughts, and sleep are all part of this system of health, as are visualization, imagination, reflection, and intuition. When I treat clients whose insight needs a Whole Body Detox, I marvel at the deep, intimate relationship between body, thought, and emotion. Likewise, when you see the world clearly, you have the passion and energy to commit to your health, because you understand better what your body needs.
Indigo is the color of the insight, so we support this system of health with blue and purple detox foods: blueberries, blackberries, purple kale, purple asparagus, purple cauliflower, and purple grapes. Berries and grapes in particular are good sources of resveratrol, the powerhouse antioxidant that helps protect your brain and nerves and also massively cleanse and detox the body. Use your eyes.
See the colors of the food you purchase and the food you eat. Give yourself an eyeful before you begin to fill your belly. Eat intuitively. The hunches you have about what you need might be wiser than any nutritionist and often supply the exact diet foods and nutrients you need to detoxify your body properly. Stay out of ruts. Meditate before a meal. It helps you clear the mental clutter and come into a place of peace. Notice your mood. See which foods change how you feel—whether they bring you calm, joy, or focus or make you more depressed, anxious, aggressive, wired, or foggy.
You will support both your brain matter and the workings of your mind. Mind-Body Systems Detoxified, Cleansed and Rejuvenated: Pineal gland, electromagnetic fields, circadian rhythms, connection, purpose, meaning. Finally, we come to the seventh system of health that needs detoxifying and cleansing, the spirit, which includes some of the biggest issues we ever wrestle with: connection, purpose , and—for want of a better term—what we might call soul. This system enables us to experience that we are both microcosm and macrocosm, both individual beings and indistinguishable from the whole, both individual drops of water and participants in one big ocean.
Grounding the spirit in the body is the pineal gland—a receiver within our brain that distinguishes between light and dark, day and night, sunlight and moonlight.