We’re often tempted to overindulge, then wish we could wave a magic wand to undo the damage. With our liver working overtime to inactivate alcohol and process rich, fatty foods, a potion to heal stressed-out liver cells might just do the trick. But before you stress out your budget on expensive dietary supplements, consider the following facts.
Most toxins, or poisons, reach our bloodstream when we swallow or inhale them1. Others pass through our skin, while still others are released by dying cells or invading bacteria. Many of these toxins pass through the liver — the body’s waste-purification plant — where they are broken down and removed from the blood before they can do their dirty work.
Poisons2 are also broken down by the kidney, eliminated in the urine and feces, or exhaled. Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily; eating lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains; and avoiding tobacco smoke and other fumes can all help keep your body in top working order. So can cutting back on fried foods, animal fats, sugar, and caffeine.
We can protect ourselves to some extent by avoiding obvious hazards such as recreational drugs, unsafe sex, and raw shellfish, all of which can cause the liver-damaging disease hepatitis. But even when we’re being good to our liver, hidden dangers can damage its cells and interfere with toxin breakdown. Toxins lurk in prescription medications, food additives, and air pollutants, and these may be impossible to avoid completely.
Here’s where “liver detoxification” might come in. When the liver is working double-duty to protect you from an onslaught of bad diet, bad judgment, and unavoidable insults, it could benefit from a little extra help.
Antioxidant vitamins such as C, E, and beta-carotene; minerals such as zinc and selenium; B-vitamins that aid alcohol metabolism; and herbs said to “cleanse” the liver such as milk thistle, dandelion root, and schizandra, might help protect liver cells while ridding our body of poisons.
“There is a lot of experimental work in the laboratory and in animals suggesting the beneficial effect of milk thistle extract,” Raman Venkataramanan, PhD, FCP says. He is a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pathology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Here are some drinks which will help you to detox your liver and remove the fat and toxins from your body:
The Multicolor Drink
Drinking water all by itself is a way to help flush the body of toxins on a daily basis, but with a few simple ingredients you can transform water into detox water and get even more benefit from it. This is something you can do each day, or as part of a more broad detoxing strategy. Each one of the ingredients listed here will provide slightly different benefits, so be sure to choose it according to the particular goal you have.
- ½ a Lemon
- One bell pepper
- One apple
- One mid-sized cucumber
Make a juice from the ingredients and drink this potion while it is fresh in order to gain the health benefits from the antioxidants.
If you consume 2-3 glasses daily, your liver will be improved and the toxins ejected. You will also improve your overall health and energy reserves.
Green Tea Citrus Flavor
Making green tea detox drinks3 is a great way to boost your overall health and get the antioxidants you need each day. Green tea is packed with antioxidants, more so than any other tea, but its flavor can get a bit monotonous when you try drinking it daily for health. Try these recipes for a way to keep things interesting on the way to better health.
- Half a lemon, juiced
- One banana
- Half a cup of green tea (while it is cold)
The EGCG-potent extract of green tea is able to detoxify the organism very fast.
Green Smooth Tea
This is a way to get both the benefits of a green smoothie, along with the benefits of green tea. You’re already getting antioxidants from the green tea, and this is amplified by the phytonutrients in the kale. The apple puts this over the top in terms of nutrition, and also adds some sweetness to the mix. The yogurt smooths it out so it tastes and feels like a smoothie, while providing protein to keep you feeling good for hours.
Prepare the following:
1 cup Green Tea, brewed and chilled
1/2 cup Baby Kale
1 tbsp Greek Yogurt
Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until it reaches a smoothie consistency. To get an even greener hue you can add in an avocado, which will provide you with healthy fat, additional fiber, and extra potassium. But as it stands this is a healthy smoothie recipe that incorporates green tea in a tasty blend.
Turmeric Liver Cleansing Drink
One of the best ways to get rid of toxic overload in our bodies is by eating foods that help support the body’s natural method of eliminating metabolic wastes as well as the onslaught of chemicals we are exposed to in our air, water, soil, and food. Turmeric, an ancient Ayurvedic spice used in countless recipes, has so many health benefits that we talk about it regularly. Among those benefits is turmeric’s ability to help the liver to detox.
The liver is one of the most important organs for detoxification. When the liver is supported through the use of turmeric, it can also help to detox the blood, reduce inflammation, and prevent internal blood clotting. When the liver is properly cleansed, it also secretes bile which can help break down fats – which store more toxins.
There are many ways to add turmeric to your diet. You could simply add the spice in a variety of dishes or simply take a supplement, though note that food-grade turmeric is thought to be best. But did you ever think of cleansing your liver and boosting total wellness with delicious turmeric tea?
One recipe for turmeric tea that “tastes like chai” follows:
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric
- Pinch of black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup organic coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey
Simply heat the mixture in boiling water and add milk at the end. You can leave the ginger and turmeric pieces in your teacup or strain them out if you prefer.
Enjoy these drinks and take care!
1“Food For Thought: 25 Ways to Protect Yourself from Disease …” 22 Mar. 2016 <https://books.google.com/books?id=pSljiOB8RdAC&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=Most+toxins,+or+poisons,+reach+our+bloodstream+when+we+swallow+or+inhale+them&source=bl&ots=mQyfebDUxL&sig=HL9VIrXckpapXpVh6GTa28S2UHg>
2“Common and dangerous poisons.” 2015. 22 Mar. 2016 <http://www.poison.org/common-and-dangerous-poisons>
3“How to Detox your Body with Tea – Lifehack.” 2013. 22 Mar. 2016 <http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-detox-your-body-with-tea.html>