Stay merry, care for your liver and be light this festive season!

Traditionally December is the time of year where people tend to overeat and drink. There are celebrations, parties and events which often involve rich food and alcohol.

This busy time of the year may feel for many stressful and overwhelming schedule at times can all lead to “comfort and unnecessary” eating and drinking. These actions force our liver to work more than Santa’s elves at Christmas!

Top tips to keep your liver healthy

The liver performs over 500 functions and requires many nutrients in order to work effectively. The main purposes of the liver, and the ones we shall focus on here are the roles of detoxification and the production of bile to aid digestion. To help your liver run effectively and to avoid weight gain over this holiday, here are my top tips:

Prioritise water:

Our bodies are made up of around 70% of water. Drinking enough water means that we improve the flow of nutrients around our body and that it is more easily able to expel toxins from the liver. If enough water is not consumed we tend to snack more and this leads to extra weight gain and low energy production. Optimize your hydration by starting your day with a pint of water and drink another pint 30 minutes before lunch and dinner, this habit will provide the minimum amount of water your body needs and will defiantly help you to be fitter over Christmas and beyond!

Eat bitter food daily:

Chicory, kale, rocket, spinach and watercress are all examples of bitter foods. They stimulate the digestive process, help the body to absorb nutrients and support the liver to produce bile. They are the perfect gift for your liver!

Start a chemical reaction for your liver:

There are two clear pathways to support the detoxification of the liver. The first involves chemical reactions such as oxidation and reduction, which convert a toxic chemical into one that is less harmful. Eating the following foods supports the liver to detoxify: shellfish, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, bitter and brassica family, pumpkin, kiwi, papaya, turmeric, chilli peppers, all berries and radishes.

Complete a chemical reaction for your liver:

The second of the pathways to support the liver is where toxins are converted into substances that are not only less harmful but are also more easily excreted from the body either by water-soluble or fat-soluble liquids, such as urine or bile. Include the following in your diet to get the benefits: blue/green algae (spirulina/chlorella), leeks, green leafy vegetables, bitter and brassica family, whey, curcumin, celery, eggs, oily fish, artichoke, brazil nuts and beetroot.

Welcome the brassica family, daily:

The brassica family is made up of cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, garden cress, bok choy, turnips and kale, contain glucosinolates which contain sulfur compounds. It is this compound that protects the liver from damage and improves its ability to eliminate toxins and excess hormones.

Eat a rainbow every day:

Eating fruit and vegetables that come in a range of colours will ensure that you are getting all the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that you need. The more diverse the better!

If you are including all of the foods above and the right amount of water, you will automatically feel more satiated and therefore less inclined to overeat on foods that do little for the health of your body. Feel good about eating great nutritional food and mindfully enjoy them as the real treats for your body.

Enjoy this festive season so much more by giving the gift of health and well-being to yourself. Wishing you a happier and healthier Christmas and New Year!

Nutritionist Resource is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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