If your waist seems to allow those extra few inches for you to pinch, regardless of your clean diet or active lifestyle, which involves regular cardio and weight training, then the problem may not solely rest on your stomach.
Most people overlook the importance of their liver health as it pertains to weight loss, when the liver is essentially responsible for metabolising fat. The liver helps remove waste products and processes various nutrients and medicines. It aids in our overall digestion by producing bile, which breaks down fat and, at the same time, acts as a filter to clear toxins out of our blood.
When your liver is overworked, its natural working cycle slows down and provides an ample window for toxic residues to build up, causing inflammation that is associated with obesity. In addition, a stressed-out liver can also trigger fat buildup, especially around the belly.
Among other potentially adverse effects, these chemicals can ultimately accumulate in our system and stall weight loss. This means that no matter how much you restrict calories, weight loss is near impossible — unless you cleanse or detox your liver.
What to Avoid
Knowing how to cleanse your liver is knowing how to flush the body’s processor of nutrients — a healthy diet tops the list. Try to avoid or remove food that interferes with the cleansing or detox process, such as fructose, which is commonly found in soda and commercial fruit juices. This simple sugar can potentially hasten health problems, including chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, both of which are main contributors of obesity.
A natural cleanse also involves avoiding trans and damaged fats. These fats can be found in modern processed foods. One way to avoid them is by reading labels and staying off items with “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredient list.
In addition, food sensitivities can also stall weight loss and worsen toxicity by making your gut leak toxins into the bloodstream. Consider avoiding common food allergens such as gluten, dairy, soy and corn when you begin your liver-cleansing regime.
Food that Cleanses the Liver
Now that you know what to avoid, the next step is to recognise the right food that optimises the health of your liver. Here are some of the foods you should seek to have on your plate, so you face an easier task in flushing out the foreign chemicals from your body.
Garlic contains sulphuric compounds that support liver health — they are responsible for triggering liver enzymes that flush out toxins and waste from the body. It also contains selenium, an important mineral and nutrient that assists in detoxification and supports the thyroid gland. In addition, garlic boasts 39 different antibacterial agents, making it a great food for keeping illnesses at bay.
Opt for organic and fresh garlic whenever possible. And try sneaking in an extra clove or two into your dinner veggies or Caesar salad while you are at it.
Much like garlic, broccoli is rich in antioxidants and contains sulphuric compounds that support the detoxification process and liver health. Along with other brassica vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli can help flush out toxins from your gut and aids the liver in metabolising hormones.
It is worth noting that the benefits of broccoli go beyond just the liver. They contain the precursors of a highly studied substance known as sulphoraphane, which has been shown to help prevent certain types of cancer.
Avocados are high in antioxidants, such as glutathione. Glutathione protects the liver from incoming waste and toxins. It also assists the liver in eliminating these chemicals from your body and fights cellular damage.
Furthermore, avocados are high in fibre and low in carbs — two attributes that help promote weight loss with a healthy, real-food-based diet.
You can choose to devour the fruit as it is or blend it in countless different ways into a smoothie to satisfy the smoothie monster in you!
Did you know that the mighty walnut is not only a whiz in the detox department, but possesses brain-boosting powers as well?
Walnuts help increase circulation and blood flow, so toxins are more efficiently transported from different points in your body to your liver. They are rich in L-arginine and omega-3 fatty acids — both of which help to cleanse the liver and support toxin elimination.
They are also great for fighting inflammation and supporting the health of the brain by assisting the body to neutralise and flush out toxic by-products of alcohol and ammonia from the brain and central nervous system.
Now is the perfect time to whip out that cookbook so you can stock up on those delicious gluten-free walnut crumbles, before heading out the door for happy hour. Your liver, brain and taste buds might just thank you for it the morning after.
Happy Liver, Happier Life
Most people struggle with overburdened livers due to a toxic diet and lifestyle. This means their bodies are ineffective at digestion and fat breakdown, resulting in weight gain, feeling heavy, bloated and sluggish.
The liver’s role is therefore crucial for efficient circulation, metabolism and fat breakdown. Optimising your liver health can effectively help you lose weight and meet your athletic goals.
Having said that, please go easy on that walnut crumble.