Spring is the ideal time of year to shed the weight and stagnation we accumulate over the winter months.
It's also the best time of year to support your liver as it acts as the human body's filtration system.
The role of your liver:
- converts toxins into waste products
- cleanses the blood
- metabolizes nutrients, proteins and medication
- stores glycogen (a carbohydrate), vitamins and minerals
- activates enzymes
Here are tips to support your liver this season and increase your longevity simultaneously.
Increase Your Metabolic Flexibility
The liver is a key player in regulating metabolism.
How metabolic flexibility works:
- The body is able to pivot and use whatever energy is available, whether it's from food or energy already stored.
- Once you’ve eaten, your body will metabolize that food and use it for energy production.
- When you fast or wait longer to eat, your metabolism switches to your glycogen followed by fat stores, thereby creating metabolic flexibility.
How you achieve metabolic flexibility:
- Feast, famine, feast (no snacking) to allow the body to burn through what you've eaten.
- Coast 4 hours between meals during your eating window.
Up Your Vegetable Intake- specifically cruciferous vegetables and bitter leafy salad greens
Cruciferous vegetables assist in increasing the liver's natural detoxification enzymes and improves blood levels. Bitter greens help stimulate bile flow within the liver and pushes through the detox process.
Here are some cruciferous vegetables and bitter greens to add into your meals.
- brussel sprouts
- collard greens
You can incorporate any of the vegetables above to make our Very Veggie Frittata, an all-time favorite that supports the liver. This recipe is a great source of protein and healthy fats to help fuel your body and promote cognitive function.
Minimize Toxic Exposure
In the aging process, an overloaded liver will not clear toxins as efficiently as it did when we were younger.
According to the World Health Organization, toxins have been shown to be responsible for the increase in cardiovascular diseases which is the number 1 killer for the last 60 years.
From a young age, we are not coping or adapting well to the toxins in our environment that ultimately cause liver damage and impact our longevity.
Here are some ways you can eliminate toxins in your life:
- Eat organic foods. The fewer external toxins (pesticides and herbicides) you eat, the more your liver is able to clear internal toxins.
- Eliminate smoking and limit drinking. Tobacco and alcohol are two factors that greatly affect your liver and longevity. When we remove these toxins, it greatly lowers our risk of cancers and other health issues that can be avoided. If you choose to drink, we recommend going 4+ days in a row without alcohol to give your liver a chance to rest.
- Use non-toxic home cleaners. Many cleaning supplies we use in our homes contain harsh chemicals. Look for brands such as Seventh Generation or Branch Basics for a safe cleaning environment.
- Drink quality water. Ensure your city's water is at a safe drinking level by measuring the water hardness which determines how natural minerals are dissolved.
Looking to dive deeper into ways to support your liver and improve longevity?
Listen to Mark Hyman's recent podcast episode on daily hacks to improve your health and age backwards.