Your liver is the largest internal organ of your body and has numerous important functions. Most people know that your liver plays a role in cleansing your blood, among other things. This organ removes chemicals, heavy metals and other toxic substances from your body. Fewer people know that occasionally cleansing your liver can help support this natural powerhouse. In this article, you will learn more about the importance of cleansing your liver, why you may have liver problems and what the symptoms of liver problems are. We’ll also discuss the multiple benefits of cleansing your liver with juice. So read on!
YOUR LIVER: A SHORT INTRODUCTION
Your liver is a red-brown organ which weighs approximately 1.5 kilos. It is located next to your stomach and is connected to your bile ducts. According to some sources, your liver has as many as 500 functions, which is far too many to accurately summarise here. But as an example, your liver produces bile, which is important for breaking down fats and removing certain waste products. It also plays a role in the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates. This organ also produces cholesterol and important proteins for your blood. In this article we will discuss the cleansing function of your liver and its ability to remove toxins, drug residues and bacteria from your blood. As such, it is also vital for a strong immune system.
PURIFICATION BY THE LIVER
On a daily basis your liver receives many nutrients. It is the liver’s job to process what is useful and transport it to the blood. Waste products (the nutrients and components that are not useful) are partly transported in the form of bile to the small intestine, where it is further broken down and finally expelled through the stool. Other waste products go via the blood to the kidneys, where they are further broken down and eventually ejected. As the liver acts as a purifier, it is also under constant pressure from the waste products and harmful substances it comes into contact with, resulting in the deterioration of liver function. Here we look at the harmful substances that break down the liver, such as pesticides, preservatives, heavy metals, medicines and other chemicals.
THE EXPLOSION OF TOXIC SUBSTANCES
As far as we know, our body has never before been exposed to so many different and complex harmful substances at the same time. The technological developments responsible for this scenario occurred so quickly that there is a high probability that our bodies cannot adapt to them. This can cause liver problems that affect your overall health. It is known that an increasing number of people are suffering from autoimmune diseases, for example. An American study states that during the 1970’s, 1 in 5000 people suffered from autoimmune diseases. Compare that figure to today and you’ll find that an incredible 1 in 5 people have been diagnosed with some form of autoimmune disease. Experts think that this worrying development has to do with the explosion of toxins in our environment. The following common complaints can also be caused by an excess of toxins in your body:
- little energy
- digestive problems
- sleeping problems
- headache, muscle pain, joint pain
- obstruction of nose and paranasal cavities, or on the contrary a runny nose
- tremor, dizziness
- blood pressure problems
- depression, concentration problems
- weight loss and weight gain problems
- rash, eczema, acne, psoriasis
As your liver plays such an important role in the processing of harmful substances, it is important that it is working to its maximum ability. But with an increase in harmful substances, there is a good chance that it will not be able to break them all down successfully.
CLEANSING YOUR LIVER
There is a wealth of literature available on purifying and cleansing your liver. We think cleansing your liver with a cleansing treatment is a good way to give your overburdened liver a little rest. During a cleansing treatment of one or more days, you temporarily omit as many foods with harmful substances as possible. If you opt for a cleansing reminen, you replace those foods with organic, raw vegetable juices that are full of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants. These often contain substances that have a positive influence on liver function, such as choline. Following a juice cleanse can do wonders for your immune system, energy level and overall well-being. Read more to discover whether a juice cleanse is right for you.
SYMPTOMS WHEN CLEANSING YOUR LIVER
When cleansing your liver you may experience symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, perspiration, restless sleep and irritation. Whether that happens varies from person to person. For example, if you are addicted to caffeine and stop drinking coffee and energy drinks during the course of the treatment, you may suffer more. These symptoms usually pass after the first few days, to make way for new energy! For more information about the benefits of purifying your liver with a juice cleanse, see our juice cleansing.
TIPS TO PREVENT LIVER COMPLAINTS
Following our cleansing regimen alone is not enough to prevent problems with your liver. Such a purification treatment must go hand in hand with a healthy lifestyle, in which you try to ingest less harmful substances. We can’t completely prevent this nowadays, but the following tips can help prevent liver problems:
- do not drink alcohol
- eat organic and unprocessed food
- drink filtered water
- keep food in glass instead of plastic as much as possible (read here the reason why we choose glass)
- use natural deodorant and skincare products
- use pans made of stainless steel, cast iron or ceramic