Weight Loss and Toxins
Expert’s Name: Lisa Enslow
The Liver/Weight Control Connection
The liver has a big job as the body’s purifier. The liver is both the main detoxifying organ and the main fat burning organ in the body. In a perfect (i.e. clean and green) world, the liver is easily able to perform its functions beautifully. However, the world we live in is full of toxins, chemicals and preservatives in the air, water, our physical surroundings, the food we eat and the products we use on our bodies. This toxic burden makes our liver stagnant and unable to function normally. A sluggish liver will allow our body’s toxic load to increase and our metabolic fire gets dampened. There are some easy steps we can take, however, to help decrease the toxic burden on our liver and to strengthen the liver to do its job more efficiently.
Foods to Avoid
Some of the worst liver stressors are sugar, caffeine and Trans fats. The category of sugar also includes high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame and Splenda. Alcohol is also a liver stressor, as are many over the counter medications (especially acetaminophen). Preservatives and food colorings add to the liver’s workload, as these unnatural ingredients need to be processed by the liver. In general, processed foods include many of the top liver stressing ingredients and should be avoided. Additionally, the pesticides, hormones and antibiotics that are widely used in our food supply are all toxic to our livers. Buying organic produce and selecting meat and dairy that are free ofantibiotics and hormones is very helpful in lessening the toxic burden in your body. If you’re diet includes all of the above mentioned foods to avoid, then you are a great candidate for a detoxification program where the goal is to minimize or eliminate these foods from your diet for a period of time. Adding foods to your diet that help strengthen your liver is the next step.
Foods to Enjoy
Nature provides us with many wonderfully detoxifying foods. Garlic and onions are cleansing foods that can be incorporated easily into most recipes. Fresh vegetables that are great detoxifiers include broccoli, cauliflower, broccoli sprouts and artichokes. Leafy green vegetables have chlorophyll, which helps the liver remove environmental toxins. Cilantro has been shown to speed up the pace of excretion of heavy metals from the body, making it an amazing detoxifying agent. All fresh fruit is good for detox as they are full of vitamin C, fiber, and many antioxidants. Green tea has been shown to have Catechin, which speeds up liver activity. In general, the fresher and cleaner your diet the more effective and healthy your liver and metabolism.
Other ways to Detoxify
In addition to cleaning up your diet, you can minimize the toxins in yourenvironment by using chemical free cleaners in your house and by using natural personal care products. Avoid dry cleaning when possible, and when you do dry clean take the plastic bag off your clothing before it comes into your house so the chemicals can be aired out of the clothes. Practicing clean and green habits in your lifestyle and your diet will help your body’s natural healing system and allow your metabolic engine to run more efficiently.
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