Through our environment and the food and drink we consume, we all experience at least a moderate amount of toxin exposure; it is vital we assist the organs involved in filtering this waste. Drinking plenty of clean water, consuming a diet of fresh wholefoods, with no processed foods or sugar; all assist to minimise the intake of toxins, and the process of elimination.
Let's talk about the role of the liver and kidneys. The liver, kidneys and urinary system, in a general sense, work to rid toxins from the body that occur as a result of the metabolism of the food and drink we ingest.
The liver is a vital organ, without which tissues of the body would cease to function from a depletion of energy and nutrients. It has a vital role in digestive and metabolic processes; nutritional homeostasis and absorption of nutrients.
The kidneys through a filtration process remove waste from blood, ensuring the regulation of the amount of water and mineral ions within the body.
Lend a hand
Easy to include liver tonics include garlic, ginger, leafy greens, green tea, turmeric, grapefruit, walnuts, avocados, olive-hemp oil, beets, carrots, and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut. Most of these foods benefit the liver by stimulating the activation of a host of crucial liver enzymes required to flush toxins. Others work through the distribution of antioxidants, stimulation of bile, or release of other compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
Garlic with its high concentration of allicin and selenium; the beta-carotene in carrots and beets; avo, ginger and walnuts as a great source of the powerful antioxidant glutathione; leafy greens for their chlorophyll content, neutralising heavy metals, and another great source of glutathione. Nature provides us with easily accessible sources of liver and kidney support.
Glutathione is an extremely power antioxidant that regulates nitric oxide (free radical - problematic if unregulated), and is present in every single cell in your body. It maximises the activity of other antioxidants, and is particularly important to liver health.
As well as eating a balance of foods that assist in nourishing the liver and kidneys, we can look at liver tonics when extra assistance is needed. I have recently been looking into the benefits of a drinking a liver tonic tea daily. The blend I decided on contains: Tulsi, Turmeric, Ginger, Bhumyamalaki, Katuki and Kalmegh. This combination of herbs stimulate liver and kidney function through a combination of the mechanisms covered above.
I will note that liver tonics are known for their bitter taste, this property is part of why they are so beneficial; stimulating digestion to assist in absorption, supporting natural detoxification pathways and the anti-inflammatory benefits. Don't underestimate the benefit of having a balanced taste palette when it comes to nutrition; it is vital to consume bitter foods.
Enjoy those bitters!