Healthy Bites for a Healthy Life
By: Kristen Boucher
Tis the season to feel toxic, fa la la la la la la la la. Wait, that’s not how the song goes, is it? If you’re among the majority, you’re likely already feeling the wrath that the holiday eating season, and December isn’t even over yet. A little here, and then a little more there, adds up. The extra alcohol, sugar, and processed foods not only make us feel tired, bloated, and cranky, but it’s also very taxing on our body’s literal filter, the almighty liver. Plain and simple, when your liver is healthy, so are you.
The liver is the main organ of detoxification of foreign chemicals, toxic waste produced in the body and drugs but it has many other functions:
- Processes fats with the bile it produces
- Breaks down and regulates your hormones
- Filters your blood
- Helps to regulate blood sugar levels
- Regulates your cholesterol levels
- Making enzymes and proteins responsible for many chemical reactions
- Turns your food into energy
- Helps to combat infections
- Stores iron and Vitamins A , D, K & B12
An overworked or poorly functioning liver can result in symptoms such as:
- Poor or painful digestion
- Gas, constipation, bloating, diarrhea
- Unexplained fatigue and lethargy
- Brain fog
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Weak muscles and tendons
- Poor hair texture
- Itching skin or yellow skin
- Frequent headaches
- Mood swings
- Skin problems like acne and psoriasis
- Premature aging
Sound familiar? So what’s a holiday party-goer to do? Besides wiring your jaw shut, or a better idea, follow my 6 Tips to Survive the Holidays & STILL Fit Into Your Skinny Jeans, there are specific winter detox foods that can help to alleviate the direct assault to your liver during this time of year, so the effects of all of that holiday cheer are lessened a little.
Strengthen your liver this winter with these liver detox foods
- Small portions of high-quality animal or vegetable protein (i.e., grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, wild caught fish, pastured eggs). Ideally, get these from your local farm. How, you ask? Bookmark this awesome and comprehensive resource from SEMAP.
- Foods containing sulfur such as garlic, onions, which increase liver enzyme activity.
- Mildly bitter greens like endive, watercress, collard, radish leaves, beet and mustard greens, to activate the flow of bile.
- Small portions of light, easy to digest foods like green smoothies, steamed vegetables, raw salad greens, and semi sweet fruit such as apples, pears, and berries.
- Plenty of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and Bok Choy. Be sure to eat these cooked, though. Why? Read here.
- Beets. The fiber in beets increases the production of antioxidant enzymes in the liver, helping the body to eliminate bile and other toxic substances.
- Fresh unsalted whole nuts and seeds.
- Beans and lentils, which are a great source of fiber and always in season.
- Spices such as turmeric, ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper that enhance the body’s ability to detox, and let’s face it – make food taste better.
This is a start, but not your magic bullet. I also recommend (and practice in own personal life) a good detox or cleanse at least every six months. Post-holidays is an ideal time for this and I’ve totally got your back.
The Superwoman Slim Down is a Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women (and men). After studying, researching, testing, and experiencing many detox programs, I’ve whittled down the best of the best and have created a 21-day hunger-free detox program that will teach you step-by-step how to feel better than you ever imagined in your own skin and undo the holiday damage to your liver.
“I am a big fan of this detox program and could really go on and on about the numerous benefits I experienced. My detox journal entry from day eleven sums it up best, “I feel so great! Full of energy. I’m getting so much done. It’s incredible! I feel like my sleep is much more restful. My mood is happy. My mind is clear. I’m confident. I feel decisive. I’m in LOVE with this detox!”
Curious? Check it out. You’ve got nothing to lose but the excess weight, brain fog, and bloat.
Do you periodically detox and if so, what are your favorite detox foods? I’d LOVE to hear! Please leave a comment.