By Lisa Shaker-Knopp (LowFatLowCarb.com)
When it comes to health and weight loss you have to understand your body and how it works. Let’s talk about the liver. The liver is an organ that stores energy from food and is the manufacturing center of protein in our body. Extra fat and carbohydrates are stored as fat in the liver, which can cause inflammation and fibrosis, and in extreme cases, cirrhosis. A fatty liver also can lead to obesity and diseases associated with obesity.
Especially at the holiday season, where we prepare many fatty foods and consume more alcohol than usual, the liver can take a beating. Alcohol directly damages liver cells. Beer, wine, and spirits are staples at almost every holiday gathering, but you can enjoy the season with non-alcoholic options. Try club soda with a twist of lime or lemon, or sparkling water for a festive seasonal kick.
The health of the liver makes a difference in how your body metabolizes the foods we eat. Your liver is the ultimate multitasker: It acts as a filter to remove toxins (like medications and alcohol) and nutrient byproducts such as ammonia from the blood; it aids in digestion by producing bile to help break down fat and absorb fat- and water-soluble vitamins and minerals; and it plays a part in regulating glucose, blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin, estrogen, testosterone, immunity, and blood cholesterol production and removal. I think of the liver as the “mayor” of the body. Everything has to go through it before anything else can happen.
With such a big load, the liver might need some TLC. If the liver gets overworked, toxins build up and that can lead to more inflammation in the body and can also be associated with obesity. When the liver gets stressed out, that can also lead to fat build up, especially around the belly. What this all means is that no matter how many calories you count, weight loss is difficult with a toxic liver. There are many healthy habits you can institute to help your liver detox and become more efficient Eat foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants protect and repair past damage to the liver and include foods such as broccoli, onions, eggs, garlic, tomatoes, and lemons. Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables will flush the liver and promote better liver function overall.
Additionally, drinking eight cups of water daily helps your system flush toxins from the liver and reduces water retention, which can result in pounds lost from water weight. Finally, limit your intake of alcohol and nonessential medicines or drugs. Eating a low fat, low carb diet helps to maintain healthy liver function. Always check with your physician, and get proper testing to make sure your liver is healthy.