The festivities are over, and here we are with a brand new year! The New Year is a great time for fresh starts, and in January most of us don’t even mind giving our bodies a break after all the indulgences of Christmas. Maybe now would be a good time for a gentle detox.
We don’t think about our liver very much, least of all in December, and yet it is such a busy and efficient organ. It is the body’s chemical factory that builds and recycles substances we need and breaks down those we don’t. About 4 pints of blood pass through the liver every day, and a healthy liver is able to filter up to 99% of bacteria and toxins from the blood. Said toxins do not just enter the body from the air, water and food we take in, but also occur as normal waste products generated by a healthy metabolism.
Unfortunately, however, 21st century livers have so much more to deal with than just metabolic waste: environmental pollutants (e. g. cigarette smoke, traffic and industrial fumes, paints, glues), recreational and prescription drugs, alcohol, food additives, trans-fats, and plastics, to name but a few. Most people’s livers today work only at around 35 – 40% capacity due to the amount of toxins they have to process. The brain heavily relies on the liver to filter the blood before it gets to it, as it does not have any other way to protect itself. If the liver is overloaded, we will soon notice symptoms of the kind that are all too often just accepted as normal: headaches, low mood and irritability, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and listlessness, skin eruptions, bloating, flatulence and constipation, hangovers that appear to linger for longer … None of these appear serious enough to see the GP about, but they are annoying and unpleasant, especially if we are experiencing more than one. More than anything though, symptoms like these can be the liver’s cry for help.
Toxins filtered out by the liver are collected in the bile and leave the body via the colon. Those caught by the kidneys are excreted via the urine. Some can be exhaled, and some are excreted via the skin, which is the largest of the detox organs. If the liver is overloaded and struggling, the skin has to detox more – and it shows. Accelerated aging, acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions can be symptoms of a sluggish liver. So, if you want to look your best, improve your skin and glow, it’s not the latest expensive moisturiser you need, but liver support to help your skin from the inside.
While it would be impossible in this day and age to avoid all external toxins, there is a lot we can do to help our liver by decreasing our exposure to many of them and by supporting it with the right food and drink, by learning how to manage stress, by exercising and by getting enough sleep.
Why don’t you join me in a gentle detox online programme for just £1.50/day, starting on 17 January. Receive a daily email for 14 days and join our special Facebook group for more tips and tricks and community support. The programme can be seen as a one-off detox, but is designed to set you up for a fresh start into 2016 with a cleaner, healthier diet afterwards.