50 Ways to Love your Liver
Apparently Hannibal Lecter didn’t know the liver relates to almost every vital function of the holy temple, or he wouldn’t have suggested it be consumed with a glass of Chianti.
The large meaty organ processes everything we ingest, breathe and absorb through the skin, and plays a major role in digestion and metabolism, regulating production, storage and release of sugar, fats and cholesterol. The liver fires up protective immune function, thins or thickens blood, assists lymph flow, converts food to energy, removes ammonia, makes bile that breaks down fats, stores extra blood for emergencies and filters your blood of the stew of pollutants inhaled daily. It produces enzymes, hormones, blood proteins and clotting factors. Finally, the liver assists the temple with house cleaning by filtering infectious organisms and poisons from the blood and eliminating the toxic bilge. Regular medical care, a healthy, sun-blessed living diet, moderate exercise and controlling stress support it.
Ancients knew the liver and bile are critical to a healthy appetite. When bile doesn’t flow smoothly, you lose your appetite. The ancients felt too much or too little blood loss during menstruation was related to poor liver function and interfered with storing and releasing blood. Chinese and Ayurvedic healing medicine relate anger with poor liver and gallbladder function. Someone chronically angry would be prescribed liver therapy to open, cleanse and cool the liver and bile.
Pharmaceuticals with alarming side effects, street drugs, Chemotherapy, over-the-counter medications, excess alcohol, Tylenol, antibiotic drugs, fried and fatty foods and toxic substances in the American food supply brutalize the loyal, hardworking organ. Cut down on the amount of deep-fried and fatty foods that you and your family consume. Doctors believe the risk of gallbladder disorders (including gallstones, a liver-related disease) can be reduced by avoiding high fat and cholesterol rich foods. Desserts, snacks and sugary thirst-quenchers are high in calories because of the sugar and fat they contain.
Your liver adores beets and beet greens, preferably organically grown, since they are the richest source of betaine, a natural liver detoxifier and bile thinner, and aren’t sprayed with liver-stressing chemicals. Shred raw beets then combine the beauties with a drizzle of raw flax oil, honey and lemon juice or puree them in a blender with orange juice. That’s right: raw.
Explore culinary seasonings that sustain the liver: lemon juice, onion, vinegar, garlic, pepper, mustard, cloves, sage, thyme, turmeric, cinnamon and licorice. Milk thistle has been used for centuries in Germany as a liver stimulator and rejuvenator. Eat more high-fiber foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, ground flax or chia seed, brown rice and quinoa and granola. Fresh food provides the best preventive maintenance and contains nutrition that enriches the liver. Include them regularly in your cooking. Next, get over your fear of healing cruciferous broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, berries, green tea, yogurt, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds and red grapes.
Revere your liver so it won’t end up in a pan smothered with sautéed onions.