Are you looking after your liver? That doesn’t just mean watching how many glasses of wine you’re drinking.
Of course that’s important, but did you know that as well as detoxing the alcohol, your liver also regulates your hormones? And deals with all the chemicals you are exposed to (that includes the perfume you spray on, the chlorine in your tap water, the pills you take and the pesticides on your fruit & veg?).
Your liver is working harder than ever. Over the last few decades, it is having to deal with thousands of new chemicals in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the products we use and the water we drink. And clear up that nightly glass or two of wine!
How does that affect your hormones?
- Too much oestrogen? One important role of the liver is to get rid of excess oestrogen, a very important process as too much oestrogen can cause PMS, heavy periods, breast tenderness, bloating, weight gain and headaches. Plus it raises your risk of oestrogen driven cancers.
- Not enough thyroid? Your liver is where a lot of your thyroid hormones get converted into active mode, so if the liver is struggling, low active thyroid can slow down your metabolism, hang on to fat stores and crash your energy levels. And equally a sluggish thyroid inhibits liver function! And round we go again…
- Blood sugar roller coaster? Your liver plays a vital role in blood sugar balance. If your diet is too carb heavy, or you have a lot of stress going on, your liver can struggle to regulate your blood sugar which can cause fatigue, sugar cravings, fat storage (especially belly fat), mood swings and brain fog.
10 tips to love your liver
- Drink more water, less alcohol! Now you don’t need me to tell you this one, it’s a no-brainer, but as you get older your liver is less able to cope with alcohol, and hydration is even more important (just saying..!)
- Eat more broccoli – and cauliflower, kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, rocket, watercress – they are all cruciferous veg that are loaded with something called Indole-3-Carbinol which helps to detoxify that excess oestrogen. Aim for 2 portions a day (if you can’t manage that, DIM is the supplement that does a similar thing).
- Ditch the sugar, refined carbs & processed foods – stressing out your liver with too much sugar and industrial fats is going to raise insulin, cortisol and oestrogen – not good news!
- Eat enough protein – a protein shake is an easy way to do this. Make sure it’s a good quality protein (plant based if you are dairy intolerant).
- Get your bowels moving – if you’re constipated, your toxic waste is going to build up, and guess what? Your oestrogen is going to get recycled. So eat plenty of fibre, supplement with magnesium (citrate is the best form), drink plenty of water and exercise daily.
- Watch the pill popping – don’t just pop a pill without thought! Your liver has to de-tox any kind of medication, including paracetamol, ibuprofen, birth control pills and indigestion tablets.
- Reduce stress – make time for your food (try Mindful Eating), balance your cortisol by practicing daily relaxation techniques (mindfulness, deep breathing, long baths, music).
- Switch your personal & household products to natural organic ones – what you put on your skin goes straight into your bloodstream. Put your product into the App Think Dirty to see how ‘toxic’ it is.
- Go organic – reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides and other mass chemicals by switching to organic for fruit, veg, dairy and meat where possible.
- Get a sweat on! Sweating is a great way to get rid of toxins. The skin is one of our most important detoxification organs. Exercise, saunas, steam rooms – try anything that gets your sweat dripping.
So make sure you are looking after your liver as you get older, your hormones will thank you if you do!
If you need any help with balancing your hormones, contact me to arrange a free Discovery Call.