Why love your liver, you ask? Many people don’t know just how crucial a role their liver plays in the divine dance done by the body every moment of everyday.
Aim to be in bed by 10pm. The gallbladder regenerates between 11pm-1am, followed promptly by liver regeneration time from 1-3am (the gallbladder and liver work hand in hand in your digestive system, so maintaining the health of both is vital). If you’re waking up at 2am every night, it’s a sign your liver needs some lovin’! A full 8 hours of sleep is ideal; I’ve found an eye pillow that blocks out all light has done wonders in both falling and staying asleep.
- Avoid Eating Late at Night
In Europe, the main meal is eaten midday. My big German family always sat down to family meals between 1-2pm. In the evening, something very light and healthy as enjoyed. I’m not saying you have to go Euro on us, but consistence in your mealtimes does wonders for your digestion. Also, not going to bed on a full stomach is invaluable. Aim to be finished eating by a time that allows you to rest your digestive system for at least 10 hours each night.
- Alkalinizing Practices
In our last issue of H+W Mag, you read about the myriad of health benefits offered by Apple Cider Vinegar. Well, your liver loves ACV too! So, upon rising, get to sipping a warm mug of lemon water with a splash of ACV.
Alkalize, alkalize, alkalize. If you’re wondering what the heck alkalinity even is, here’s the belly of it: an alkaline body is one with a pH of 7. Throughout the night, our acidity usually rises. Neutralizing that first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, with warm lemon water is the perfect start to a day of alkalinizing practices (including diet, more about that in a moment).
Dandelion Root Tea is my favorite detoxifying herbal tea. Other good liver loving herbs are artichoke leaf, milk thistle (the single most rejuvenating herb for the liver), burdock root and yellow dock.
According to The Clinician’s Handbook of Natural Medicine, a liver loving diet is one that is “low in saturated and trans fats; high in plant foods – vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds; low in sugar and white flour products.” Loading up on leafy greens, colorful veggies, cruciferous veggies, sulfur-containing foods (onions, garlic, leeks), beets, radishes, bitter and sour flavors make your liver so happy. Also, limonene-containing fruit (orange, lemon and tangerine) nourish your liver immensely; aim to eat three pieces of limonene-containing fruits per day, skin and all.
I can’t stress enough how important it is not to stress! Liver loving practices you can employ in your day-to-day life include laughter (find an excuse to yuck it up!), focused relaxation (pranayama and meditation), yoga and other general exercise, acupuncture and simply moving through life more slowly (even inside your own head).
Your liver is your powerhouse in terms of eliminating toxins from your body. It also, according to Dr. Ed Bauman, “helps the body resist infections by producing immune factors and by removing bacteria from the bloodstream.” In addition to synthesizing cholesterol and proteins in the bloodstream, your lovely liver also converts vitamins and minerals into useable forms and helps regulate your beautiful body’s hormonal balance.
The liver is a hard-working organ and an absolute expert in regeneration. In support of longevity, daily detoxification, and overall holistic wellness, start pointedly loving on your liver today.
As seen in Happiness+Wellbeing Magazine, January issue.