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As we continue to live more and more stressful lives in an environment that has become increasingly toxic, the need for a healthy liver is more important than ever. The processed, nutrient deficient foods that the nation consumes coupled with an excess of alcohol makes the situation even worse.

I will keep this as simple and as short as possible as you really can’t afford to skip past this because of laziness or boredom.

There are 2 phases of liver detoxification, creatively named, phase 1 and phase 2. Each require specific nutrients in almost specific quantities to function productively at a similar rate. If phase 1 occurs too quickly for phase 2 then you get a build up of toxins in the liver and it becomes saturated. This can lead to mid-section fat gain. If you are overly sensitive, or super resistant to caffeine (ie 1 cup in the early afternoon and you can’t sleep that night, or 2 cups in the evening and you sleep fine) then this can be an indicator of out of sync phases in the liver.

 

The important thing is, getting the right nutrients in to the liver to help things run as smoothly as possible.

Nutrients essential for phase 1 are:

>B vitamins
>Folic acid
>Glutathione
>Antioxidants
>Carotenoids
>Vitamin E
>Vitamin C

Nutrients essential for phase 2 are:

>(Amino acids)
>Glutamine
>Cysteine
>Glycine
>Taurine
>Glutathione
>Sulphurated-phytochemicals found in garlic and cruciferous vegetables.
>N-acetyl cysteine  (an immediate precursor to glutathione, also used in the rehabilitation of the liver after heavy use of paracetamol)

The good news is that all of these nutrients are available in a healthy diet and by careful supplementation. However, you’re idea of a healthy diet may be somewhat different due to the media and advertising. (There are plenty of articles available on our website about healthy eating and we of course don’t sell our own brand of food so ours is based on science not sales).

Foods to eat to aid liver detoxification include:

>Beetroot and artichoke: helps with liver drainage
>Broccoli, cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables: these aid cytochrome P450 activity
>Protein
>Radish, watercress: rich in sulphur
>Albion family vegetables: garlic, onions
>High fiber foods such as psyllium, flax seeds, fruit and vegetables: fiber binds toxins and eliminates them through the GI tract

Unfortunately a lot of nutrients that used to be readily available in foods aren’t available in such vast quantities anymore due to pollution and poor quality soil, so in order to get adequate amounts of particular vitamins and minerals it is essential to supplement them.

Another worthwhile supplement that needs mentioning when talking about liver health in our day and age is zinc. Zinc acts as a co-factor for many enzyme systems. Zinc deficiency can cause a whole range of consequences. One important role that zinc plays is in the functioning of an enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase involved in the conversion of alcohols to aldehydes in Phase I detoxification. Therefore anyone who drinks alcohol should ensure they have optimum amounts of zinc in their diet.

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