Look after your liver

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The foundation of good health is your liver. Overindulgence during the winter months and even the festive season can leave your liver sluggish, resulting in boating and tiredness.

Much of our immune system resides in the gut, so when the gut is out of kilter, the liver shares the burden. Comfort foods, cocktails, and Christmas treats high in carbohydrates or sugar are often the culprits, leading to an overgrowth of the wrong type of gut bugs, yeasts or even parasites. These unwelcome guests can filter straight to the liver resulting in a range of uncomfortable symptoms and possible disease including bloating, indigestion, gastrointestinal infections, gallbladder dysfunction, and fatty liver.

But there is a lot you can do to soothe the gut and liver. As the weather warms up, it is easier to include salads and raw vegetable juices into your daily diet. The best liver cleansing foods are beetroot, cabbage, radish, celery, parsley, and lemons. Supplements of St Mary’s thistle and turmeric are also excellent liver tonics.

Avoid drinking too much liquid with meals as this can dilute vital digestive enzymes and stomach acid. Instead, try sipping a little apple cider vinegar diluted with warm water five minutes before a meal to help digestion. Or add it to a salad dressing with olive oil if that is more palatable.

Too much sugar encourages sugar-loving bacteria to multiply in the intestines, which can lead to fungal overgrowth, inflammation of the intestinal wall and a fatty liver. By cutting down on sugary treats, you’ll be treating your gut and liver instead.

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