Often mistreated and overlooked, your liver is directly involved in ALL stages of hormone production and elimination.
It plays a role in creating several key hormones, converting them into a form your cells can use, detoxifying excess hormones that may build up, and preparing them to be removed from your body.
The #1 root cause of hormone imbalance I see in women in their late thirties and beyond is a sluggish liver! This is because it slacks off on its duty of cycling out excess toxins and hormones, sending your body into a downward spiral of hormone dysfunction.
Your liver’s main job is to filter out toxins and excrete them from your body. But guess what happens when hormonal levels are out of whack and your body begins throwing excess at the liver? It simply can’t keep up.
THE LIVER-HORMONE CONNECTION
One of those things that your liver is responsible for eliminating is excess hormones, especially estrogen.
But our modern lifestyle includes almost constant toxic exposure through air, water, food and even the things you put on your skin (think personal care products, household products, and even your laundry detergent)…
Your liver is overloaded to begin with. Add to that the hormonal burden that escalates during the hormone flux of perimenopause! It’s a recipe for an exhausted liver that just can’t get rid of everything it needs to. It gets sluggish, allowing toxins and hormones to recirculate through your body. This is a recipe for hormone disaster (especially if you’re over 35).
One of the biggest results of this sluggish liver and excess hormone circulation is estrogen dominance—click here to learn more. These excess hormones + the inflammation caused by certain food choices and toxins perpetuate a cycle of a slow liver, the buildup of junk, and a body that you suddenly don’t recognize anymore.
LIVER SYMPTOMS TO WATCH FOR:
Your liver sends lots of warning signs that it’s suffering, and when you know the signs, you’ll be able to compensate with proper nutrition and supplements to give it what it needs. Some of the biggest symptoms of a sluggish liver include:
Sluggish energy all day and trouble sleeping at night
Feeling hungover after only 1 or 2 glasses of wine
Belly fat you can’t shake, no matter what you try
Skin issues like eczema
Cravings, especially mid-afternoon or late at night
Anxiety, depression, and unstable moods
Symptoms of estrogen dominance, including fibrocystic breasts, fibroids, intense PMS, heavy periods, to name a few
If you experience ANY of these, it’s worth giving your liver some extra attention to help it get back up to working its best.
GIVE AND TAKE FOR OPTIMAL LIVER HEALTH
I’m certainly not suggesting that ONLY depriving your body of things you love is a good way to jumpstart health wins…
That’s just a recipe for more stress and more unmet expectations. There’s an important balance here, as in all things: when you remove things from your lifestyle and diet, it’s crucial to find substitutes that will leave you encouraged and satisfied each step of the way! Here are things that, yes, you should consider taking away in order to get your liver working as it should. But also, here are things that you can say a wholehearted YES to so you never feel like you’re missing out!
THINGS TO TAKE AWAY:
To keep your liver functioning best, the #1 thing you can do is avoid toxins and inflammatory foods. Prevention is the best medicine! Not having the toxins and inflammation-drivers in your body will obviously be a great help to your liver, as it tries to keep up with your body’s demands.
Keeping the toxins out can look like…
Swapping out personal care and household products for non-toxic alternatives Think essential oils!! They offer an amazing natural solution.
Eating organic and drinking filtered water. Food and water contamination is real. It’s one of the easiest ways these perpetrators sneak into your body, even if you *think* you’re eating healthy. I know it’s not possible all the time, but as often as you can, focus on fresh organic produce and bring your water bottle with you everywhere (filled with trusted water)!
Trying to avoid the biggest inflammatory foods, like gluten, dairy, sugar, and grains. These foods are everywhere, but they are behind the epidemic of liver disease, blood sugar imbalances, obesity, hormone problems, and much more!
WHAT YOU CAN GIVE YOUR BODY:
Healing your liver and keeping it working at its best isn’t just about saying NO to a lot of things… There are simple ways you can supply it with exactly what it needs to filter out junk and keep your hormones in a happy balance. Adding in key nutrients through food and supplements will ensure your liver can thrive in its job (and keep you happier, too)!
TOP-LIVER SUPPORTING FOODS
Here are some simple, easy-to-find foods you can incorporate daily to supply your liver with key nutrients it needs to thrive:
Bitter Greens (like arugula, radicchio, kale, dandelion, spinach, chicory, and mustard leaves) help your liver detoxify your body and cycle out waste.
Garlic activates liver enzymes to help your body flush out toxins effectively while also protecting your liver from damage
Broccoli Sprouts trigger your body to produce a powerful antioxidant to safely and effectively eliminate toxins and threats
Avocados naturally protect and repair your liver
Beets are packed with key vitamins like iron, calcium, B vitamins, and antioxidants that your liver needs, and they also absorb heavy metals to speed up the detox process! (Don’t throw away the greens—they are packed with these key nutrients, too!)
Turmeric is a powerhouse to relieve liver congestion and normalize its function to get it working as it should again
Lemon triggers liver enzyme production more than any other food!
Blueberries and Cranberries are packed with antioxidants that protect your liver and increase enzyme production
TOP LIVER-SUPPORTING SUPPLEMENTS
I’m a HUGE proponent of supplements because they fast-track your results by supplying targeted vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs to work optimally. Some of the biggest players for liver health include…
Vitamin C (an essential antioxidant your liver needs to detoxify your body and hormones)
B vitamins (to protect against damage and support both phases of detoxification)
Choline (crucial for getting your liver to convert vitamins and hormones into their active forms AND remove excess from circulation)
Magnesium (to neutralize and eliminate estrogen from your body) Powerful ingredients like vitamin C, zinc, selenium, turmeric, green tea extract and more provide antioxidants and essential nutrients your body needs to cycle out toxins and restore balance!