Nutrition Basics

Your Liver Is Like James Franco

By April 22, 2018April 26th, 2018No Comments

R emember when James Franco had a real moment a couple years ago, where he had like, 40 jobs? He was in movies and writing books and screenplays, directing, that guy was in plays, starring in commercials, teaching at UCLA, I’m sure there was more. Well, your liver is like James Franco circa 2013.

Your liver is a workhorse that just keeps getting after it – it’s on call 24/7.  It performs several hundred jobs on a daily basis, so we should be nice to it so it doesn’t go on strike (aka crap out on us). It’s our largest internal organ (about 3 and a half pounds) and plays a primary role in the digestive process.

Our liver is responsible for: 

  • Regulating, synthesizing, storing, secreting, transforming and breaking down substances in the body
  • Enzymatically processing vitamins and minerals to usable forms
  • Removing excess cholesterol and bacteria from the bloodstream
  • Breaking down estrogen
  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Neutralizing and eliminating harmful toxins

Your liver is so unwilling to give up that is regenerates itself – kind of like James Franco! That dude lays low for a while and then Bam! He’s in 5 movies in a year.

How can we be nice to our liver? The easiest way is by eating fresh, nutrient-dense foods. You don’t need to take a complicated series of supplements; just incorporate the following delicious ingredients to your diet!

Avocado: Packed with vitamin C and E, both of which contain antioxidants that prevent liver damage. It’s 2018, I think you know a million ways to eat an avocado by now. But something I didn’t realize until recently – they are great for plane travel! Just stash one in your purse with some whole grain crackers and you’ve got a gourmet sky snack.

Beets: These babies purify the blood and are rich in calcium and iron. Beets are a great preventative food and also treat liver ailments. Beets can amplify a green juice, salads, a veggie stir fry, and pair really well with goat cheese. I used to hate beets as a kid, but now I love them. I think my Ukrainian grandmother would be really proud. (I’m not 100% on the borscht train but I’m getting there.)

Citrus: Grapefruit and lemon both support healthy liver function. Grapefruit is packed with the antioxidant glutathione, which the liver produces naturally to produce proteins and build and repair tissue. A squeeze of lemon is great on nearly every dish. And if you’re not starting your day with hot water with lemon then come on girl, get on it!

Cruciferous Vegetables: Brussel sprouts, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, and cauliflower are all examples of foods in this family. They produce enzymes that aid in removing toxins. Cauliflower – soooo hot right now – can be roasted, riced, mashed, and more. Trader Joe’s is my fav place to stock up on frozen cauliflower! Look for the cauliflower stir fry in the frozen aisle, it’s rad.

Herbs: Dandelion, milk thistle, and turmeric are all-star herbs that are contain anti-inflammatory properties and cleanse the liver. These herbs are most easily consumed by drinking tea. Turmeric is a great pantry staple and can liven up plenty of bland dishes.

Alexa Brynne

Author Alexa Brynne

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