Your liver is a very important organ, because it helps to remove toxins from the body including alcohol, harmful substances from the environment and contraceptive drugs. Your liver is also a very important organ when it comes to your fertility – although many people don’t realise what a crucial role it plays.
The liver is responsible for purifying the blood and it is also responsible for regulating the metabolism, storing minerals and fat soluble vitamins, filtering protazoa to protect against parasites and much more. The liver is an amazing organ that is wonderful at healing and self-recover, but it takes a lot of abuse in our lifestyle from the chemicals in our environment and the foods that we eat.
According to researchers from the University of Milan in Italy1, the liver plays a very important role in fertility. The study found that estrogen receptors in the liver are essential for maintaining fertility. When the liver is struggling, the hormone balance in the body is off and you are much less likely to conceive. The way that these receptors are expressed is under the control of amino acids in the diet. This explains why people who are anorexic are generally infertile while it also explains why diets that are very high in carbohydrates with not enough protein result in higher risk of infertility.
A liver that is congested, tired or overworked can produce a number of symptoms including crashes of energy, skin issues, weight gain, poor digestion, anger or irritability, Also, you might experience nausea after meals, poor digestion, bags under the eyes, a slight yellow hue (jaundice) and itching and irritation of the skin. Another sign is if you are experiencing extreme fatigue without having overexerted yourself.
Foods That Help The Liver to Detox
So how can you give your liver a boost and let it help you restore your fertility? If you are eating a diet that is high in fatty meat, alcohol and refined sugars you are putting stress on your liver. Luckily, it is able to renew and regenerate itself as soon as you switch to a cleaner and healthier diet. If you can cut down on refined sugars, alcohol and other liver-damaging foods and start to include more food in your diet that contribute to a healthy liver – you will be on your way to improved fertility.
What should you be eating to give your liver a boost? Here are foods that are wonderful for restoring your liver health:
- Apples – Apples are great for your liver because they contain pectin, which is thought to bind to heavy metals and excrete them. This will reduce the level of filtration that the liver needs to carry out2.
- Green Tea – Drink your green tea! It is filled with plant antioxidants that are known as catechins. These have been shown to improve liver function3.
- Garlic – It is great for your liver because it activates enzymes which will help to flush our toxins in the body. Also, it has a high amount of selenium and allicin, which are two natural compounds that assist in liver cleansing4.
- Grapefruit – Try to eat a grapefruit with your breakfast in the morning. Not only does this fruit have a lot of fibre, vitamin C and antioxidants, it also can help your liver to flush out toxins and carcinogens.
- Beets – These are a very healthy vegetable and they are high in plant flavonoids, which will help to improve the overall function of your liver. They can be cooked or pickled, or perhaps you can drink some beet juice.
- Avocados – When you eat more avocados in your diet, you will help your body to produce a type of anti-oxidant that is known as glutathione, which our livers need in order to filter out harmful materials5.
- Leafy greens – it is a good idea to eat more leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach, as they will help to neutralise the chemicals, metals and pesticides that are found within the foods we eat. Also, they help to protect the liver6.
- Cruciferous Vegetables – You should also be eating more cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts and broccoli. They will help with enzyme production for digestion by increasing the amount of glucosinolate in our bodies.
- Cabbage – By eating more cabbage you will stimulate the activation of two of your crucial liver detoxifying enzyme that will help to flush out toxins.
- Lemons – Not only are lemons (and other citrus fruit) full of vitamin C, they will also help our bodies with the digestion process and allow us to cleanse out toxic materials.
- Turmeric – This delicious spice will help your body to digest fat and will also stimulate the production of bile. It works as a great form of detox for your liver.
- Olive Oil – In moderation, cold pressed organic oils such as hemp oil, flax seed oil and olive oil are great for the liver. They will help your body to detox because they will provide a base of lipids that will be able to suck up harmful toxins in the body. This will help to take some of the burden off your liver7.
- Walnuts – Try to eat more walnuts in your diet – whether added into baked goods, sprinkled on salads or eating with fruits and oatmeal. They contain omega 3 fatty acids and glutathione, which will support your liver in it’s cleansing process.
These are just a few of the delicious foods that you can be eating to improve your liver health. You don’t have to completely change your diet overnight. It can be difficult to transition to a totally different diet, it is a lot easier to start incorporating some of these foods into your diet slowly over a period of time, while phasing out other foods that are damaging to your liver.
Making these small changes is what will make a major impact on the long term health of your liver and your ability to conceive.
- CORDIS. Study Suggests Liver Plays Key Role in Fertility. http://cordis.europa.eu/news/rcn/33080_en.html (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Self Heal Clinic. Minerals and The Liver. http://selfhealclinic.co.nz/minerals-and-the-liver/ (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Liver Doctor. Does The Liver Really Need Cleansing?. https://www.liverdoctor.com/does-the-liver-really-need-cleansing-part2/ (accessed April 2016) ↩
- Global Healing Center. 14 Foods That Cleanse The Liver. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/liver-cleanse-foods/ (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Huffpost Living Canada. Foods For Liver. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/13/foods-for-liver_n_1880715.html (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- LiveStrong.com. What Vegetables Are Good For Liver Fuction?. http://www.livestrong.com/article/332588-what-vegetables-are-good-for-liver-function/ (Accessed April 2016) ↩
- Wake Up Word. 14 Foods That Cleanse The Liver. http://wakeup-world.com/2015/07/01/14-foods-that-cleanse-the-liver-detox/ (Accessed April 2016) ↩