How You Can Support Your Liver This Holiday Season
We look forward to the holiday season all year long as a time of rest, festive gatherings with friends and family, and getting some closure for the year. But when December finally rolls around, the reality can often be quite different. A holiday diet rarely contributes positively to your health. Eggnog, excessive salt, and endless desserts can quickly add up; a hectic schedule can lead to even more stress than usual; and to top it all off, we’re battling cold and flu season. Combined, all of these factors can really take their toll on our bodies, but especially on our diligent livers.
The liver performs many vital functions for our body, helping it to filter out toxins, process nutrients, and regulate hormones as well as the supply of some essential vitamins and minerals. Support this vital organ this holiday season by making a habit of following these tips to help you all year long.
Be Aware of the Risks
Your liver works to remove toxins from your body, so habits like consuming alcohol and junk food take away from the support it needs to do its job. Excessive drinking can damage the liver and inhibit its performance, which in turn can lead to health issues like hormone disorders, chemical sensitivity, high cholesterol, fatigue, and even weight gain, to name a few.
A poor diet consisting of saturated fat and junk food can accumulate fat in the liver. Combined with poor exercise habits, it can lead to fatty liver disease. Minimize your indulgences during the holiday season, and maintain your exercise routine to help keep your liver healthy.
Natural Health Support for the Liver
In addition to keeping up with your diet and exercise, you may also want to consider natural supplementation. Milk thistle is an herb containing several substances that aid your liver’s functioning. Specifically, silymarin is a flavonoid with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect the liver from toxins and help it to repair itself by growing new liver cells. Milk thistle is available in many forms, including capsules and liquid extracts, and a supplement can be a convenient way to give your liver a boost.
A combination of stress and alcohol consumption can quickly deplete the body’s store of B vitamins, which are not only necessary for the liver’s detoxification process, but also contribute to many other functions in our bodies. In addition to a healthy, greens-rich diet, having a quality vitamin B–complex supplement handy can easily resupply your body with these important minerals.
Remember that there are many factors that can affect your health during the holiday season. Be aware of how you can support liver function including using safe, effective, and high-quality natural health products found at your local CHFA-member health-food store.
Michelle W. Book
A graduate in holistic nutrition and spokesperson for the
Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA), she focuses
on living life and raising a family focused on holistic
health and wellness.