For the past few weeks my mind has been mulling the importance of loving my liver.
Maybe it’s the season that’s calling my attention to this large organ of mine. That’s right, this season makes me think of my liver!
It may sound odd, but in ancient Chinese Medicine, spring is the season of the liver. And they knew what they were talking about by associating a season with an organ…
According to traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is the time to extend ourselves, deepen our roots and gather resiliency in the wind. It’s like the blooms I see all around me! These same tendencies are tied to the function of the liver. It works to detoxify the blood and produce the secretions that help us to metabolize all our macronutrients—our carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
Also, just like spring is a time of renewal, the liver is constantly renewing itself, generating new cells so that it can do its job better for you! And believe me…it needs to!
But why love your liver?
Your liver is a powerhouse of activity.
It’s the biggest internal organ in your body and it has hundreds of functions.
One of its key roles is to act as the gatekeeper for your entire system, filtering all toxins and foreign substances from the bloodstream, breaking them down, and excreting them.
Some of the toxic substances that your liver has to contend with are produced right within your body! These include excess hormones and neurotransmitters. Other substances come from your environment&mdashwhat you eat, what you breathe and even what you put on your skin.
There are both voluntary and involuntary invaders that the liver encounters. It’s working overtime, all the time, every second of every day, without much gratitude or payback.
Hey, your liver deserves a break today!
Ready to dive deeper? Let’s take a look at what your liver has to do with your digestion for starters…
When it comes to digestion, the liver creates enzymes and hormones that are critical for metabolism.
In fact as soon as you take your first bite of food in the morning, your liver is triggered to produce enzymes that will break that food down into smaller particles that can easily move through your gastrointestinal tract and be absorbed into your bloodstream to feed your cells.
Each macronutrient requires different actions from the liver.
Just think about how hard your liver is working everyday to keep up with your intake!
carbohydrate digestion & your liver:
Carbohydrates divide into glucose in the digestive tract. Those glucose molecules move into your bloodstream where they’re used as your body’s primary source of energy. All blood then moves to the liver for filtration. Any excess glucose, not used for immediate energy, is stored as glycogen in the liver. The liver can then convert the glycogen (the storage form of glucose) back to glucose in times of need.
protein digestion & your liver:
Protein breakdown occurs in the stomach and the small intestine. The end products are amino acids and other byproducts that are converted into enzymes by the liver. These enzymes are responsible for the chemical transformation of the toxic byproducts that come from the breakdown of proteins and prepares them for elimination through the kidneys.
fat digestion & your liver:
The breakdown of your dietary fat depends on the bile created by your liver and stored in your gallbladder. The liver manages fat levels in the blood all day long. Dietary cholesterol and triglycerides are absorbed into the bloodstream and processed by the liver for delivery to the cells.
Natural detoxification and digestion are only some of the jobs of this multitasking organ!
It stands to reason that at least once a year you need to pamper your liver. Love it. Give it some extra attention. Say thank you to your liver for all that it does for you.
Unfortunately your liver won’t appreciate a simple Hallmark card.
What it will most appreciate is a vacation…
A vacation that includes time away from some of its usual workload, delicious healing food, as well as daily massages.
Doesn’t that sound good?
Not sure where to start with your liver love? Download my favorite tips and get started loving your liver right away.
Get them here!love your liver (top 10 tips inside!) | Functional Nutrition Alliance
If you’re looking to find me this week, I’ll be on liver vacation. I hope I’ll see you there!