Welcome to Healthy Living Week at OnMilwaukee.com! The resolutions are made, now the real work begins. But we're here to help get you – and keep you – on track with stories about medicine, diet, exercise, spiritual and emotional health, and more. Healthy Living Week is brought to you by Pairdd: easy gluten-free cooking at your fingertips.
Recently, I have been making a conscious effort to drink less alcohol. I decided to do this, primarily because my kids are ‘tweens now, and I want to be careful about the message I send regarding beer and booze consumption.
It occurred to me that, since I’m watching my intake anyway, I might as well take extra good care of my liver at the same time. After all, that guy’s gotten quite the workout over the years.
I thought about going to a health store or co-op and buying a bunch of herbs, but after some minor Internet research, I realized that being kinder to my liver didn’t mean I had to spend money and most of the recommended practices were very doable.
So, here is a list of super easy ways to love up your liver. You might want to hold off on the hootch for a few days, too. But hey, no judgments either way.
Drink less coffee. Like alcohol, caffeine is not your liver’s comrade, either. I admit I am not quitting coffee – or even cutting back – during my informal liver love-in, but this might be plausible for others.
Drink lots of water. This is easy enough. For some people, having a bottle of water at their desk or stashed in their bag helps get more water down the hatch, but others, like myself, prefer to occasionally wander over to the tap and down two or three glasses at a spell. Either way, wet your whistle more often and your liver will love you.
Add lemon to your diet. You can easily combine this with your water drinking by tossing a wedge of lemon into your agua, but it can also be consumed in tea or, if you dare, straight up. In any case, lemon stimulates bile production which helps release toxins. Limón Bacardi does not count as lemon intake, mind you.
Drink smoothies. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries all stimulate liver health. Plus, using a blender is fun.
Avoid fast food / deep fried food. No matter what aspect of health you’re trying to tackle, this is a no-brainer. Maybe quitting such foods altogether isn’t possible, but cutting back, or quitting for a period of time might be an option.
Eat beta carotene-rich veggies. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and mustard greens are high in beta carotene and stimulate the liver. Beets, also high in beta carotene, protect bile ducts from toxins.
Consume more garlic. Garlic helps to flush toxins out of the liver, too. And even though your partner might take offense, your major organs will adore you. Grapefruit, avocados and walnuts are also liver-friendly foods.
Say encouraging things to your liver. Just kidding. I mean, don't let me stop you from having a conversation with your major organs, but there is no scientific proof that it will increase liver health. Then again, it could. Who knows?
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.