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10 Superfoods That Effectively Cleanse Your Liver For Better Digestion

10 Superfoods That Effectively Cleanse Your Liver For Better Digestion

Think of it this way, if the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines were all students of a class; then the liver is the teacher. The role of the liver is simple and complex at the same time; it regulates all of the digestion process and ensures proper distribution of the post-digestion nutrients to the body as well. [1]

The liver also plays a very important role, along with the kidneys, to detoxify the body of the waste produced during digestion as well as environmental toxins. To keep the body free of waste and toxins, as well as for maximum nutrient absorption; you need to cleanse your liver for it to be in peak condition. The good news is that there are commonplace foods you can eat, which cleanse your liver and keep it at its healthiest. Give these 10 liver-friendly foods a whirl…

1. Garlic

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    A small amount of garlic, eaten raw and crushed, activates the liver enzymes and helps it detoxify the body that much faster. The sulfur compounds in garlic, as well as its arginine and selenium work together to cleanse your liver for it to be at optimum health. [2]

    2. Leafy Greens

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      Green leafy vegetables such as arugula, spinach, fenugreek and mustard greens, dandelion and chicory have the ability to soak up environmental toxins from the bloodstream like sponges. They can neutralize heavy metals and other toxicity – and so give the liver function a much-needed respite and cleanse your liver alongside. [3]

      3. Apples

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        Apples are rich in the soluble fiber pectin, which aids the body in getting rid of wastes and toxins very effectively. This, in turn, takes some stress off the liver so that it can cleanse itself and work healthily. Probably why the ‘apple a day keeps the doctor away’ adage is still alive… [4]

        4. Avocados

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          Not just great baby food, avocados are great for the liver as well. Avocados aid the body into producing a valuable antioxidant glutathione, which is basically the primary antioxidant needed by the liver to detoxify itself as well the whole body. Greens, garlic and cruciferous vegetables also help the body produce glutathione. [5]

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          5. Cold-pressed oils

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            Olive, Flaxseed and Hempseed oils are great for the liver – the healthy fat content, as well as the phenolic antioxidant compounds of these oils, soak up toxins and aid liver in functioning at its optimum. The heart benefits of these oils are an added plus! [6]

            6. Switching grains

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              Not to say that wheat and rice is unhealthy, but if you eat only one or two types of grain; you end up stressing the liver as it has to deal with those few toxins (like gluten) over and over again. Switch back and forth between healthy whole grains like quinoa, millet, bulgur, buckwheat and even the locally grown produce. [7]

              7. Citrus fruits

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                Lemons and limes are high in vitamin C – and vitamin C basically dissolves the toxins into water-soluble chemicals and lets the kidneys flush them out in the form of urine. This takes a load off the liver and helps it detoxify itself. [8]

                8. Turmeric

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                  Think of this as liver’s favorite spice. Turmeric revs up the liver enzymes, boosting body detoxification and cleansing your liver. Most importantly, this spice also helps repair damaged liver tissue too! [9]

                  9. Cruciferous vegetables

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                    The tree-like cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower increase the body’s glucosinolate levels which are organic sulfur compounds that work with antioxidants like folate, vitamin C and flavonoids to cleanse your liver, and the body of harmful toxins and waste products as well. [10]

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                    10. Walnuts

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                      The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts not only make it brain food, but also a great food to cleanse your liver. Enriched with amino acid arginine, walnuts also neutralize the ammonia in the body thereby taking some stress off the poor organ. [11]

                      What more can I do to help my liver?

                      As Hippocrates said, let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food. Along with eating these liver-friendly super foods; to spring-cleanse the liver, you also need to drink plenty water and reduce your sugar intake. Remember to give yourself some TLC as well as exercise and do cut back on that nicotine, alcohol and caffeine… [12]

                      Reference

                      [1] http://www.laparoscopic.md/digestion/liver
                      [2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/346836-benefits-of-garlic-on-liver/
                      [3] http://nourishholisticnutrition.com/foods-your-liver-will-love/
                      [4] http://www.liversupport.com/8-great-foods-for-detoxing-the-liver/
                      [5] http://www.immunehealthscience.com/glutathione-foods.html
                      [6] https://www.liverdoctor.com/8-things-you-must-know-have-fatty-liver/
                      [7] https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2013/585876/
                      [8] http://www.belmarrahealth.com/citrus-fruits-and-liver-function/
                      [9] http://naturalsociety.com/turmeric-repairs-damaged-liver-tissues-promotes-liver-health/
                      [10] http://www.liversupport.com/8-great-foods-for-detoxing-the-liver/
                      [11] http://www.chicagonow.com/get-fit-chicago/2013/12/10-foods-that-detox-your-body-and-cleanse-your-liver/
                      [12] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-patricia-fitzgerald/spring-cleaning-10-steps_b_177154.html

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                      Last Updated on November 9, 2020

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      10 Real Reasons Why Breaking Bad Habits Is So Difficult

                      Bad habits expose us to suffering that is entirely avoidable. Unfortunately, breaking bad habits is difficult because they are 100% dependent on our mental and emotional state.

                      Anything we do that can prove harmful to us is a bad habit – drinking, drugs, smoking, procrastination, poor communication are all examples of bad habits. These habits have negative effects on our physical, mental, and emotional health.

                      Humans are hardwired to respond to stimuli and to expect a consequence of any action. This is how habits are acquired: the brain expects to be rewarded a certain way under certain circumstances. How you initially responded to certain stimuli is how your brain will always remind you to behave when the same stimuli are experienced.

                      If you visited the bar close to your office with colleagues every Friday, your brain will learn to send you a signal to stop there even when you are alone and eventually not just on Fridays. It will expect the reward of a drink after work every day, which can potentially lead to a drinking problem.

                      Kicking negative behavior patterns and steering clear of them requires a lot of willpower, and there are many reasons why breaking bad habits is so difficult.

                      1. Lack of Awareness or Acceptance

                      Breaking a bad habit is not possible if the person who has it is not aware that it is a bad one.

                      Many people will not realize that their communication skills are poor or that their procrastination is affecting them negatively, or even that the drink they had as a nightcap has now increased to three.

                      Awareness brings acceptance. Unless a person realizes on their own that a habit is bad, or someone manages to convince them of the same, there is very little chance of the habit being kicked.

                      2. No Motivation

                      Going through a divorce, not being able to cope with academic pressure, and falling into debt are instances that can bring a profound sense of failure with them. A person going through these times can fall into a cycle of negative thinking where the world is against them and nothing they can do will ever help, so they stop trying altogether.

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                      This give-up attitude is a bad habit that just keeps coming around. Being in debt could make you feel like you are failing at maintaining your home, family, and life in general.

                      If you are looking to get out of a rut and feel motivated, take a look at this article: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It)

                      3. Underlying Psychological Conditions

                      Psychological conditions such as depression and ADD can make it difficult to start breaking bad habits.

                      A depressed person may find it difficult to summon the energy to cook a healthy meal, resulting in food being ordered in or consumption of packaged foods. This could lead to a habit that adversely affects health and is difficult to overcome.

                      A person with ADD may start to clean their house but get distracted soon after, leaving the task incomplete, eventually leading to a state where it is acceptable to live in a house that is untidy and dirty.

                      The fear of missing out (FOMO) is very real to some people. Obsessively checking their social media and news sources, they may believe that not knowing of something as soon as it is published can be catastrophic to their social standing.

                      4. Bad Habits Make Us Feel Good

                      One of the reasons it is difficult to break habits is that a lot of them make us feel good.[1]

                      We’ve all been there – the craving for a tub of ice cream after a breakup or a casual drag on a joint, never to be repeated until we miss how good it made us feel. We succumb to the craving for the pleasure felt while indulging in it, cementing it as a habit even while we are aware it isn’t good for us.

                      Overeating is a very common bad habit. Just another pack of chips, a couple of candies, a large soda… none of these are necessary for survival. We want them because they give us comfort. They’re familiar, they taste good, and we don’t even notice when we progress from just one extra slice of pizza to four.

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                      You can read this article to learn more: We Do What We Know Is Bad for Us, Why?

                      5. Upward Comparisons

                      Comparisons are a bad habit that many of us have been exposed to since we were children. Parents might have compared us to siblings, teachers may have compared us to classmates, and bosses could compare us to past and present employees.

                      The people who have developed the bad habit of comparing themselves to others have been given incorrect yardsticks for measurement from the start.

                      These people will always find it difficult to break out of this bad habit because there will always be someone who has it better than they do: a better house, better car, better job, higher income and so on.

                      Research shows that in the age of social media, social comparisons are much easier and can ultimately harm self-esteem if scrolling becomes a bad habit[2].

                      6. No Alternative

                      This is a real and valid reason why breaking bad habits is difficult. These habits could fulfill a need that may not be met any other way.

                      Someone who has physical or psychological limitations, such as a disability or social anxiety, may find it hard to quit obsessive content consumption for better habits.

                      Alternately, a perfectly healthy person may be unable to quit smoking because alternates are just not working out.

                      Similarly, a person who bites their nails when anxious may be unable to relieve stress in any other socially accepted manner.

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                      7. Stress

                      As mentioned above, anything that stresses us out can lead to adopting and cementing an unhealthy habit.

                      When a person is stressed about something, it is easy for bad habits to form because the mental resources required to fight them are not available[3].

                      We often see a person who had previously managed to kick a bad habit fall back into the old ways because they felt their stress couldn’t be managed any other way.

                      If you need some help reducing stress, check out the following video for some healthy ways to get started:

                      8. Sense of Failure

                      People looking to kick bad habits may feel a strong sense of failure because it’s just that difficult.

                      Dropping a bad habit usually means changes in lifestyle that people may be unwilling to make, or these changes might not be easy to make in spite of the will to make them.

                      Overeaters need to empty their house of unhealthy food, resist the urge to order in, and not pick up their standard grocery items from the store. Those who drink too much need to avoid the bars or even people who drink often.

                      If such people slip even once with a glass of wine, or a smoke, or a bag of chips, they tend to be excessively harsh on themselves and feel like failures.

                      9. The Need to Be All-New

                      People who are looking to break bad habits feel they need to re-create themselves in order to break themselves of their bad habits, while the truth is the complete opposite.

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                      These people actually need to go back to who they were before they developed the bad habit and try to create good habits from there.

                      10. Force of Habit

                      Humans are creatures of habit, and having familiar, comforting outcomes for daily triggers helps us maintain a sense of balance in our lives.

                      Consider people who are used to lighting up a cigarette every time they talk on the phone or eating junk food when watching TV. They will always associate a phone call with a puff on the cigarette and screen time with eating.

                      These habits, though bad, are a source of comfort to them, as is meeting with those people they indulge in these bad habits with.

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are the main reasons why breaking bad habits is difficult, but the good news is that the task is not impossible. Breaking habits takes time, and you’ll need to put long-term goals in place to replace a bad habit with a good one.

                      There are many compassionate, positive and self-loving techniques to kick bad habits. The internet is rich in information regarding bad habits, their effects and how to overcome them, while professional help is always available for those who feel they need it.

                      More on Breaking Bad Habits

                      Featured photo credit: NORTHFOLK via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] After Skool: Why Do Bad Habits Feel SO GOOD?
                      [2] Psychology of Popular Media Culture: Social comparison, social media, and self-esteem.
                      [3] Stanford Medicine: Examining how stress affects good and bad habits

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