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If You Want To Boost Your Fertility, Take Good Care Of Your Liver

If You Want To Boost Your Fertility, Take Good Care Of Your Liver

Ever heard of someone with a ‘bilious temper’ or someone who is ‘choleric?’ Well, even before the advent of modern medicine, the liver was associated with anger and irritability; ancient Greek doctors attributed an ill-temper to an excess of yellow bile produced in the liver.

Thanks to modern medicine though, not only have we found that the liver does in fact have an, albeit more nuanced, connection to our tempers, we have also discovered that a healthy, functioning liver has a strong link within our bodies to the creation of life itself. When we talk about the liver, we seldom think about fertility; however, recent research has shown that it plays a very important role.

Our Livers And Fertility

“This is the first time it has been demonstrated how important the liver is in fertility,” said Adriana Maggi of The University of Milan in Italy. She was speaking, in 2011, of her team’s research that showed how estrogen receptors in the liver play a crucial role in fertility.

It was revealed that mice on a calorie-restricted diet, as well as those lacking estrogen receptors in the liver, showed a decline in a hormone known as IGF-1, which promotes adequate growth of the lining of the uterus, as well as normal progression of the estrous cycle. But when the calorie-restricted mice were given more protein in their diets, their reproductive systems started to function properly again.[1] The same principle was tested with dietary fats and carbohydrates, and these had no effect on the estrogen receptors.

The findings have wide-ranging implications; they suggest that a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates may adversely affect fertility. It may also explain, Maggi says, why people who are anorexic are generally infertile.

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Keeping Your Liver Healthy

Ray Chung, MD, medical director of the liver transplant program at Massachusetts General Hospital, has spoken in detail about ways we can look after our livers. “Taking care of your liver is far more about avoiding what’s bad than it is about eating or drinking things that are particularly nourishing to the liver,” he says.[2]

So it’s important not to drink too much alcohol, and watch out for certain medicines that can adversely affect your liver. After all, this crucial organ processes everything we ingest. However, it’s still important to avoid excess weight gain, as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can cause great damage to the organ. Aside from exercise, diet can also play a role, as has been emphasized by the recent research carried out in Milan.

Foods We Should Avoid

Fast food contains most of the things we want to avoid if we’d like to maintain a healthy liver. Too much fat and sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, can cause serious damage to the liver. High amounts of salt in processed foods like sausages and bacon, meanwhile, can lead to fatty liver disease, while artificial sweeteners are also not recommended.

Increase Your Intake Of Liver-cleansing Foods

Garlic is often promoted in liver-cleansing diets. A small amount of this staple vegetable can activate liver enzymes that aid our bodies in flushing out toxins. One of the many health benefits[3] of green tea is that it is full of an antioxidant called catechin, known to assist liver function. Turmeric, which is used extensively in Indian cuisine is known to help us flush out dietary carcinogens. Avocados help us produce glutathione, a compound that promotes liver cleansing in our bodies. Leafy green vegetables as well as fruit rich in vitamin C will help to protect our livers. As suggested by the research carried out by Adriana Maggi and her team, a diet rich in protein will also help to activate the estrogen receptors in your liver, meaning that lean meats such as chicken and turkey may be a great addition for those looking to boost their fertility.

2 Great Recipes For Boosting Liver Health

1. Golden Milk

Golden milk is a drink that many people incorporate into their diets purely for its health benefits.[4] Among its many health benefits are its ability to boost the immune system as well as, of course, cleansing your liver. Black pepper helps to massively increase your body’s absorption of turmeric, along with its many benefits.

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turmeric-drink

    Step 1: Turmeric Paste

    Ingredients:

    • 1/4 cup of turmeric powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
    • 1/2 cup of filtered water

    Directions:

    Mix all ingredients in a small sauce pan and mix well. Turn the heat to medium high and stir constantly until the mixture is a thick paste. This does not take long, so don’t walk away from the pan.

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    Let this mixture cool and then keep it in a small jar in the fridge.

    Step 2: Golden Milk

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of almond milk (hemp or coconut are also good options)
    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    • 1/4 teaspoon or more of turmeric paste
    • Honey

    Directions:

    1. Combine all the ingredients, except honey, in a saucepan.
    2. Turn the heat to medium.
    3. While heating, make sure to stir constantly, and do not allow the mixture to boil.
    4. Add honey to taste.

    Credit: Pinterest

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    2. Broccoli Detox Soup

    The name says it all. This soup is full of ingredients that will flush the toxins out of your body and result in healthy liver function.

    awesome-green
      Ingredients:

      • 2 cups broccoli florets
      • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
      • 1 onion, finely diced
      • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
      • 1 cup greens (kale, spinach, beet greens or any other available)
      • 1 parsnip, peeled and finely chopped
      • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
      • 2 cups filtered water or low sodium vegetable broth
      • 1⁄2 tsp sea salt
      • 1⁄2 lemon, juice only
      • 1 tsp coconut oil
      • 1 tbsp chia seeds
      • Toasted mixed seeds and nuts, 1 teaspoon coconut milk, to garnish

      Directions:

      1. In a soup pot, heat the coconut oil, add the onion, garlic, carrot, parsnip, celery sticks, and broccoli, and cook over low heat for five minutes, stirring frequently.
      2. Add the filtered water or vegetable broth, bring to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and let simmer for 5‐7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy.
      3. Stir in the greens, then transfer into the blender, add the chia seeds and lemon, and process to obtain a smooth cream.
      4. Top with toasted seeds and serve warm.

      Credit: The Awesome Green

      Featured photo credit: Netdoctor.co.uk via netdoctor.cdnds.net

      Reference

      [1] Science Daily: Liver, dietary proteins key in fertility
      [2] WebMD: How Not to Wreck Your Liver
      [3] Global Healing Centre: 8 Health Benefits of Green Tea
      [4] Top10 Home Remedies: 10 Health Benefits of Turmeric

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      Christopher Young

      Freelance Blogger, Writer and Journalist

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      Last Updated on December 9, 2019

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

      The result: no more mental stress.

      2. Unplug

      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

      3. Easy on the Caffeine

      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

      The result: mental stress will be gone!

      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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