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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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      Last Updated on August 15, 2018

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

      Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

      Video Summary

      Why is it important to train up our core strength?

      There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

      This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

      Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

      In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

      One Exercise, multiple benefits

      There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

      By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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      When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

      Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

      In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

      What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

      What will happen when you start doing planks every day

        1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

        Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

        • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
        • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
        • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
        • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

        2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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          Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

          Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

          3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

            Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

            4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

              Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

              A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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              A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

              On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

              5. You’ll improve overall balance

                Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

                6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                  Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                  7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                    Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                    How to hold a plank position

                    1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                    2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                    3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                    4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                    5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                    6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                    7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                    Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                    Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                      How to improve your plank time gradually

                      1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                      2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                      3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                      Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                      Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                      You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                      • Prolapse
                      • After prolapse surgery
                      • Pelvic pain conditions
                      • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                      • Previous childbirth
                      • Overweight

                      Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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