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October 03, 2016

Countdown to Summer

Now that the clocks have jumped forward, it’s finally starting to feel like we are on the countdown to summer. But with the longer days, often comes the desire to shed the additional weight we may have gained over the winter months before that beach weather arrives.

Diet and exercise are always key factors for helping to stay in shape. But there is one particular organ in our body, that you may not have considered, which also plays a huge part in shedding those stubborn kilos - the liver.

The Role of Your Liver in Weight Management

Countdown to summer

The liver is the body’s largest fat burning organ and the second largest organ in our body after the skin (yes, your skin is an organ). You may not have given much thought to your liver when it comes to weight loss, however it is not only key to overall health but a healthy functioning liver is vital for weight loss.

As well as being the body’s primary fat metaboliser, the liver acts as a filter to remove toxins (whether it’s from alcohol, poor diet or environmental toxins) and also plays a vital role in digestion – by producing bile to help break down and absorb fat. Plus it regulates healthy hormone and cholesterol production!

When the liver is overworked, toxic residues build up disrupting the livers functions – this means it is not able to play its role in maintaining a healthy body weight. Basically, a stressed and overburdened liver causes fat to build up - especially around the abdominal area.

Fortunately there are ways to help cleanse our liver and keep it functioning efficiently.

Love Your Liver

Countdown to summer

Start your summer off feeling fantastic by showing your liver some love. To achieve healthy weight loss the focus should first be on improving your liver function and then maintaining this efficient liver function by including the right foods, nutrients, herbs and vitamins in your diet.

Minimise liver loaders
We know we don’t need to tell you that things like alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars aren’t good for you. We actually call these toxins “liver loaders” as your liver has a very hard time processing and removing them - whilst it is busy dealing with these toxins it can’t carry out it’s other functions. Cutting down on these liver loaders will take the pressure off your liver and help it to function better.

Maximise liver lovers
Lemons, beetroot and leafy, green vegetables (like spinach and kale) are great for supporting the liver and help the liver cleansing process happen more efficiently.

There are many herbs that help to repair, renew and regenerate your liver to help it work more efficiently. Here are our top three liver loving herbs:

1. Milk Thistle

Countdown to summer

As one of the most well known liver loving herbs, Milk Thistle has some pretty impressive healing properties. The main active ingredient in Milk Thistle is Silymarin, which is both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. This helps to repair liver cells and protect new cells from being destroyed.

2. Globe Artichoke

Countdown to summer

Grown by the Greeks and Romans in their ancient civilisations, Globe Artichoke is one of the world’s oldest cultivated vegetables. As well as looking really impressive, it helps your liver to function by stimulating the production of bile and its flow between the gall bladder and liver.

3. Dandelion Root

Countdown to summer

Who would have thought that a weed could actually be so good for you. Yes, those yellow flowers that sprout up all over your lawn, the ones you’ve probably complained about, are fantastic at keeping your liver healthy. Dandelion root helps to detoxify and cleanse the liver, promote increased bile production and stimulate a sluggish or congested liver.

When your liver is in bad shape, weight loss becomes harder to achieve. Signs that your liver may need help include bad skin, fatigue, headaches, unhealthy cholesterol levels and yellowness in the white part of your eyes. Supplementing with liver loving herbs and nutrients can be a convenient and effective way to give your living a helping hand.

Focussing on creating and maintaining a healthy, cleansed liver is a key part of any effective weight management programme. A one-off liver detox is not the magic answer - just like going for one run will not make an instant difference to your weight.

However, by considering lifestyle changes that focus on minimising liver loaders and maximising liver loving foods and herbs in your diet, you will be giving yourself the best chance of losing that extra winter weight in time to hit the beach with confidence this summer.