This post was written by Heinen’s partner, Halle Snavely and contains general wellness recommendations. Please consult with your primary care physician before implementing any changes into your lifestyle.
Holiday excess is hard to resist. Between the chocolates, cookies, cakes, pies, egg nog or whatever boozy beverage tickles your fancy, temptation is everywhere. Before you know it, your digestion is off, you’re dehydrated, your energy is low and you have this overall feeling that can only be described as “blah.” It’s likely because all of this can take a big toll on your liver.
The liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It is responsible for over 500 functions including filtering toxins and turning them into waste, cleaning the blood, metabolizing nutrients from food and balancing hormones and cholesterol levels. But during the holidays, the liver is working in overdrive, which can cause it to feel burned out and slow down. It’s not all that different from how you feel when you’re stressed and overwhelmed.
That’s why it’s essential to give your liver a little extra love to boost your body’s natural detox process.
Below are 6 tips for supporting your liver during the holiday season.
1. Eat Healthy Meals Full of Liver-Friendly Foods
When it comes to supporting your liver, prevention is always better than reaction, especially if a hangover may or may not be involved. A nutritious diet full of fiber-rich foods is a great way to take a proactive approach to health during the holidays.
Here are a few foods to consider:
- Cruciferous veggies and dark leafy greens like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale or collard greens
- Root vegetables like beets, carrots and sweet potatoes
- Garlic and turmeric
- Oatmeal with berries
2. Bring a Pre-Made Mocktail to the Party Instead of a Bottle of Wine
Drinking too much alcohol puts a lot of stress on your liver, so it’s best to keep the drinking to a minimum. For some, skipping the alcohol might lead to immediate FOMO (fear of missing out). But it is still possible to enjoy holiday parties with a festive alcohol-free beverage.
Keep it simple and jazz up your favorite kombucha with a little grapefruit or pomegranate juice and some cocktail garnishes like a squeeze of lime, mint leaves or a few slices of jalapeño. Mix it all together before you head to your next holiday party and bring some to share!
3. Drink Plenty of Water
As much as we’re told we need to drink water, we’re all guilty of skimping on our H2O intake from time to time. But drinking enough water is vital for optimal liver function and has the added benefit of flushing toxins from your body. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces every day. For example, if you weigh 150 lbs., drink 75 oz. of water a day. A mug of warm lemon water first thing in the morning is a great way to start your day.
4. Get Some Exercise
Elimination is hands down the most effective means of detoxification. But sweating it out is the next best option. Whether you go for a 20-minute walk outside, practice hot yoga or a go to a super intense fitness class, any exercise is better than none. Keeping your body moving and your blood pumping is key for a healthy liver and a healthy body.
5. Drink Detox and Digestive Teas
Diet and exercise are undoubtedly the foundations of good health, but sometimes reinforcements are necessary. This is where detox and digestive teas can be powerful allies. Dandelion root, peppermint, ginger and lemon balm are all effective, yet gentle, digestive aids, while Traditional Medicinals Everyday Detox with Schisandra Berry and Yogi Detox tea offer more direct liver support. Mixing teas can be a great option as well.
6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your body rejuvenates itself at night and works according to a circadian rhythm. Each organ has a timeframe to do their job. So when you don’t get enough sleep, you could potentially throw your body’s natural clock off schedule. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, our liver works its magic between the hours of 1am and 3am, so make sure you’re asleep before then.