For the past few months I’ve been sharing how to balance your hormones naturally and each step to take. This week we are in part three of balancing your hormones; why we should show our liver some love!
For many years you probably haven’t been thinking too much about your liver. My friends and I always reminisce about our fun days in our early twenties in New York City – we were absolutely not thinking about our liver then! Now that my work is to support women with balancing their hormones I realize how crucial it is to our overall hormonal health to support our liver, with the combination of balancing your blood sugar levels and improving your digestion.
Just as a refresher (maybe something you learned way back in elementary school) our liver breaks down chemicals into inactive and less harmful forms so they can be safely removed from the body. My mentor Nicole Jardim refers to it as our internal waste processing plant or natural detoxification system.
So how do you know if you need to support your liver? It might not be very telling at first, so I always recommend doing some liver support to any of my clients and especially to women who are experiencing signs that the liver isn’t working adequately. These signs might include:
- Mood swings, poor mental function, lowered stress tolerance
- PMS symptoms, decreased libido and infertility
- Unexplained weight gain, inability to lose weight, excessive abdominal fat
- Fatigue and feeling like you need a nap in the afternoon
- Disrupted sleep, especially between 2-4am
- Asthma or allergies
- Skin disorders, including acne and rosacea
- Blood sugar disorders (since the liver plays a key role in blood sugar regulation)
- Nutrient malabsorption
- Indigestion and acid reflux, especially with fatty foods
- Chronic Infections
if you are experiencing two or more of these symptoms it is most likely that your liver has been compromised.
The liver has two phases of detoxification. To put it simply the first phase is to convert a toxic chemical into a less harmful chemical and the second phase further neutralizes the intermediate toxins that were left over from the first phase so they can be transported out of the body through the urine or bile.
One of the main reasons why we start with improving our digestion is that our gut health plays a very important role in our liver function. Our gut lining acts as a protective barrier against any toxic chemicals, so the healthier our gut is the easier it is for our liver.
Why is the liver so important for hormonal health?
Not only is the liver helping removing toxins and chemicals from our body, but it also helps break down estrogen. A healthy liver helps keep estrogen levels balanced in the body, which will promote overall hormone balance. If you are estrogen dominant and or have been on the pill for any period of time it’s crucial to make sure you complete all the steps in balancing your hormones in order to help restore your hormonal balance. You can reduce PMS, mood swings, irritability and get your period back on track by supporting your body with the right foods, herbs and supplements.
How Can You Support The Liver
I recommend that you start by by decreasing your toxic load, which we chatted about in our how toxins affect your hormones post, and also add in foods that can help maximize your liver’s ability to remove toxins. Eat liver-supportive foods such as beets, citrus, avocados, and cruciferous vegetables and add in liver supporting herbs like parsley, cilantro, burdock root, milk thistle, dandelion root. I love this tea and this one too.
A few more liver detox tips:
- Eat cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts (cooked)
- Avoid processed foods and carbs
- Try to sweat, take a yoga class and move your body
- There are supplements you can also take to support this process. We can talk about this if you feel like you need some additional support for your liver
Try one of these recommendations one at a time, and see how your body feels. Ideally you have already spent time improving your digestion and eating a healthy hormone diet full of healthy fats, proteins and fiber before starting to support your liver.
There are also very specific steps that we can take to support your liver, but you shouldn’t add in supplements and start a protocol without speaking to an expert first. You can always schedule a time to speak with me. I hope you found step three of balancing your hormones to be helpful. Stay tuned for the last two steps in our how to balance your hormones naturally series.
Curious to see if your hormones are out of whack? Take my quiz to find out and get immediate tips to help you feel more energized and calm.