liver health

Quick Tip – Label Reading

How carefully do you read labels? Hopefully pretty carefully. If not, it’s time to start!

Some ingredients that are 100% on the NOT GOOD FOR YOU AT ALL list include artificial preservatives (like BHT & BHA), artificial colors (FD&C Red No. 40 or anything that looks similar to that) and artificial sweeteners (like acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin, sucralose). These are all considered foreign invaders by the body and the liver in particular gets taxed the most when any of these artificial ingredients are consumed. Since the liver is typically busy doing normal detoxification of your system, which includes processing hormones and fat and more, you really don’t want to be giving this key organ any distracting and unnecessary work.

If you don’t already avoid these artificial offenders then getting them out of your diet is a fast and extremely beneficial change you can make today!

 

Healthy Addition: Sesame Seeds

These tiny little seeds commonly found on bagels actually contain unique lignans (plant compounds), which help to lower cholesterol. Sesame seeds are also a good source of zinc, phosphorous, calcium, and copper. Need one more reason to include them in your diet? They help to protect the liver from oxidative damage.

So am I suggesting you make sesame seed bagels a regular addition to your daily food line-up? Nah, because there are much healthier ways to incorporate these tiny gems into your diet. Some of my favorites include adding tahini (aka sesame paste) to salad dressings and sandwiches, buying bread with sesame seeds on the crust (Trader Joe’s has a great option), coating fish (especially tuna) with the seeds, and adding whole sesame seeds to salads for starters. You can also purchase hummus with tahini included or just add some yourself. Hopefully, you now might be thinking of purchasing some seeds to have on hand. FYI – The most cost effective way to purchase them is from the bulk section of your nearest health food store.

Are you a fan of sesame seeds? Do you have a common way that you incorporate them into your diet?

Artichokes for Detoxifying & More!

I was reading up on the liver today and some of the foods that are excellent for liver health/detoxification. I’m happy to say that one of my ultimate favorites are on the list - artichokes! These prickly green, flower-like veggies act as blood purifiers and contain both liver-protective and liver-restorative properties. Clinical studies have also proven that they lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. And let’s not leave out that they are great source of fiber, Vitamin C, magnesium, folate, copper, and potassium.

Trying steaming some whole artichokes with dinner tonight or add some marinated artichoke hearts to a salad — your liver will surely thank you! ;)

Photo Credit: maddieaboutfood.wordpress.com