Healthy liver: healthy hormones

If you’re having fertility treatment or trying for a baby naturally, you’ll probably want to take extra care of your diet to improve your chances of success. Here, nutrition expert, Anna Firth, explains how to keep your liver in tip-top condition to help regulate your hormones.

The liver is the body’s primarily detoxifier – everything we consume gets into our bloodstream and passes through this organ. It helps convert nutrients into substances that our bodies can use, while breaking down harmful toxins or removing them completely.

With such a key role to play in our overall health, including regulating the metabolism and balancing hormones, it’s important to ensure that the liver is not over burdened. But how do you make sure your liver is working efficiently?

Antioxidants

Start by looking at what you eat and adapt your diet where needed.  Antioxidants play a key role in supporting the liver, so eat plenty of brightly coloured fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fibre

When your bowel works efficiently it releases stress from the liver, as toxins and old hormones are eliminated from the body, rather than being recycled back to the liver. A diet containing plenty of fibre and fresh, pure water will help keep the bowel moving.

Probiotics 

Help keep your gut healthy by increasing your intake of probiotics (live cultures found in food such as yoghurt) and prebiotics (fibre compounds found in certain fruit and vegetables which help to feed the existing good bacteria). These good guys help to promote the growth of ‘good’ bacteria in the gut, while eliminating the ‘bad’ bacteria and preventing it from making its way to the liver via the intestinal tact. Taking either a supplement, or increasing your intake of prebiotic foods, will improve your digestive health and keep the bad guys at bay.

Foods and nutrients for liver support

Eat plenty of…

• Green leafy vegetables

• Green tea

• Watercress

• Red grapes

• Turmeric

• Artichoke

• Pomegranate

• Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and sprouts

Cut down on…

• Wheat

• Dairy products

• Alcohol

Eat prebiotic foods

• Onions, bananas, garlic, leeks and artichokes

Take a probiotic supplement

Choose a good quality probiotic supplement that contains species lactobacilli, bifid bacteria.


Anna Firth is a nutritionist who works from a Harley Street clinic – she specialises in nutrition for women’s health and fertility. She is passionate about educating people about health; teaching wellbeing workshops; and promoting healthy eating in schools. She is supportive, encouraging, and gives practical advice to enable clients to make lasting changes to their diet and lifestyle. www.kindnessonline.com

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