Biscuits, Christmas goose with dumplings and a lot of wine to go with it. The holidays at the end of the year tempt us with delicious food and alcoholic beverages. The festive feast is pure indulgence for us. For our liver, however, it is a real challenge. That's why it's important to support the detox organ in the weeks leading up to it. We tell you how to get your liver fit for the holidays.
Task of the liver
Weighing up to 1.5 kilos, the liver is the heaviest organ in our body. It has the important task of converting food components into energy sources. It stores important substances for the body and passes them on to the cells as needed. In addition, it supplies components that are needed for the renewal and building of tissue.
In addition, the liver fulfils a detoxification function. Toxins that we take in through food are converted in the cells of the liver so that we can later excrete them. As if this were not enough, it produces the bile necessary for fat digestion.
The liver is a real workhorse that is busy most of the time. It can also regenerate itself perfectly well. Nevertheless, the detoxification organ needs a break now and then. It is therefore very important to relieve the liver, especially before holidays.
What harms the liver
Fatty food and alcohol can damage the liver in the long run. While we fall into bed after a delicious feast, the organ has to process our "food sins". For example, it takes about 4.5 to 5 minutes to digest a roast pork.
However, one of the biggest enemies of the liver is alcohol. Those who consume alcoholic beverages a lot and often risk fatty deposits (fatty liver) in the liver. The rule of thumb is therefore: half a litre of beer or a quarter of a litre of wine per day is perfectly fine. Women should drink about half of that.
Besides diet, lack of exercise could put a strain on the largest human organ. Exercise helps to reduce liver fat and supports the metabolism. Obesity is currently the third biggest cause of a diseased liver. According to the Robert Koch–Institute two thirds of men (67 %) and half of women (53 %) in Germany are overweight.
If the trend continues, obesity will replace alcohol as the main cause of liver damage in a few years.
Foods that are good for the liver
Our liver regenerates itself through regrowing cells. In the weeks before holidays, you should give it the opportunity to recover and build up new cells. The lighter the food, the more you spare your detoxification organ. Therefore, avoid meat and alcohol as much as possible! Usually 1800 calories a day are enough to be fit and vital. The important thing here is a good composition: About half should be carbohydrates, about 30 % fat and 20 % protein.
Fortunately, there are foods that taste good and can help our liver do its job. We present 5 foods that are good for the liver. Try to include these light foods in your meal plan in the weeks leading up to the holidays and, of course, after festive meals.
In recent years, several studies have proven the positive effect of coffee on the liver. The specialist magazine "New Scientist" writes that coffee drinkers (four or more cups of coffee without milk and sugar per day) have an 80 percent lower risk of alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.
So if you are invited to an Advent get-together at grandma's, you should drink your coffee black. Then a few more biscuits are also allowed.
Bitter substances and flavonoids stimulate the production of bile. This makes the food and especially the fat it contains more digestible. Artichokes, Brussels sprouts and sage should be mentioned in this context. Just try them out and add them to your salad or mix them with other vegetables. You will get used to the bitter taste sooner than you think!
Beetroot is a valuable food in many respects. It is easy to cultivate, can easily be stored over the winter months and enriches the food not only culinary but also optically. Moreover, the beetroot is a real vitamin treasure trove: rich in betaine.
This secondary plant substance stimulates the function of the liver cells and ensures the removal of fat from the liver. If preparing the beetroot is too much work for you, try the beetroot juice.
Whether as a root or powder - turmeric is clearly the liver's favourite spice. It accelerates digestive processes and stimulates cell metabolism. The ingredients of turmeric prompt the liver to produce more bile acid. These bind to dietary fats and make the fat digestible.
Watch out: Although fresh turmeric root is full of vitamins, it stains the skin and kitchen utensils. Go for natural turmeric powder.
Broccoli is a real vitamin treasure. The green vegetable has a high content of antioxidants and fibre. The little trees stimulate the metabolism and relieve the liver by flushing environmental toxins out of the body.
You haven't acquired a taste for it? Steam broccoli! This preserves vitamins and minerals and the taste will surprise you!
How you can additionally support your liver
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- High bioavailability thanks to signal molecules (cell peptides)
- Vitamin B6 contributes to normal protein and glycogen metabolism
- Thiamine (vitamin B1) contributes to a normal energy metabolism.
- Very good absorption of the ingredients thanks to the high absorption rate