It’s that time of year! You may be enjoying a few more glasses of wine, cocktails and rich food in the festive spirit. And as you should – balance truly is my motto for living the healthy life.
However, the indulging that goes hand-in-hand with the holiday period can place a little extra burden on your precious liver. The liver functions to support metabolism, immunity, digestion, detoxification and interacts with your hormone system. It’s one of the most important organs in the body! That’s why now is a great time to show your liver some extra love. Here’s my guide to supporting your liver this party season…
Eat Brassica Vegetables
Brassica vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cabbage and mustard leaves are rich in nutrients, minerals and phytochemicals, which are incredibly beneficial for the health of the human body. In addition, they’re rich in fibre and the antioxidants vitamins C and E and carotenoids (a pigment that gives orange and yellow fruits and vegetables their rich colours).
Brassica vegetables (in particular, broccoli and broccoli sprouts) are also rich in sulforaphane, a natural plant compound that contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties. It also has the ability to stimulate phase two detoxification of the liver and reduces inflammatory responses in the body.
How to enjoy: I love roasting, steaming and blanching brassica vegetables. They’re great additions to one-pan bakes, nourish bowls, breakfast bowls and soups!
Eat Your Beets
Beetroot can help protect the liver and may actually inhibit fat from building up thanks to the compound, Betaine. This reduces inflammation, protects against toxins and minimises the risk of liver damage.
How to enjoy: I love beetroot raw, shaved in a slaw, in a juice, roasted or pickled!
Greens + Collagen Supplement
Add a serve of the JSHealth Vitamins Greens + Collagen formula to your day. This is a great option if you’re someone who struggles to eat your green veggies. Even if you do manage to eat your serves of greens for the day, as far as your liver is concerned, the more greens the better! This formula is a delicious synergy of green superfoods enhanced with pure marine collagen to provide you with a daily dose of inside-out nourishment and vitality. It contains nutrient-rich greens to support everyday wellness, immune function, re-energises the body and protects from free radicals attributed to the vitamins C, E, K, folate, phytonutrients and antioxidants.
How to enjoy: It’s delicious simply mixed with water! You can also add it to your favourite smoothie or bliss ball recipes.
There are some easy and simple practises you can use that will make your liver happy if you’re going to be consuming alcohol or caffeine. Try the following:
- Make sure to eat a protein and carbohydrate rich snack before drinking
- Ensure you drink enough water throughout the day prior to drinking
- Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage
- Consider enjoying some alternatives such as kombucha or soda water and lime instead
- Aim to stick to 1 cup of coffee per day. Enjoy alternatives such as a dandelion chai tea, herbal teas and a turmeric latte.
RECIPES TO ENJOY
These three recipes from the JSHealth App are my go-tos during the party season! Including our tried-and-tested JSHealth Hangover Tonic, which is certainly handy to have up your sleeve the day after having some alcoholic drinks.
Liver-Loving Glow Bowl
- ½ head cauliflower
- ½ red (Spanish) onion, peels & cut into wedges
- 2 carrots, thickly sliced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup quinoa, rinsed
- 3 cups rocket
- 4 tbsp fermented vegetables
- 2 tsp sesame seeds, to serve
For The Dressing:
- 2 tbsp hulled tahini
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp water
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 360°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the cauliflower, onion and carrot on the baking tray and drizzle with olive or coconut oil.
- Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until they’re toasted and golden.
- Cook the quinoa as per the packet instructions.
- Make the dressing by whisking the ingredients together in a small bowl. Add more or less warm water until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Keep whisking and adding water if the mixture starts to get gluggy, it will become smooth soon!
- To serve, divide the rocket between 2 bowls. Add the roasted vegetables, fermented vegetables and protein of choice. Drizzle dressing over bowls and top with sesame seeds.
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3cm knob of ginger, peeled & sliced
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 stevia drops (Optional)
- To make your tea, add the ingredients to a jug of boiling water and stir to combine. If you like a chilled drink, keep it in the fridge and drink it cold.
JSHealth Hangover Tonic
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 2cm knob ginger, peeled and grated
- Add all of the ingredients into a small glass and stir until combined. Drink up!
- Ares A, Nozal M, Bernal J. Extraction, chemical characterization and biological activity determination of broccoli health promoting compounds. Journal of Chromatography A. 2013;1313:78-95.
- Sivapalan T, Melchini A, Saha S, Needs P, Traka M, Tapp H et al. Bioavailability of Glucoraphanin and Sulforaphane from High-Glucoraphanin Broccoli. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2018;62(18):1700911.
- Jeffery E, Araya M. Physiological effects of broccoli consumption. Phytochemistry Reviews. 2009;8(1):283-298.
- Guerrero-Beltrán C, Calderón-Oliver M, Pedraza-Chaverri J, Chirino Y. Protective effect of sulforaphane against oxidative stress: Recent advances. Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology. 2012;64(5):503-508.