Just as your skin is a direct reflection of your gut health, your skin is also a mirror image of the health of your liver.
How does the liver impact acne?
On top of its 500 other functions like cleansing your blood and producing cholesterol, the liver is a major organ for detoxification as well.
Everything you apply to your skin, breathe in, drink or eat is filtered through the liver.
This detoxification process was a piece of cake for the liver centuries ago.
This clogs up and overwhelms our organs of detoxification (like the liver) causing them to not do their jobs efficiently. If you have an overload of chemicals and hormones stuck in your liver, skin issues like acne can start to pop up.
You may think that you have to follow a restrictive juice cleanse in order to detoxify your liver. Fortunately, there are other less-intense options such as starting with your diet. Here are the top five foods to help clean out your liver.
This vibrant green fruit is high in healthy fat, especially monounsaturated fat. In fact, one medium avocado contains about 29 grams of healthy fat. While most people like to stay away from eating fatty foods, that may not be the best choice for your liver. But the key is to stick to healthy fats rather than unhealthy fats. The healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados help to decrease low-density lipoprotein (aka “bad cholesterol”) and elevate high-density lipoprotein (aka “good cholesterol”). Adequate amounts of HDL is needed to move cholesterol from parts of the body, such as your arteries, back to the liver for removal. If the majority of your diet includes unhealthy fats like refined vegetable oils and margarine, it increases your risk of having higher levels of bad cholesterol, poor liver function and then clogged pores and acne.
Thanks to the betalains found in beets, this root vegetable is the star of the show for liver support. Not only do betalains give beets their signature deep red colour, but they also protect liver cells and help the liver to regenerate itself. On top of this, betalains can support the liver’s second phase of the detoxification process. In phase two, your body neutralizes toxins and makes them water-soluble so they can be excreted by the body when you go to the bathroom. Put simply, clearing out your liver with foods like beets helps it to function better and filter out acne-triggering hormones.
Whether it be grapefruit, limes or lemons, any type of citrus fruit can help to keep your liver healthy. Citrus fruits provide the enzymes required for liver detoxification, protect against alcohol-induced liver damage and contain antioxidants that combat the many free radicals produced during detoxification.
This family of vegetables includes arugula, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and kale, among others. Cruciferous vegetables contain sulphuric compounds that support liver health and glucosinolate to help the liver produce detoxifying enzymes.
A part of the onion family, garlic helps your liver to activate enzymes that push out toxins. Garlic also contains powerful antioxidants such as allicin and selenium, which stop toxins filtered by your liver from reaching other parts of your body.
Next to the food you eat, the drinks you consume are just as important for optimal liver function. Unfortunately, our liver doesn’t love the caffeine and cocktails we love to indulge in. So if you want to support your liver and clear up your skin, alcohol and caffeine have got to go for a while.
The best option for liver health is filtered water because it helps the liver move toxins out of the body. But if you’re looking for some flavour, herbal teas are a great choice too.
Cynarin and silymarin are two antioxidants within artichoke leaf that stimulate tissue renewal and help protect the liver from free radical damage. Artichoke leaf can also promote bile production, which helps cleanse the liver.
Similarly to artichoke leaf, dandelion root tea also helps the liver to make bile. On top of this, dandelion helps to lower cholesterol and reduce levels of excess fat within the liver.
Perhaps the most powerful liver protecting agent is milk thistle. Why? Because of its active ingredient “silymarin.” This antioxidant protects the liver by binding to the outside of liver cells to keep toxins from getting inside. Milk thistle also speeds up the detoxification process and purifies the blood.
Aside from liver-loving foods and drinks, there are a number of lifestyle practices you can do to detoxify your liver. For a complete list, make sure to download my free Glowing Skin guide.