According to Dr. Robert Lustig in his newest book, Metabolical, his bottom line advice to protect your liver and feed your microbiome is the most important guideline you’ll ever need to enjoy good health and well-being.
Your liver is vital to your body’s metabolic, detoxification, and immune system functions. Without a functioning liver, we can’t survive.
Your liver produces essential vitamins. These include B vitamins B12, thiamine, riboflavin, and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation.
Your microbiome is that 5 pound mass of bacteria and fungi that live in your gut. It helps us digest food, regulate our immune system, and it protects us against bad bacteria that cause disease.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to unpack and review some key information about your liver and your microbiome so you can appreciate why the health of both are key to good sustaining your good health.
Your liver’s major functions guide your body’s metabolic processes.
- Breaking down or converting certain substances we eat or drink
- Balancing energy metabolism, storing extra glucose by converting it to glycogen and then converting glycogen to glucose when needed for cellular energy
- Making toxins less harmful to the body and removing them from the bloodstream
The liver does this by receiving blood with nutrients from the digestive organs. Then, the many cells of the liver filter this blood. The liver cells act as little sorting centers. They determine:
- Which nutrients should be processed
- Which should be stored
- What should be eliminated via the stool
- What should go back to the blood
Your liver stores fat-soluble vitamins as well as minerals.
It stores minerals such as copper and iron, releasing them if the body needs them.
It also helps to break down fats in your diet. Your liver either metabolizes fats or releases them as energy.
The liver also produces bile each day. This bile is transported into the small intestine.
The small intestine uses the bile to further help break down and absorb fats.
The liver breaks down proteins.
The byproduct of breaking down amino acid proteins is called ammonia. This can be toxic to your body in large amounts so your liver turns the toxic ammonia into a substance called urea.
The liver releases this into the blood stream where the kidneys excrete it via the urine.
The liver also removes alcohol from the blood.
When you consume alcohol, it first enters the digestive system. But, alcohol isn’t digested like food and other drinks.
About 20 percent of the alcohol from a single drink moves directly to the blood vessels. From there, it’s carried to your brain.
The rest of the 80 percent goes to your small intestine, then directly to your bloodstream.
The final step of the alcohol life cycle is its removal from the body through the liver.
Problems with your liver can slow down its ability to process alcohol.
When you drink more than your liver can effectively process, alcohol and its byproducts can damage your liver.
This initially takes the form of increased fat in your liver. But, over time it can lead to inflammation and the accumulation of scar tissue.
The early stages of alcohol-related liver disease often have no symptoms. Because of this, you may not even know that you’ve experienced liver damage due to alcohol.
But your liver knows!
Your liver processes drugs.
All drugs, whether they’re over the counter medications, those prescribed by a doctor, or recreational drugs, eventually pass through and are processed by your liver .
Most medications are safe for your liver when taken as directed. However, taking too much of a drug, taking it too often, taking the wrong type, or taking several drugs at once can damage your liver.
The health of your microbiome is key to your overall health.
Your digestive system microbiome is made up of trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms — both friendly and unfriendly.
Maintaining the right balance of friendly and unfriendly bacteria in your gut improves digestion, reduces inflammation, decreases anxiety, and even improves brain function and mood.
A healthy balance of gut bacteria is also said to boost metabolism, eliminate cravings, and help you shed unwanted weight.
Nurture a healthy microbiome.
EAT FIBER, both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Limit sugary, fried, and processed foods and any foods with added sugar as much as possible.
Focus on fresh produce, protein, healthy fats, and probiotic- and prebiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and yogurt.
Avoid these foods.
- Processed and fried foods.
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
- Artificial sweeteners, except for small quantities of Lakanto.
- Trans and hydrogenated fats.
- Starchy fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, potatoes, corn, and peas.
- Deli meats high in salt and fats.
- Peanuts, soy, and other legumes, except for chickpeas and lentils.
- High-mercury fish.
- Dried fruit and fruit juices.
- All grains containing gluten.
- Yeast and foods containing it.
Enjoy these foods.
- Wild salmon and grass-fed meat and chicken.
- Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut and kimchi.
- Non-starchy vegetables, such as asparagus, carrots, garlic, artichokes, leeks, onions, and radishes.
- Non-starchy fruits, such as tomatoes, avocado, apples, cherries, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, nectarines, rhubarb, and coconut.
- Nuts, seeds, and their butter.
- Avocado and olive oils.
- Chickpeas and lentils.
- Herbs and spices.
Make your doable food plan to protect your liver and feed your microbiome.
I designed the It’s Never Too Late Weight Loss Coaching program to guide you through that process.
Isn’t it time that you made use of the free Strategy Call I offer to find out how?
Start today! Learn how to make weight loss easier than you ever imagined.
Protecting your liver and feeding your microbiome is essential. It’s the weight loss strategy that forms the foundation of success.
Let me know you’re ready to get started by scheduling your free Strategy Call right here.
I’m looking forward to meeting you soon.
Please share this post with someone who could benefit from today’s message.