Why You Need To Look After Your Liver

You only have one liver, and it’s important to know how to look after it. After all, it works very hard to keep you healthy and it can take a lot of abuse, but just like an elastic band, it can only stretch so far before it breaks. But what exactly does your liver do, why is it important, and what can you do to look after it?

Why The Liver Is Important

Like most organs in your body, the liver is vital to your survival and your general health. In fact, the liver is one of the largest organs in your body- beaten only by your skin. While most of us might think the liver is there to help us drink an extra beer or two on a Friday night, the reality is your liver plays a much bigger role in your life than you realise.

Your liver has a lot of important metabolic functions, including converting the nutrients in our food into substances the body can use for food. It also stores these substances and supplies all other cells with them when needed. On top of that, the liver takes in all the toxic substances in your body and either converts them into harmless substances, or makes sure they get flushed out of the body. Your liver stops you from being poisoned on a fairly regular basis!

Luckily, taking care of your liver is pretty easy, since it largely takes care of itself. The best thing you can do is to eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, drink alcohol in moderation and avoid toxins and illicit drugs. If your diet includes lots of liver-friendly foods (like coffee, grapefruit, cranberries, grapes, oils and cruciferous vegetables), that’s a plus too.

A Liver-Boosting Recipe

If you’ve been around a while, then you know we are regular soup dragons! So it should be no surprise that we have a liver-nourishing soup recipe to keep you nice and healthy. This one is for mustard greens and pork, and makes for a delicious, warming lunchtime treat.

Ingredients

  • 300g mustard greens (kai choi)

  • 180g lean organic pork

  • 2 slices of fresh ginger

  • Salt & pepper

  • A pinch of sugar

  • Sesame oil

  • Cornflour

Method

  • Wash and slice the mustard greens

  • Rinse and cut the pork into thin slices

  • Season the pork with the sugar, sesame oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of cornflour and set aside

  • Bring 850ml of water to the boil

  • Add the greens and ginger and simmer for 30 minutes

  • Add the seasoned pork and simmer for another 6-7 minutes, until pork is thoroughly cooked through

  • Serve and enjoy!

Chinese Liver Theory

As a side dish to this spicy Chinese dish, we thought we would give you an insight into the Chinese medicine explanation of spring, and how it impacts the liver. There’s a lot to take in, so we thought a nice bullet point list would help out:

  • Spring is the season of rebirth and potential

  • Qi movement is upwards and outwards, like a seedling bursting through the ground

  • The associated organ for spring is the Liver

  • Springtime is a time for planning and achievement of those plans

  • Substances associated with spring are Qi and blood

  • Healthy liver energy allows you to move smoothly without hindrance in your body AND mind

  • Wonky or weak liver energy means you will become stagnant and stuck, leading to

    • Frustration, irritability, anger and an inability to move forward with plans and;

    • Stiff joints, muscle cramps, irregular/painful periods, digestive issues and headaches

So if you’re looking to smooth your liver energy, nourish your liver and keep your body function healthily, we recommend acupuncture treatment, along with a nice big bowl of this liver-loving soup! If you would like to know more about your liver, it’s impact on your body or acupuncture, just get in touch with us today.

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