A Toxic Health care system
A Toxic Health care system

Are you sick of hearing, “It’s another UNHEALTHY air day?”  Or perhaps you are feeling sick because of the air.  Is there anything you can do?  Yes! Of course, it is important to stay out of the bad air, but if that’s not an option, you need to read on:

What you Eat, Drink, Breathe, Think, and how you Sleep and Move all determine how well you handle the toxic air.

I have a word of caution for you.  Don’t be fooled if these topics or the steps that follow seem too simple.  Salespeople come up with many fancy packages with amazing promises for your health, but none of them will last without the basics.  Remember, getting healthy and staying healthy is a lot like climbing a mountain.  You get to the top of the mountain by putting one foot in front of the other, along the well-proven trails – not by climbing trees that promise quick elevation gains.  So, let’s get started.

Step #3:  The first thing to understand is that your liver and immune system are the ones who bear the load of the toxins that attack your body.  So, you need to begin by doing 3 important steps.

Step #1:  Increase your daily water intake to about ¼ gallon for every 60 pounds of your body weight.  (Those who sweat much will need more.)  If you are like most people, you will think 1 of 3 things:  either “Oh yeah, I already do that.”  or “WHAT, do you think I’m a fish?”  And I can’t forget the other response, “I’ll be in the bathroom ALL DAY!”

Those are important concerns but your health is even more important.  This is a powerful benefit because 70%-80% of your body is made of water.  If your body is low on water, it will make compromises.  It may decide to slow function of your immune system.  For example, I have seen several patients with warts on their hands or feet.  Viruses cause warts.  They started drinking this much water, and their warts went away after about 4 weeks.

You need enough water so that your body can best eliminate the toxins from the air you are breathing.  When you breathe it in, some of the toxins stay in you.  If they get past your immune system in your lungs, they head straight for your liver.  Water protects you by helping prevent a compromise in your immune system or liver.

Step #2:  Eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.

Guavas, Brazil nuts, Almonds, Red chili peppers, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Garlic… These are VERY protective foods.  Almost all fruits and veggies are super.  Eat your favorites, and try a new one every week.  What about leeks this week?  If bad air isn’t enough motivation, think about this:  “½ of almost every type of cancer can be traced back to food intake.” (see www.5aday.com )

Step #3:  Reduce Obvious Toxin Intake.  There are 3 big ones that will really drag your health down.  Do you remember your doctor telling you not to mix medications and alcohol?  Why was that?  It’s called “synergism.”  That is a fancy word that means:  1 + 1 = 3 in Liver Toxin Math.  Just like with the water, your body will make health compromises when you add too many toxins.  Will it compromise the beauty of your skin, the pain level in your muscles, the function of your brain…?  And certainly, excess toxins will be stored in your tissues, primarily your fat.

To reduce the synergistic effects of toxins: A) Stay away from Unprotected high exposures of pesticides (like home use), fumes (like paint), etc. and basically any product that warns you not to breathe it or let it touch your skin.  Read the labels in your home; you will be surprised. B) Of course, don’t drink excess amounts alcohol.  C) Choose fruit and veggies that are more naturally-grown.  The Farmer’s Market on Saturday (by Sears) is always a great choice.

Your health is your choice.  Start taking control with healthy choices that are under your control.

Liver — Yes, LIVER!  So, you don’t recognize this as being a fad in your neighborhood?  But you do remember your mother or grandma trying to get you to eat it.  It usually came in the form of liver and onions.  That chalky, grainy, dry, distinct taste of liver that made many of us gag.  So, now that we’re adults, we can do (and have been doing) whatever we please — that means NO LIVER.  And why should we?  Liver is nasty, and now that we know that it is the storage place for all those toxins (**WARNING—fact checker**), we’re just too smart to eat that kind of junk.  Instead, we reserve our palate for more pure indulgences…like Starbuck’s…lol

Is liver a storage place for toxins?

This is a VERY serious question.  So, I did some very serious research.  As it relates to heavy metals (lead, cadmium, and mercury), cattle livers and meat do not store them much.  In fact, the liver does not store much more than  the muscle itself.  But, if you prefer horse or dog meat, that is quite a bit more concentrated with heavy metals….I’m just sayin’…’cuz it was in the research.  (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7387187)  And pigs and chicken tended to have the highest levels of arsenic. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1917804).  Although, if it is a very polluted area (like a heavy metal waste site), the livers will have more than the muscle (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22540641).  The concentration of pesticides has gone down considerably in meats, even normal grocery-store meat (www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/shokueishi/47/3/47_3_127/_pdf).  As far as pesticides are concerned, it appears that vegetables may be a bigger concern than liver (see this study (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20146964), although liver does concentrate more than meat (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23030437).

What about bacteria it filters out?  Well, the data is hard to find about how much bacteria is liver we eat and whether any of it is alive, but I can tell you that cooking it will address that problem well.

Is liver good for you?

The answer is “Yes”, but it is worth getting it from a grass-fed source, preferably organic to reduce that potential amount of heavy metals and pesticides.  I eat liver and I feed it to my children.  I came to understand the MANY wonderful qualities of liver  when I studied boosting the immune system, maximizing detoxification processes, and preserving and restoring bone health and arthritis/joint health.  First, I researched what nutrients were most helpful, then I researched which foods would provide those nutrients in high levels.  Liver kept scoring high in many nutrient categories for each health benefit.

Okay, bring on the liver, but where do we find it?

How much should I eat?

A teaspoon a week is a good start — 2-4 if you’re sick.  I think that a little bit goes a long way, and you can mix it in with other stuff:  pizza sauce (see this month’s recipe), hamburger/meatloaf, omelet, or just straight.

What does the liver really do? 

The liver is a cleanser.

It filters 2 quarts of blood per minute.  It does this job extremely well.  And when it is working properly, it clears up to 99% of the bacteria and other toxins from the blood on the first pass.

The liver Manufactures over 13,000 different enzymes (13,000 chemicals and 2,000 enzyme systems), it basically “humanizes” nutrients as it filters.

Produces cholesterol, Breaks down estrogen and Red blood cells, Regulates blood sugar, Filters blood, Manufactures bile, and Detoxifies harmful substances.

When the liver works poorly, our entire body feels poorly.

Numerous medications, including Prozac, slow down detoxification, while other things, like smoking and drinking speed it up.

The liver is very sensitive in this way, but it is also very forgiving.  When the insult is removed, it bounces right back.

Nevertheless, it can lose up to 70% of its capability without showing diagnosable liver disease – but functionally, it can be contributing to a wide array of problems throughout your body.

What is the solution?

Address what you:

  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Breathe (How Deeply and the air Quality)
  • Think
  • Move (Exercise and Posture)
  • Sleep (Quantity and Quality)