19 Aug 2022

Healthy Living: Liver support for / after the holidays

Healthy Living: Liver support for / after the holidays

The liver is an organ that filters the blood and performs other important functions in the body. Signs that your liver is not functioning properly include fatigue or abdominal pain jaundice

Let’s face it, holidays are hard on your liver. Overindulging in alcohol, processed foods, sweets – less of the healthy choices… After all, you are on holiday! But this very letting our hair down might be behind the post-holiday fatigue, needing another holiday to restore.

You don’t have to follow a strict detox diet to support your liver. Including a few tasty salads and following some simple tricks you can save yourself a few extra pounds on the midriff area, and increase your energy.

It is always a good idea to half-fill your plates with vegetables – it instantly reduces the calories, increases the nutrient value and much-needed good-bacteria boosting antioxidants. Think of sulphur-containing veggies, like the onion and the cabbage family, beetroot – add apples, apple cider vinegar, the juice and rind of organic lemons, olive oil, some Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds – all of which would make a wonderful salad.

We need amino acids also, from complete proteins, to support the breakdown of toxins and alcohol. The best sources are eggs, because the yolk of the egg also contains lecithin, choline, B vitamins and phospholipids – all crucial ingredients for your liver cells to do their job. Oily fish, duck and lamb are also great options – the important thing is to vary them. If you are vegetarian, combine pulses with wholegrains to get the full amino acid profile, and eat more pulses, nuts, seeds than grains.

Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day – but always between meals, not with the meals, to support your digestive process. Having a cup of light green tea with lemon juice first in the morning is the best idea for your liver. Have a glass of mineral water between alcoholic beverages to space yourself and reduce overall alcohol and empty calorie intake. Have a refreshing cold fruit salad instead of the sugar-loaded ice cream, which you could keep for occasions.

Two of my favourite vegetables and a powerful herb make an inexpensive crisp salad, which makes a change from soft green leaves – along with apple cider vinegar it’s a much needed source of liver support. You can dress it up with crumbled feta cheese or add some left-over shreds of chicken, or your favourite tinned or steamed fish.

Red cabbage & beetroot salad

· ½ medium red cabbage, finely sliced or shredded

· 500g cooked beetroot (without vinegar)

· 1 dessert apple, cored and finely chopped

· 1 small red onion, finely chopped

· 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

· 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

· 3 tbsp chopped dill

· Handful of pumpkin seeds to serve

Put the red cabbage into a bowl. Scrape the skin off the beetroot. Cut the beetroot into fine matchsticks or shred through a food processor. Add to the cabbage with the apple and red onion. Put the oil, vinegar and a splash of water into a bowl, season with black pepper and whisk together. Pour it over the salad and add a scatter over of pumpkin seeds to serve.

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