Steps to Digestive Health

Step 1: Live Clean
While it's impossible to stay entirely toxin-free throughout your everyday life, that doesn't mean you can't take steps to help reduce the pollution that pummels your body. Lessen the load for the liver, and you'll live longer.

So what's that mean? Choose charcoal-filtered purified water over unfiltered tap water. Choose unrefined and unprocessed foods over the ones that spend more time in a factory than in the earth. Choose fruit over Froot Loops. Choose proteins like lentils, soy, beans, nuts and seeds over red meats and the accompanying animal fats to avoid consuming the toxins that those animals were exposed to. And avoid eating any liver of any species that has been exposed to toxins. Your liver—not to mention your heart, your brain and your waistline—will thank you.

Also, have protected sex and use new needles and new pigment for tattoos, as hepatitis B and C are transmitted this way.

Step 2: Add the Crunchy Veggies
You already know cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, cauliflower, brussels spouts and cabbage—are good cancer fighters. They've also been shown to help aid the detoxification processes of the liver.

While you're at it, it's also important to have foods loaded with vitamins B, like whole grains, and C, like citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. They, too, have been shown to aid the detoxification process by helping your innate antioxidant system.

Step 3: Sprinkle on Some Health
Ginseng, cinnamon, coffee and tea have been shown to help increase insulin receptivity, which can help lower the risk of aging from type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown that one of the substances in ginseng berries—not the root—or a half teaspoon of cinnamon a day can increase insulin function by more than 50 percent.

Step 4: Get These Nutrients

Step 5: Don't Toxify the Detoxifier
Vitamin A can cause fat storage in the liver, chronic hepatitis and cirrhosis. Patients with chronic liver disease should consume less than 2,500 IU of vitamin A per day in pill form. Getting vitamin A through food seems okay. A list of other nutrients and supplements that have been shown to have toxic effects on the liver:

  • Nicotinic acid (niacin; Nicolar)
  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Senna fruit extracts
  • Valerian
  • Iron
  • Mistletoe