Liver Health: Naturally taking care of your body

The liver is the largest internal organ in the body. This
organ has so many important jobs. Some of these include processing nutrients,
medications, hormones as well as helping prevent infections by removing
bacteria and toxins from the blood. The liver weighs about 3 pounds and is
located on the right side of the stomach. Think of the liver as about the size
of a football. It is protected by the rib cage, so we aren’t able to touch or
feel it. This organ is composed of two large lobes on the right and left sides.
The liver is assisted by the gallbladder and pancreas to perform its functions
which includes the digestion, absorption, and processing of food. Along with
its role in the digestive tract, the liver filters blood before it travels to
the rest of the body, metabolizes any medications we take, and make proteins
for our blood’s health.

As important as the liver is, there are a number of
disorders than can disrupt its functioning. Some of these conditions include
hepatitis which is inflammation of the liver, cancer, cirrhosis which is
permanent scarring, liver failure, and gallstones, just to name a few. This
dysfunction can be due to genetics, viruses, alcohol use, and obesity. Signs
that the liver is poorly functioning include jaundice (yellowing of the eyes
and skin), dark urine, chronic fatigue, easily bruising, abdominal pain, itchy
skin, and swelling of the legs and ankles. Factors that can put one at
increased risk for these symptoms includes unprotected sex, diabetes, obesity,
heavy alcohol use, drugs injected by needles, and tattoos or piercings. It is
important to find the cause and extent of liver damage upon any of these signs.
Alcohol use inflames the liver and excessive drinking leads to scarring. Treatment
is determined by these results, but always starts with lifestyle modifications
including stopping the use of alcohol and losing weight.

There are plenty of self-care approaches that can improve
liver health. This starts with detoxifying the liver. One of the main jobs of
the liver is to rid the body of toxins, so it is important to not have alcohol,
smoke, or excessive amounts of sugar including sucrose and fructose. Milk
thistle is associated with improving liver health. This herbal remedy can help
reduce inflammation. Green tea and vitamin E are also beneficial. Curcumin can
also help protect the liver. It is easy to take advantage of what our body can
do, especially when we don’t see these functions happen. Don’t take for granted
what your liver can do and is mean to do. As it works in silence, this organ is
critical for our health. Don’t toxify the detoxing organ in your body.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502

https://academicjournals.org/journal/JMPR/article-full-text-pdf/F13391C16262

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/detoxing-your-liver-fact-versus-fiction

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-dubious-practice-of-detox

everybodysfit

Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY’s Fit. She has an M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, and she’s an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She’s also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.

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About the Author

Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY’s Fit. She has an M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, and she’s an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She’s also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.

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ASPARAGUS: Spear me

By everybodysfit

Posted Friday, July 10, 2020 at 09:27am EDT

Keywords: asparagus, bloating, digestion, fiber, Folate, Inflammation, vegetables, Vitamin E, vitamin K, Weightloss

This green, white, or purple vegetable come in spears, is packed with nutrition, and is low in calories. There are plenty of reasons to consume this veggie. With only 90 calories in one cup, it’s pretty incredible that this amount also contains 57% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for Vitamin K and 34% of the RDI for folate. Vitamin K is great for bone healthy and prevents blood clots. Folate is beneficial for cell growth and is also called Vitamin B9. This is very beneficial for a healthy pregnancy during the development stage of the baby. Lots of antioxidants can also be found in these spears, especially vitamins E and C.

The benefits continue with the assistance it provides for digestion. One cup has about 7% of the daily fiber that we need which helps with regular bowel movements. It has also been said to aid with weight loss because of its low caloric make up and the fact that asparagus is 94% water. Between the water and fiber content, the body is basically reaping only benefits from this vegetable. Maybe the only downfall is that it can make your pee smell funny. This is because asparagus contains high levels of amino acid asparagine which is a natural diuretic. Extra fluids and salt get flushed out, again which could help with weight loss. Bloating can also be reduced. It has also been known to help reduce the appearance of acne scars because of the niacin it contains. It has also been said to help with inflammation from arthritis.

Asparagus is also a very versatile vegetable because it can be eaten raw, boiled, grilled, steamed, or even roasted. It goes great in salads and dishes like stir-frys.  The name asparagus comes from the Greek word “sprout”. This vegetable grows very quickly when in the ideal conditions. Not as popular as traditional vegetables, but asparagus deserves some recognition. Great for a snack or in a dish, it can become part of a healthy balanced diet that the body can reap plenty of benefits from.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/asparagus-officinalis

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/asparagus-benefits

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027291/

https://www.livescience.com/45295-asparagus-health.html

everybodysfit

Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY’s Fit. She has an M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, and she’s an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She’s also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.

Serotonin: The Smile-Frown Chemical

Serotonin is a chemical found in the brain, blood platelets, and mainly in the digestive system (up to 90%). Its scientific name is 5-hydroxytryptamine, or 5-HT. This chemical is a neurotransmitter that delivers messages between our nerve cells. Most of our 40 million brain cells are communicating with serotonin. It is derived from tryptophan which is an essential amino acid, which means that we must obtain this chemical from outside sources. Tryptophan is found in foods like nuts, red meat, and cheese. The normal range for serotonin levels in your blood is 101–283 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) which can be determined by a blood test. However, blood tests don’t reveal the brain’s level of serotonin and there is currently not a way to do this. Men and women have about the same amount of serotonin, however, depression is more common in women. This may be because men and women respond to low levels of serotonin differently.

Serotonin plays a number of roles in the body. It helps with eating, digestion, bone health maintenance, healing wounds, sleeping, and helps to reduce and regulate anxiety and depression. Therefore, it is often time called the “happy chemical” because of its role in mood stabilization. When it comes to digestion, serotonin is found in the stomach and intestines and is involved in our bowel movements. This chemical also can be a danger to osteoporosis because high levels of serotonin cause the bones to weaken. Serotonin also helps with our sleep-wake cycle. Low levels of this chemical have been associated with depression and an imbalance can affect anxiety, happiness, and overall mood. When serotonin is balanced in the body, that person feels calmer, more focused, and emotionally stable. On the hand, when serotonin levels are high, a person becomes at risk for tumors in the colon, small appendix, bronchial tubes, and appendix.

There are natural approaches to try to increase serotonin levels in the body. A heathy diet rich in protein can help with foods that include nuts, cheese, eggs, turkey, salmon, pineapple, and tofu. Regular exercise can be a mood enhancer. Sunlight can also help with its vitamin D assistance.

It is important to pay attention to any warning signs that might indicate a serotonin imbalance in the body. This chemical truly does affect every part of the body including mental, physical, and emotional well- being.

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/serotonin

https://www.healthline.com/health/serotonin-deficiency

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4471964/

https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sleep/foods-that-could-boost-your-serotonin

everybodysfit

Megan Johnson McCullough owns a fitness studio in Oceanside CA called Every BODY’s Fit. She has an M.A. in Physical Education & Health Science, is a current candidate for her Doctorate in Health & Human Performance, and she’s an NASM Master Trainer & Instructor. She’s also a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, Wellness Coach, and AFAA Group Exercise Instructor.