Post from the Past: Liver Support during Cold Season

Original post date 2/18/09


I’m always amazed by what I don’t know. Apparently your liver doesn’t just exist to filter out vodka. According to my dad, it also filters nasty viruses, along with the lymph system. As almost my whole family has been hit with the most recent cold going around, I thought a look into liver support was in order.

The results weren’t really surprising: the usual “eat more vegetables”—a high fiber, high antioxidant diet, etc. Vitamins B, E, & C are also important. This article from gives ten tips for liver support including:

  • avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking
  • add echinacea and/or milk thistle
  • avoid antacids
  • perform light exercise (like yoga or walking) to sweat out toxins
  • cut back on salt and sugar

The Diet Channel online has adds specifics:

  • Eat a high-fiber diet to eliminate fat-soluble toxins.
  • Eat a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies like beets, broccoli.
  • Increase foods rich in B-vitamins, including brown rice, nuts, and seeds.

Garlic and onions, cruciferous veggies, and hot lemon water are great for detoxification. Also, it’s important to reduce fat and salt intake as much as possible.

I think the best way to get hydrated and eat vegetables, especially in cold weather, is soup. I recently came up with these two recipes to make myself feel better.

Garlic Ginger Broth

1 box organic, low sodium vegetable broth

1-2 cups water

4-5 cloves garlic, chopped in thick slices

1 ginger root, peeled

2-3 leeks, chopped

1 bunch kale (if desired)

2 tsp dried marjoram (a natural decongestant)

dash cayenne pepper

sea salt and pepper to taste

Bring vegetable broth to a boil with garlic, ginger, and leeks. Boil for 3-5 minutes; add water, kale, marjoram, cayenne, and s&p, and reduce to low heat. Remove ginger root and serve.

Poor Man’s Minestrone (or Clean out the Refrigerator in Winter Soup)

1 box organic, low sodium vegetable broth

1 16-oz can organic diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 can pinto (or other beans), no salt added

3-4 small organic zucchini, sliced

1/2 head organic green cabbage, chopped

1/2 organic onion, chopped

curly pasta (try quinoa pasta for something new)

any other leftover veggies, like carrots, squash, green beans, peas, etc., chopped

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne papper

pinch saffron

sea salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion in a little veggie broth until tender; add the rest of the broth, pasta, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and add all veggies. Reduce heat and add spices. Simmer 5 min, add beans, stir, and remove from heat for a few minutes before serving.

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