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Love Your Liver on Valentine’s Day


If managing a fatty liver, swap three daily routines with the suggestions listed below for a new way to pronounce your love on Valentine’s Day.

As a means of expressing romantic feelings, February 14 is a holiday typically centered on giving and receiving cards, flowers and chocolates. However, the intended focus of Valentine’s Day is love, and there may be a more meaningful avenue for expressing this sentiment than gifting a greeting card or box of candy. Paying homage to an organ that enables you to live and love this Valentine’s Day, consider switching to the mindset of expressing love for your (or your sweetheart’s) liver.

In a sense, love is the highest form of appreciation – a powerful feeling that encompasses us upon realizing the fragility of what we treasure most. For those with fatty liver disease, strengthening and purifying the liver is not just a path towards living healthfully, but it also reinforces how grateful we are to be alive – a vivid representation of true love.

The liver acts primarily as your body’s filter: cleaning the blood, aiding digestion and fueling metabolism. A fatty liver occurs when your body becomes inundated with fats, making it harder to detoxify itself. Years of indulging in unhealthy (yet extremely common) habits congests the liver and leads to a backup of fat and toxins in the body. These unhealthy habits may include such things as being sedentary, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and eating bacon, hamburgers, fried chicken, donuts and cheesecake. If any of these habits ring true for you, you are not alone; experts believe that at least one-third of American adults have a congested, fatty liver.

Thankfully, there are a wide range of actions that can help rid the liver of excess fat and toxins. For those who want to share an appreciation of life with a loved one, or simply shower themselves with gratitude during the holiday of love, these three suggestions are all about loving your (or someone else’s) liver.

  1. In the morning– Instead of starting the day with a beverage full of cream and sugar, try starting it with Dr. Oz’s morning liver elixir. The ingredients are:
    •  ¼ cup warm water – aids digestion
    • Juice of lemon wedge – contains Vitamin C, an antioxidant that calms liver inflammation and protects against free radical damage
    • 2 dashes of hot pepper sauce – contains capsaicin, which boosts blood flow and activates enzymes that help with detoxifying the liver
  2. Get active – Instead of plopping yourself on the couch with TV remote in hand, throw on some sneakers and outdoor gear and go for a brisk walk or jog. There is no better way to get your blood circulating throughout your body and through your liver. An Australian study published in the October 2009 issue of Hepatology found that sedentary adults who increased their physical activity reduced their risk of fatty liver disease, with four weeks of cycling reducing levels of fat in the liver by 21 percent.
  3. Break out the juicer – Instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day with a bottle of wine or champagne, go the extra mile and make some fresh, raw juice. Make your own juice with a juice-extracting machine, since bottled juices may contain sugar, have lost enzyme and vitamin content, and may have been pasteurized. The nutrients and enzymes in fresh juice can help repair liver damage, stimulate liver detoxification and improve the liver’s fat burning capability. Preferably using organic produce, consider making a celebratory glass of juice with carrots, a little bit of beetroot, cabbage, lemon, celery, watercress, spinach, ginger, radish and apples.

Making Valentine’s Day special does not have to follow the traditional Hallmark-inspired course. The intention of providing your (or your loved one’s) liver with the necessities to function well is the ultimate demonstration of being grateful for life and love. In all likelihood, including the three practices described above into your mid-February celebration will leave you feeling incredible…and cause you to contemplate celebrating this newfound love for your liver all year long., Liver Cleansing, Dr. Sandra Cabot, Retrieved January 27, 2013, Cabot Health, 2013., Dr. Oz’s Complete Body Restart Guide, Retrieved January 27, 2013, Harpo, Inc., 2013., 14 Foods that Cleanse the Liver, Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, Retrieved January 27, 2013,, 2013., Fatty Liver – The Facts Explored Part 7, Retrieved January 27, 2013, Liver Doctor, 2013., Exercise and Liver Health, Lila Roe, Retrieved January 27, 2013, Demand Media, Inc., 2013.

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About the Author

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM)®

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac., MTCM is a long time advocate of integrating perspectives on health. With a Bachelor's degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and a Master's degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Five Branches Institute, Nicole has been a licensed acupuncturist since 2000. She has gathered acupuncture licenses in the states of California and New York, is a certified specialist with the National Acupuncture Detoxification Association, has earned diplomat status with the National Commission of Chinese and Oriental Medicine in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbology and is a member of the Society for Integrative Oncology. In addition to her acupuncture practice that focuses on stress and pain relief, digestion, immunity and oncology, Nicole contributes to the integration of healthcare by writing articles for professional massage therapists and people living with liver disease.

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