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“I burn rappers like Henny on the liver..” That’s was an analogy that J. Cole used in his song “Relaxation” when describing the damage that he could do lyrically. It’s common knowledge that drinking alcohol could damage your liver, but do you know what else could damage it? Did you know that the liver is one of the hardest working organs in your body and is responsible for over 100 functions?

What Does the Liver Do?
Basically, your liver breaks down the nutrients in your food, the ingredients in your medicines and supplements and outside toxins after they arrive in the digestive system. It distributes nutrients throughout your body through your bloodstream, then it eliminates the toxic waste from your blood that didn’t make the cut. It also produces bile, which is a digestive juice. Bile is stored in the gallbladder, which is connected to the liver and it carries the waste from your bloodstream to your intestines. When they are ready to be shipped out and from there, the toxins are eliminated out of the body. More waste gets carried to your kidneys to be eliminated with urine. So, the liver is a detoxifying organ. If it’s not functioning properly, it won’t be able to get rid of harmful substances which causes the immune system to be on high alert since these substances are a threat. This can cause autoimmune reactions in the body, inflammation, or even food allergies which many people would never think is due to liver function.
Your liver also assists your body in using carbohydrates which are found in a lot of foods we eat. Our bodies break the carbohydrates down into glucose, which is a sugar that our cells use for energy. Glucose that gets stored in the liver is called glycogen. This glycogen becomes a backup crew. If your body is exhausted like it has been jumped and needs an energy boost or if your blood sugar level drops (like when you take too long to eat), your liver will send backup into your bloodstream to jump in.
Your liver also helps your body with blood clotting and prevents you from bleeding out after an injury. It gets rid of old damaged blood cells as well. A healthy liver means healthy blood flow. Your digestive organs send kites to the liver so it can measure the threat of harmful substances (rival crews) that need to be eliminated from the block (our bodies) like heavy metals, prescription medications, or other toxins and it works to get rid of them before they do damage.

How does what we eat affect the liver?
We bombard our systems with so much junk that our livers have a hard time keeping up. Artificially sweetened drinks, candy, and even refined grains put pressure on the liver to work harder because your blood sugar level gets too high. Nitrates are added to our meats to give them color and preserve them so they can sit on store shelves longer, but they damage us. Refined and hydrogenated oils don’t help the situation either. Artificial ingredients, pesticides and even environmental toxins are everywhere and put our livers into over drive.

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What can you eat to make your livers job easier?
• Broccoli, Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Wheat Grass and Barley are great foods that help to carry toxins including environmental toxins, cancer causing toxins (carcinogens) and heavy metals off the block. They also increase antioxidants (street soldiers and goons) which helps prevent cell damage.
• Fruits that are high in antioxidants like berries and melons help to balance minerals that the liver needs to function like magnesium, calcium and potassium.
• Raw Honey is dope because it’s a natural antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal. That means that it eliminates parasites, bacteria and viral infections. It hits up everything and takes it out.
• Herbs – We use herbs all the time to add flava to our foods. Some that help the liver are Cilantro, Oregano, Turmeric, Coriander Parsley and garlic all help lower inflammation. Turmeric also helps with blood pressure and circulation.
• Herbal supplements can help the liver bag up and ship. They convert nutrients, eliminate waste and even balance hormones. Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root are two common herbs that are known for this. When your hormones are out of whack, your whole body is affected. You could have problems with sexual function. Women could get fibroids, painful menstrual cycles and other reproductive system ailments. You may have unexplained weight gain or loss. You may begin to suffer from anxiety, or mood swings. All of these things (and more) can happen because of improper liver functioning.
• Other foods to eat regularly – Green tea combats free radicals and reduces stress on the digestive organs. Coconut oil has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties which help to detox the liver. Apple cider vinegar balances the pH levels in the body which aids the liver and other digestive organs which cleanses the whole body.

What Causes Liver Damage?
• Prepackaged processed foods loaded with artificial ingredients and refined oils
• Alcohol and Caffeine
• Pesticides
• Drug Use
• Unprotected Sex
• Prescription Meds and Antibiotics
• High Stress and Lack of Movement or No Exercise
• Non Organic, Factory Farmed Meats and Fish
• Environmental Toxins and Air Pollution
• Beauty Products and Household Chemicals
• Sugary Snacks and Beverages
• Other Toxins – Toxins can also get into our systems by being released into foods when we grill and use cooking pans coated with chemicals. Cans coated with BPA and plastic tupperware can leach chemicals into our foods too.
All of these things can lead to liver damage and diseases like Cirrhosis, Hepatitis A, B and C. Cirrhosis of the liver happens when healthy cells are replaced with scar tissue. This scar tissue prevents the liver from functioning properly. It’s like the bullet scar that will never look or function the same as the rest of the skin. Some warning signs of liver damage are nausea, fatigue, fever, stomach pain, poor appetite, and yellow eyes and skin. Sometimes though, there are no immediate symptoms for Hepatitis.
In summary, pay attention to the game. Keep your eyes on those rival crews and be sure to keep your block tight with the right street soldiers and goons. Don’t trust just anybody to help with bagging and shipping. You want the best of the best and the highest quality on the block.