Today we are more than ever exposed to environmental and other toxins and at the same time we are consuming less and less antioxidants. Although our body makes it’s own antioxidants, it does rely heavily on dietary intake of vegetables in order to process the toxins in the liver and get rid of them. Lacking those antioxidants, the toxins get stuck in the liver and more and more fat is produced to store them, leading to ‘belly fat’. This type of fat cannot be efficiently burned off with exercise and when it is, the toxins are released, leading to fatigue, headaches and other unpleasant effects. Fortunately, there is a simple solution! Read on 🙂
How the Liver Eliminates Toxins
The liver doesn’t work exactly as most people would imagine it – it’s not supposed to absorb toxins from the bloodstream and then store them. Instead, it’s job is to transform the toxins into non-toxic compounds, which are then excreted. This happens in three stages.
In the first stage, the liver processes the toxins through a process of oxidation (in the case of alcohol), reduction (in the case of protein waste) or it jumps straight to hydrolyzation, which makes the toxins water soluble and they can be then carried through the bloodstream and excreted through the kidneys. For this to happen, dietary antioxidants are needed. In the past, this wasn’t an issue, as studies have found that paleolithic men were consuming as much as 300 grams of fiber a day, all of which came from plants. Today, less than 50% of Americans meet the daily recommended amount of fiber, which is only 15 grams. As a result, we have a belly fat epidemic.
How Bitter Vegetables Reverse Fatty Liver and Melt Belly Fat
Fatty liver is a common condition and although commonly associated with heavy drinking, more than 30% is not and is due to diet alone. Lacking vegetable oxidants, the liver cannot turn fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble ones, and they become ‘stuck’ in the liver. As a result, fat accumulates, which is the most common cause of visceral, or belly fat – sometimes all of the belly fat is part of the liver, pushing the belly out.
Liver problems occur in only about 1 in 5 heavy alcoholics and it has been proven that there must be another factor involved, most likely dietary. But you don’t need alcohol to accumulate large amounts of toxic fat in your liver, as we all know. Plenty of people who don’t drink have problems with belly fat, making the intake of ‘bitter’ vegetables the most important factor of all.
Bitter vegetables come to the rescue! When we say ‘bitter’, it’s not necessarily bitter, but vegetables that have slightly astringent and bitter taste, somewhat stinging when you eat them. Cabbage is a good example. If you have ever tried cabbage juice you know it stings, similar to eating garlic. This is what we mean by ‘bitter’. Plant antioxidants generally don’t taste that well, hence why many people don’t eat enough of them.
To make things simple and ingest the necessary antioxidants to flush the toxins from the liver and get rid of belly fat, it’s easiest to make a juice. This way, you don’t have to chew on pounds of vegetables, and it’s easier to make it a habit.
Simple Bitter Juice Recipe
- 1 Cucumber
- 3 Cups Kale
- 1 Lime or Half a Lemon
- 1 Cup Swiss Chard
- Half an Apple
If you want to get the maximum effect (and bitterness :)), you can leave the lemon or lime unpeeled. If you drink the juice on an empty stomach you will feel the effects quickly – you might get a slight headache or you might get slightly nauseous for about 10 or 20 minutes. This is a good sign – it means the juice is working. The toxins are being flushed, and you are experiencing increased blood flow, leading to the headache. You’ll still get the benefits if you drink the juice with food, but since it will be absorbed much slower, you won’t get any side effects at all. Adding cabbage to the mix is even better, but not a lot of people can cope with the taste.
A word on wheat grass juice
Anyone who has tried a larger amount of wheat grass juice on an empty stomach will feel the effects immediately, which can sometimes be severe. This is due to the toxins leaving the liver and being carried to the kidneys to be eliminated. My next post will be on wheat grass juice. The problem is, it’s not as readily accessible as common vegetables, and in fact, if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the only viable option for most people is growing the wheat grass themselves. Wheat grass juice tastes horrible to most people, proving the notion that the worse and more bitter a vegetable tastes, the more antioxidants it has.
It’s okay to eat the vegetables instead, but juicing is easier
Some people don’t like juicing, and particularly the cleanup of the juicer. If that’s you, you can just make it a habit to eat more greens, bitter and astringent vegetables like kale and cabbage and more antioxidants in general. This is key for losing weight, especially if you’re dealing with the dreaded ‘belly fat’.