Let’s talk about your LIVER and DRINKING ALCOHOL.
The two are very much connected- no other organ is more affected after drinking than your liver. And if you’re a regular Violet Fog reader then you know that nothing ages you quicker than an unhealthy liver.
I am not saying you need to give up drinking alcohol– I am saying that if you have a binge OR drink alcohol regularly (even lightly) then these are things you should and can be doing to keep your liver healthy.
***PLEASE NOTE– I am NOT a doctor. You should always consult your regular doctor! This is just my research and my own personal beliefs.***
What To Do After Drinking Alcohol
We need to do a few things for your liver:
2, Make sure any damage done is UNDONE.
3, Get your glucose levels up.
4, Get in a HUGE amount of antioxidants.
5, Whatever we can do to bring down inflammation
6, Hydrate and pump yourself full of effective vitamins.
With that in mind, here are….
7 Ways To Detox After Drinking Alcohol
****Which also incorporates what follows detoxing!
1. Eat a hefty amount of cruciferous veggies following drinking
I’m strictly talking members of the Brassica family. So think: cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage (red and green), brussel sprouts, and watercress!
I am a fan of incorporating cruciferous veggies every single day even for the NON-drinker. Even for EVERYONE. These vegetables are so dang powerful at detoxifying the liver. Beyond having a TON of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants within them- they actually help your liver PROCESS nutrients. They make nutrients bioavailable.
When you drink- afterward it can make it temporarily really hard for your liver to convert nutrients. It needs its nutrient storage bank revved up again. Cruciferous veggies can help you with this! So don’t go for a greasy meal after drinking- go for one with some of these vegetables! The following week after make sure one of your meals each day is HEAVY on rotation with the cruciferous veggies!
I highly recommend red cabbage for liver health. If I could only have one cruciferous veggie for the rest of time, this would be it! Be SURE to read my article on red cabbage. The benefits are insane (and go beyond just your liver) and my SUPER EASY 3 ingredient recipe will have you LOVING red cabbage.
2. Get PLENTY of antioxidants in- blueberries and raspberries are ABUNDANT in this.
Antioxidants are important for the liver because they help the liver from becoming infected and AFFECTED by toxins (and yes alcohol is a toxin.) Antioxidants can actually SHEILD your liver cells. When your liver comes under oxidative stress from things like drinking, antioxidants can help slow the process. They help peel back layers of stress.
GET YOUR BERRIES IN AFTER DRINKING. Seriously- make this your go-to snack for a few days. Blueberries and raspberries are super high in flavonoids (a naturally occurring plant pigment) which help starve off pathogens and are anti-inflammatory. Speaking anti-inflammatory benefits….
3. Get some anti-inflammatory help from something like Turmeric
Turmeric’s active compound is curcumin which is super anti-inflammatory. Why is it important to get in anti-inflammatory foods? After drinking- your body becomes inflamed. Especially your liver. Inflammation over time causes aging and illness. If you had a huge binge– believe me… your body needs some calming down. Yes- even days after. If you drink regularly, you should consider supplementing with something like turmeric. It is natural and has a ton of benefits that go beyond liver help! (Read my article on golden milk which goes over the scientific studies done on turmeric!)
***To make turmeric bioavailable, make sure to pair with a warming spice like pepper or ginger and a healthy fat like coconut oil or avocado!
Some nerdy but cool info on how turmeric impacts your liver positively: it allows your liver to purge pathogens and toxins. Turmeric is SO STRONG it can actually penetrate deep into your liver’s layers. (Note: Even foods that are good for your liver can’t always penetrate to your deepest layers! Just goes to show how powerful turmeric is.) Turmeric also has a life-giving effect… a renewal almost. It can dig up old toxins from your liver (think of your days of drinking when you DIDN’T do anything to detoxify!) and erase them entirely. Really cool huh? Anthony Williams, a liver expert, speaks on this all the time.
When it comes to spices….
4. Season your meals after drinking with spices that detoxify
This is something so easy you can do. Food is important, but herbs/spices are just as powerful if not MORE powerful. When you are cooking after drinking (do this regularly if you are a regular drinker, or do this heavily for the next week after a binge) then sprinkle on two spices that really detoxify– bonus points if they also have anti-inflammatory properties.
Above I did a 1-2-3 punch and here is how:
1- I started my base with cauliflower aka a cruciferous veggie (see number one!)
2- I then doused it with TURMERIC (detoxifying and anti-inflammatory)
3- I also added CORIANDER.
***Remember, add a healthy fat and a warming spice to activate the turmeric! (I added coconut oil and pepper.)
We went over turmeric. Here’s why I love coriander: First off, it doesn’t have a ton of taste so it’s so easy to add to almost any meal. I have no excuse but to JUST ADD IT. When it comes to the liver, coriander is highly anti-inflammatory and is good for your nerves. Your nerves get thrown out of whack after drinking. Do you ever wake up feeling highly anxious after drinking? That’s one reason why (besides recalling holy shit what did I do? lol!) This is a great spice for after drinking!
Be SURE to read my article on 3 nutrient dense spices to start cooking with. Of course, this is included with studies!
5. Get your GLUTATHIONE on!!
GLUTATHIONE- Simply put, when your liver has a reserve of glutathione, it processes alcohol more efficiently. When it doesn’t- your liver can go into overdrive and that is something you do NOT want. Even one night of heavy drinking can DEPLETE your liver of glutathione- so make sure to take this after!
A component of glutathione that is great is NAC aka N-acetyl-Cysteine. This makes it so that your liver can rebuild itself when it needs to…. aka after drinking. NACs also help your adrenal glands, which if we want to get real technical, supports the liver. (Often times when your adrenals are shot, so is your liver.)
I personally take NACs (or glutathione, or something that has a mixture) the day OF drinking and one week after to make sure my liver is recovering.
BTW- if you ever want to know what I use, you can DM me or leave a comment anytime on Instagram. My handle is @TheVioletFog.
6. Get some CLEANSING done within your system with the deepest green you can find.
Personally, I love Spirulina or barley grass for the phytonutrients they provide. I’ll talk about barley grass another time because it’s less common but let’s go over spirulina and why getting this in your diet if you’re a regular drinker is important.
Spirulina has a WEALTH of vitamins and minerals that your liver uses for it’s nutrient storage banks. You want a strong storage bank within your liver because that is what tells your body what it needs at any given time. I like to think of spirulina making my liver SMARTER– giving it the tools to do what it does WELL. Spirulina also binds onto toxins and literally CARRIES THEM OUT. Some algae/seaweeds are best with heavy metals, some are extra great with alcohol. Spirulina does well with alcohol toxins.
It doesn’t need to be tough to get in spirulina. I understand that on its own it can be an unpleasant taste. Personally, I like mixes. Right now I am using one from a company I love (not sponsored) called SuperSeedWell. They have a smoothie mixin that has a good amount of spirulina in it. It gives me tons of other nutrients that I strive to get on the daily (like omega 3s), and my spirulina is guaranteed!
7. Make sure your immune system is STRONG
Here’s why you need to keep your immune system strong if you drink regularly (or again- if you just had a binge.) You want a strong immune system for your liver so it’s not constantly using its energy to ward off bacteria, dirty blood, and pathogens!
The immune system and the liver are VERY MUCH connected. Also, think of this– chances are you were very social while drinking… was there anyone sick around you? Good chance there may have been. What I like to do is take elderberry. Elderberry has been studied to show it is as strong as some over-the-counters for warding off sickness. I very much love the elderberry capsules from Ancient Nutrition (not sponsored)– a brand I have been loyal to for years now. Read this scientific study done on elderberry- it’s a good one! Very informative.
Detoxifying the liver
At the end of the day Violets, just stay educated! Do what you can. Don’t obsess, live your life! Just add in small steps. Some things are easier than others. If you have any Q’s- let me know! I am here to help!
Photo by the magnificent: Katie Weinholt (She is located in San Francisco!)