Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for your liver, but don’t stop there. You need an overall lifestyle plan that also includes…

Good-quality sleep

In traditional Chinese medicine, poor sleep can indicate liver problems…and modern science now understands that the liver uses sleep to rebuild stores of glycogen (the form of sugar that the body uses for quick energy). 

For better sleep…

90 minutes before bed: Drink a cup of hot chamomile or lemon balm tea.

60 minutes before bed: Turn off computers, TV screens and cell phones. Turn off extra lights. Take a quick, warm shower. 

10 minutes before bed: Set a timer for five minutes and write your thoughts in a journal—whatever comes to mind. This helps ease anxiety caused by unresolved events.  

Include “microworkouts” in your exercise plan

Exercise does help reduce fat all over the body, including from the liver. However, in the context of a healthy-liver diet, long, intensive workouts promote the release of higher amounts of the stress hormone cortisol—which can overwhelm the liver’s fat-clearing process. Instead…*

Take a daily walk. Use a pedometer, fitness tracker, phone or smartwatch and stay within 5,000 to 10,000 steps. A good idea is to start each day with a 10- to 20-minute walk (about 1,000 to 3,000 steps).

Do interval training. Brief periods (such as 20 seconds) of high-intensity exercise followed by several minutes at a leisurely pace is easy on your liver. 

Don’t forget strength-training. Use your body weight to keep muscles strong. My recommended daily exercise routine includes squats (30 seconds), push-ups (30 seconds), stationary lunges (30 seconds) and the plank (hold for 30 seconds). You can find instructional videos of these exercises online. 

*Consult your doctor before adopting this—or any new—exercise plan.

Source: Alan Christianson, NMD, a naturopathic medical doctor who specializes in natural endocrinology. He is founder of Integrative Health (IntegrativeHealthCare.com), a medical practice that specializes in thyroid disease and weight-loss resistance, in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is also founding president of the Endocrinology Association of Naturopathic Physicians and is author of four books, including The Metabolism Reset Diet