The heart gets all the poetic verse, and the brain gets all the intellectual credit, but the liver is the real workhorse of the human body and that’s it’s vital to cleanse your liver. Tucked neatly in your abdominal cavity between the diaphragm and the stomach, the liver is your largest internal organ, and it does a remarkable number of things to keep you healthy. In fact, it is thought by medical science that the liver has up to 1,000 functions.

For starters, liver filters the toxins out of the blood: the alcohol, the medications, and any other toxic synthetics the body is exposed to; plus, it filters normal waste products from the cells. It breaks down carbohydrates into usable sugars, giving you energy, and helps to regulate blood sugar. The liver processes nutrients for current and later use. It manufactures blood plasma proteins, Vitamin D, and bile, an all-important fluid necessary for proper digestion and for flushing out the toxins removed from your blood. It regulates cholesterol, and hormones. There is a saying: The liver is where we live or die. [Say it out loud.]

With all the liver does to keep you healthy, you’ve got to keep it healthy. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to take care of this vital organ so it functions efficiently and effectively, and most of them are pretty simple. Here are five ways to cleanse your liver.

  1. Drink the Right Fluids

Drinking lots of water is sound advice for any health concern, but it’s especially important in keeping the liver hydrated and working well. Spring or mineral water is best; tap water often contains chlorine, which is helpful for keeping public water sources free from contamination, but not great for cleansing your liver. In addition to water, raw fruit and vegetable juices are excellent for good liver health because it contains tons of nutrients that can be easily absorbed.

  1. Eliminate Processed Foods

While they certainly are convenient, processed foods are high in preservatives, refined sugars, and other chemical additives that can easily overwhelm the liver and slow down its ability to keep your blood clean and your energy levels up. The same goes for alcohol in excess. While the liver can process limited quantities of alcohol, excess amounts causes the liver to work overtime to clear it out.

  1. Add the Good Stuff

So, if you cut out processed foods, what’s left? Whole, unprocessed foods, like fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and raw seeds and nuts are excellent for optimum liver health because they contain tons of nutrients. If you can, buy organic, since nonorganic foods contain chemical pesticides that overwork the liver. Beets and fresh beet juice provide high doses of the essential vitamins and minerals that keep the liver in tip top shape.

  1. Fast Occasionally

Drinking only fluids with zero calories, and eliminating food from your diet for short periods of time, can do wonders for your body’s ability to regenerate stem cells. Why is this important for your liver? Because your liver regenerates its cells all the time, and giving it a break from processing nutrients allows it to regenerate well. Start off by drinking only water all day until supper time, one day a week. As you have done this for a few months, you will be able to fast a full day without missing food.

  1. Use Plant-Based Supplements

Even if you’re eating a completely healthy diet, that alone will not pay back the nutritional debts acquired from “past sins.” Supplementing, as the word implies, is the way to “get a second job to get out of debt,” which is what is needed to give the body, and the liver, the vital nutrients to detox and restore. B-vitamins, vitamin-C, potassium, and vitamin-D, are especially beneficial to the liver.

The liver is composed of the most resilient tissue in the body, i.e. get off its back (stop poisoning it), cleanse and nourish it, and will do an amazing job of restoring itself.