Chances are unless you’ve already had some problems with your pancreas you don’t know a whole heck of a lot about this often overlooked organ.
But we promise once you understand how critical it is to your health you’ll have a completely new appreciation for your pancreas, not to mention a lot of motivation to protect it.
The pancreas is a small organ located deep inside your abdomen behind your stomach. It produces the chemicals your body needs to digest food. And it plays a critical role in your blood sugar control.
In fact, every single time you eat, your hardworking pancreas is silently slaving away helping to convert the food you eat into the fuel your body needs to survive.
Your pancreas is responsible for producing and then releasing two key hormones into your bloodstream: insulin which lowers your blood sugar and glucagon which raises it.
And of course, maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is critical to your good health in countless ways including playing a role in your brain, liver and kidney health.
Protect your pancreas with this simple “detox”
But unfortunately, when things go wrong with your pancreas, they can go really wrong. A poorly functioning pancreas could trigger painful pancreatitis, diabetes or even pancreatic cancer, the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in the United States.
In other words, protecting the health of your pancreas is critical to your continued good health. Which is why we’re sharing a simple detox plan you can start on today to rejuvenate and support your industrious pancreas.
1. Limit alcohol:
While there can be some health benefits to drinking an occasional glass of red wine, the key is moderation. Limit yourself to no more than a drink a day.
Study after study has linked booze to problems with pancreatic health. In fact, if you’re already experiencing some pancreas issues you might want to just go ahead and eliminate alcohol from the menu.
2. Watch your fat:
Fat isn’t the bogeyman that conventional medicine has made it out to be. For years, fat has been treated like a four letter word that we should ban from our diet. Now we know better.
However if you are already experiencing pancreatic problems it’s a good idea to limit your fat intake. High fat diets are a known trigger for pancreatitis pain. Taking a digestive enzyme supplement when you do indulge may help.
3. Lose weight wisely:
If you’re lugging around a few extra pounds losing even a modest amount of weight can help protect your pancreas and head off pancreas-related illnesses such as diabetes.
But you have to be smart about it. Crash diets tend to send your liver into overdrive causing gallstones which can trigger pancreatitis. You can easily avoid this domino effect if you stick to losing no more than a few pounds a week.
4. Spice up your diet:
Garlic, lemon, licorice and oregano don’t just taste delicious; these foods can help support pancreatic health too. They’ve been valued in traditional medicine for years, and modern research is beginning to back them up in a big way.
Garlic could help slash blood sugar by stimulating your pancreas to produce enough insulin. Mouthwatering lemon encourages your pancreas to release important digestive enzymes. Licorice is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help soothe pancreatitis swelling and pain. And oregano is loaded with natural antioxidants and may help reduce blood sugar spikes.
5. Cleanse your pancreas:
Sometimes, you simply need to start fresh with a pancreatic reset.
- For 10 days, make sure you drink 10 glasses of liquid every day. This will help flush your pancreas and keep it working properly. While water alone will help, to really boost the results, try fresh juice blends from fruits and veggies that are high in the antioxidants your pancreas craves. Blend up lemon, strawberry, carrot, kiwi, celery – you can even add cabbage and Brussels sprouts to the mix. Ginger and green tea are also great options.
- Take a hot shower or bath daily. This helps with digestion and stimulates your pancreas.
- Reduce stress, a common pancreatitis trigger, by practicing deep breathing, yoga or any other relaxing hobby.
6. Quit smoking
You already know you should quit smoking and protecting your pancreas is just one more great reason to do it. Numerous studies have linked smoking to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. But quitting reduces your risk to the same as nonsmokers.
7. Cut out heavily processed foods:
Heavily processed foods such as fried foods, refined flours, added sugars and artificial sweeteners can all trigger insulin spikes making your pancreas work overtime to keep up. Slash these junk foods from your diet to give your pancreas a well deserved break.