By Jackie Rainford Corcoran EBS Health Columnist

Our bodies are elegantly designed to filter out impurities: our skin, lungs, blood and digestive tract work around the clock to remove waste and foreign substances in order to keep us alive.

But in today’s modern world, environmental toxins are all around us. How can we best prevent these toxins from building up, and stay healthy?

Being a conscious consumer is a great place to start. Buying “low VOC” or “no VOC” products means less toxic “off gassing” in our living and working environments, by avoiding volatile organic compounds. It also sends a message to manufacturers letting them know that this is a priority. Buying fragrance-free laundry products and avoiding synthetic scents and fabrics also helps.

Another thing we can do is invest in an air purifier and/or grow plants in the home and office that naturally filter the air. English ivy, spider plants and peace lily’s are good options. Also consider opening windows and using fans to circulate the air.

When it comes to the body itself, we have many systems in place to filter out impurities, but the organ doing the lion’s share of the work is the liver.

The liver is located in upper right area of the abdomen, under the ribcage. It’s the second largest gland in the body—the skin is the largest—and it weighs approximately 3.5 pounds.

It performs hundreds of vital functions, but removing toxins from the blood is one of its most critical jobs. From everyday digestion to exposure to toxic pesticides, the liver is constantly working on removing waste from your body.

If the liver stops working, we die, so we want to keep this organ in tip-top shape. To do so, we should first be aware that chronic alcohol consumption taxes the liver and makes it work overtime.

Certain foods help support and cleanse the liver. Here are some that are easy to come by:

– Fresh lemon juice helps your liver produce detoxifying enzymes.

– Beets are excellent for liver maintenance and repair. Beets are the richest food source of betaine, a natural liver detoxifier and bile thinner. They also increase the liver’s efficiency in processing fats. Shredded raw beets combined with lemon juice make a great liver-support dish. Beets can be roasted, boiled, grated raw or steamed and used as a side dish, in salads, or juiced with other vegetables.

– Turmeric protects the liver and aids in liver regeneration. Add it to sauces, vegetables, stews, soups and smoothies.

– Garlic activates liver enzymes responsible for absorbing nutrients and cleansing waste and toxins in liver tissue.

– Leafy green vegetables like chard and kale, as well as broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are high in anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals that the liver needs for the detoxification process.

– Avocados aid in detoxification and liver tissue repair.

– Apples are high in soluble fiber, which binds with fats and cholesterol. The pectin in apples also helps bind heavy metals, which then assists the liver in detoxification.

Give your body all the help it needs to keep toxins from building up. If you’re looking for a spring cleanse to get on the right track, visit santoshabigsky.com for a guided cleanse that starts in May. You can begin anytime and from anywhere.

Jackie Rainford Corcoran is an IIN Certified Holistic Health Coach, culture consultant, TEDx speaker and coach. For a complimentary health consultation, visit corcoranhealth.com and schedule your meeting today.