The liver has more than 500 bodily functions. Weighing just three pounds, it is the metabolic powerhouse of the body. Any solid or liquid food goes through the liver. It detoxifies, regulates blood sugar, stores nutrients, breaks down fats, and in short, it is a blood recycler. It is crucial to eat liver healthy foods to help your liver clean itself.
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Why consume liver healthy foods?
The liver continually undergoes exhaustive exertion. Thus, the liver gets damaged quickly. However, every night, the liver detoxifies and replenishes itself. If you consume liver healthy foods, it will aid the liver in the purification process. The liver is the only human organ with the ability to cleanse itself. Many consider that only the high-fiber foods aid the liver, but the organ needs a wide range of nutrients.
Garlic – enzyme-inducing liver healthy foods
The enzymes help to flush out the body toxins, and garlic helps to activate those enzymes. It contains selenium and allicin, which helps in cleansing the liver. Antibiotic, antifungal, and antioxidant properties of garlic are helpful for the entire body.
Leafy green vegetables – liver healthy foods for bile flow
Nitrates found in leafy green vegetables help stimulate the flow of bile, improve metabolism rate, and improve major functions of the liver. Fatty liver disease is preventable and reversible with high-nitrate food. Top leafy green vegetables to consume are spinach, lettuce, celery, and others.
Fiber-rich food – speeds the detoxification process
Fiber-rich items to add are beetroots, apples, cauliflower, carrots, and others. Beyond speeding the toxin, fiber aids the liver to work optimally. Fiber also improves hydration, allowing the liver to cleanse effectively.
Green tea and coffee – beverages for your liver health
Green tea is one of the very few liver healthy food in the beverages section. Catechin found in green tea helps to reduce fat accumulation in the liver. It also improves the regular functions of the liver. A study in 2017 showed that coffee consumption could protect the liver from fibrosis. Those with non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases showed slow progression in the damage, due to coffee consumption and dietary changes. Another study shows that coffee consumption can reduce the probability of liver cancer by 25-50%. Remember that coffee does not aid in liver cleansing, but improves the health of the organ.
Spices – condiments for your liver
In the spice rack, turmeric ranks first when it comes to liver health. Turmeric protects the liver from damages and helps in regenerating the damaged cells. It improves the bile production in the liver and improves the gall bladder function. Cumin helps in better production of enzymes and bile juice. Coriander aids in the liver cleansing process. Fennel also helps in liver functioning, but not for cleansing.
Citrus fruits – sour but powerful
Citrus fruits are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, which help improve the liver’s self-cleaning ability. Vitamin C helps to improve the secretion of detoxifying enzymes. Cryptoxanthin (plant pigment) in these fruits help in improving the overall health of the liver. It also helps in reducing the risk of contracting liver problems, even ones that occur due to alcohol consumption. The plant pigment also increases the liver’s antioxidant secretion, which reduces liver damage due to external factors.
Nuts – liver healthy snacks
The protein in nuts helps in building new liver cells and in repairing damages. Antioxidants found in nuts help in protecting the liver from damage due to free radicals. Unsaturated fats in nuts avoid fat accumulation in the liver and build health cell membranes in the organ. Brazil nut helps in increasing immunity and elasticity in the liver. Arginine in walnut helps in detoxifying the liver. Minerals found in pecan help in reducing the risk of liver diseases.
Beetroots – flushes toxins out
We already added beetroots to the list for its fiber-content. However, beetroots need additional recognition for its high antioxidant content. Beetroot helps in activating bile flow. Bile takes toxins from the liver to the excretory organs. Thus, by increasing the bile secretion to the optimal level, beetroot helps in better and faster transformation of fat and toxins into water-solution elements. In short, beetroot helps the liver to clean itself without too much stress.
Broccoli sprouts – avoid fat accumulation
Broccoli is helpful for the liver, but the broccoli sprouts are more efficient. The liver detoxification process takes place in two phases. Glutathione aids the liver in both phases. Moreover, it also helps in preventing a few types of cancers. Indole found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables can reduce fat accumulation in the organ. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which prevent many liver diseases, including cirrhosis, cancer, and others.
Fermented food – probiotics and better absorption
Fermented foods help in improving the speed of flushing toxins out of the organ. The probiotics in the fermented food help reduce scarring, inflammation, and fat accumulation in the liver. Thus, the probability of liver failure goes down. However, too much fermented foods in your diet can cause problems. So, keep it within the daily recommended limit for your age.
Herbs – nature’s gift for your liver
Many common and rare herbs are useful in detoxing your liver. The best of all is milk thistle, which improves liver detoxification efficiency and treats many major liver conditions like viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and others. Artichoke leaf and dandelion root help add flavonoids to your body, which improves the process of flushing chemicals and alcohol out of the system. Yellow duck root increases the speed of toxin removal from the body, thereby reducing the stress on the liver.
Is it efficient to use supplements instead of liver healthy foods? Well, in reality, the natural product is far superior to supplements. However, if you have a deficiency in any mineral or macronutrient, supplements could be efficient. If you wish to add supplements to your diet, it is crucial to get a doctor’s opinion. Moreover, the brand of supplement you choose is vital for the health of your liver.
All the foods mentioned above help detoxify your liver. But, consuming it once in a blue moon is useless. You ought to make these a part of your diet routine, as a healthy and balanced diet with healthy lifestyle aids in having a healthy liver.