Weighing just 3 pounds and shaped like a boomerang, our liver works round the clock for us. Like a conscientious housekeeper, the liver ensures unneeded and harmful substances are duly flushed out of our body.
As important as it may be for our health, we often don’t pay any attention to it until something goes wrong. This shouldn’t be the case, however, because helping our liver to function optimally requires nothing more than the addition of certain foods to our diet. We show you the top 10 food we should incorporate into our diet for a healthier liver, and overall healthier you!
Garlic is an effective liver cleanser. It is rich in enzymes which help remove toxins from the liver. Garlic is also a good source of two natural compounds, selenium and allicin, which ensures effective removal of toxins from the liver.
High levels of triglycerides and cholesterol can clog the liver, making it difficult for the liver to function effectively. Garlic reduces the level of triglycerides and cholesterol, and by doing so it helps take the extra load off the liver.
Processed garlic does not provide much of these liver-cleansing benefits, nor does powdered or minced garlic. For liver health, eat garlic raw.
Another liver-healthy food is beetroots. They help cleanse as well as support liver function. Rich in beta-carotene and flavonoids, beetroots help to not only stimulate but also improve liver function. The other advantage is that beetroots also help purify the blood. You can add beetroots to your salad or drink a glass of beetroot juice daily.
Here’s a recipe of a potent liver-healthy salad: take 1 cup of chopped beetroots, juice of a medium-sized lemon and 2 tablespoons of virgin oil (go for cold-pressed extra virgin variety). Mix these ingredients. Consume 2 teaspoons of this salad every 2 hours every day during the daytime.
Rich in antioxidants, pectin, and vitamin C, grapefruit makes for a powerful liver-cleansing food.
Grapefruit is a particularly good source of glutathione, an antioxidant that is very effective in neutralizing free radicals and detoxifying the liver. Another benefit that grapefruit provides is that it contains a compound called naringenin, which aids breaking down of fat. Reduction in fat, in turn, helps prevent your liver from being overstressed.
You can add grapefruit to your breakfast meal or drink a glass of juice (opt for freshly prepared juice instead of the canned variety) any time of the day.
Lemon aids liver cleansing in three ways. It is rich in an antioxidant called D-Limonene which promotes the secretion of certain enzymes that help detoxify the liver.
It is also a good source of vitamin C, which helps the liver secrete more enzymes for better digestion. Lastly, lemon helps the liver absorb more minerals.
There are a number of ways in which you can add lemon to your diet. Add a dash of lemon juice to your salads or drink lemon juice. If you wish, you can add a teaspoon of honey to a glass of lemon juice before drinking it for double the health benefits.
According to one study, avocados are rich in certain chemicals that might reduce damage to the liver. This fruit provides plentiful of glutathione which the liver needs for removing toxins as well as to function properly.
There are two types of cholesterol: bad (LDL) and good (HDL) cholesterol. The liver has a hard time processing the former but it can process good cholesterol fairly easily. Avocados are extremely rich in monounsaturated fat, which increases the good cholesterol content and also reduces the bad cholesterol content.
Apart from offering glutathione (a liver cleansing compound) and monounsaturated fat, avocados also provide several plant nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that aid liver function.
Green tea improves hydration levels and helps the body get rid of fat deposits as well as toxins.
A scientific study found that catechins present in green tea aids stimulation of lipid catabolism which helps keep fat deposits in the liver to the minimum. Green tea also reduces the damaging effects of alcohol and other toxic substances.
Green tea is also purported to be good for reducing the risk of liver disease and liver cancer.
Effective removal of toxins from the intestinal tract and making sure cholesterol levels in the blood are normal helps reduce the burden on the liver and promote overall good liver health. Apples are extremely rich in pectin, a soluble fiber which not only aids toxin removal but also helps lower cholesterol levels.
Besides pectin, apples are also a source of malic acid, a natural-cleansing agent effective in removing toxins like carcinogens from the blood.
Organic apples are the best when it comes to promoting good liver health, and the best way to consume them is by eating them raw without peeling off the skin.
Turmeric not only helps cleanse the liver but also boosts the ability of the body to digest fats. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin that aids production of a key liver-detoxification enzyme.
You can use turmeric as a spice and add it to your cooking. You can also boil a glass of water containing ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, and drink the solution two times every day for two weeks to cleanse your liver.
Broccoli is another must-have food if you are looking to increase your intake of liver-cleansing foods. This food helps flush out harmful toxins and chemicals from the body, mainly thanks to its high glucosinolates content.
Broccoli also offers a lot of fiber and a good amount of fat-soluble vitamin E. While fiber helps improve digestion, fat-soluble vitamin E aids liver function.
For good liver health, eat 3 cups of this supremely healthy vegetable at least thrice weekly.
Walnuts contain high amounts of a particular amino acid that helps the liver detoxify ammonia. It also offers two other compounds, omega-3 fatty acids, and glutathione, which assist the natural cleansing process.
According to one study, walnut polyphenols are effective in preventing liver damage caused by d-galactosamine and carbon tetrachloride.
You can have a handful of walnuts as a snack daily or add them to your salad, baked foods, or as a side dish.