Human beings are currently living in a world that is unfortunately very unhealthy for the most part. We eat a lot of processed and fried foods that often contain too much salt and sugar. Problems with overeating and obesity are at an all-time high and a lot of people consume alcohol on a weekly basis. All of these things put the liver under stress and it can become overworked and overloaded. It’s really important that the liver is taken care of and there are a few foods that can help to cleanse the liver.
While foods that claim to have the ability to “cleanse the liver” are controversial due to how little scientific research there is to back up the claims, they could still help with certain liver conditions.
There are, however, foods that can help with liver disease. In general, you should avoid eating fatty foods and alcohol to reduce the risk of liver disease, according to The Liver Foundation. On the other hand, eating the following foods below is the best natural way to look after your liver in the meantime.
1. Garlic: Holistic nutritionist Hermeet Suri told the Huffington Post that garlic activates enzymes in your liver that can help keep it balanced and healthy. Even a small amount of garlic can cleanse the liver. It holds a high amount of allicin and selenium, which are two natural compounds that can help cleanse the liver.
Garlic also contains vitamin B-6, according to SF Gate, which works as an anti-inflammatory. The amino acids relax the blood vessels.
2. Grapefruit: This sour pink fruit contains vitamin C, potassium and fiber, according to SF Gate. According to research published in Carcinogenesis, grapefruit juice can protect against certain types of liver damage. Grapefruit also contains glutathione which helps the liver produce essential proteins and chemicals. It can also repair tissue and build a strong immune system.
Just one glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice can boost the creation of detoxification enzymes. They work to get rid of carcinogens and other toxins, according to the Huffington Post.
3. Leafy Green Vegetables: According to Dr. Frank Lippman, who wrote an article for MindBodyGreen.com about the best foods for liver health, leafy greens like spinach, kale, and arugula contain plant chlorophylls. They have the power to remove heavy metals, pesticides and harmful chemicals from the bloodstream.
This is one of the best things to consume if your intention is to cleanse the liver. The best part about them is there are several ways they can be prepared. Greens can be eaten raw in a salad, cooked, or juiced.
4. Avocado: Everyone knows that an avocado is a superfood. They help the body in so many ways, and with such a delicious flavor, they can be made into almost anything. According to the American Chemical Society, avocados contain potent liver protectants and chemicals that can reduce liver damage.
Avocados are a nutrient-dense food that helps the body to create glutathione, according to holistic nutritionist Hermeet Suri. It also contains Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Combined, these nutrients act as an antioxidant and protect the cells of the liver from harm.
5. Nuts: According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, nuts show “therapeutic potential” in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Nuts are high in healthy fats, nutrients vitamin E, and beneficial plant compounds. A diet that includes nuts has been linked to improved liver enzyme levels.
Nuts aid normal liver cleansing actions and contain unsaturated fats which are healthy. These can help prevent accumulated fat in the liver, and to develop strong cell membranes in the liver cells.
6. Turmeric: This spice is very helpful to the liver. It’s known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It can help to cleanse the liver by boosting its detoxification and by strengthening enzymes that flush out dietary carcinogens. A study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that turmeric extract has the ability to improve liver function by increasing its detoxification abilities.
Turmeric protects the bile duct and increases bile flow. It can also prevent alcohol and toxins from converting into compounds that can damage the liver.
7. Lemons and Limes: These sour fruits are filled with vitamin C, which can aid the body when handling toxic materials. It turns these toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. A study published in BioMed Research International found that lemon juice had positive effects on alcohol-induced liver damage in mice.
Drinking a glass of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning can stimulate the liver.
8. Green Tea: A study published in Nutrition and Cancer found that increasing green tea intake could have a preventative effect against liver cancer. The liver loves green tea because it’s full of plant antioxidants called catechins. This compound is known to assist with the function of the liver.
Green tea possesses many health benefits. If you want to make the switch to green tea, make sure to stick to the drink. This means you shouldn’t use green tea extract because research has shown that the extract may actually have negative effects on the liver.
9. Berries: According to a study conducted for the World Journal of Gastroenterology, berries (specifically blueberries and cranberries) contained anthocyanins. These antioxidants have been shown to demonstrate “anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory biological activity.”
10. Apples: In a University of Iowa study, researchers found that mice who were given doses of ursolic acid, a compound found in apple skins, avoided developing liver disease related to obesity, even though they ate more than other mice in the study.
11. Whole Grains: A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology showed that people with a higher amount of whole grains in their diet “tend to have a lower risk of many of the comorbidities associated with [Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease].”
12. Broccoli and Cauliflower: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and even Brussel sprouts have been shown to protect the liver from damage and increase detoxifying enzymes in the organ in studies published in the Journal of Food Science and the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
13. Beets: According to a study published in the scientific journal Nutrients, beetroot juice has been shown to lower damage and inflammation in the liver. Like cruciferous vegetables, beet juice also increases the level of detoxifying enzymes.
14. Coffee: Drinking coffee regularly can “reduce [Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease] prevalence and inflammation of non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis” according to the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology also showed that drinking coffee favored “a reduction in cirrhosis and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.”
15. Fatty Fish: The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in oily fish were shown to “reduce lipid accumulation and liver enzyme levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and have anti-inflammatory effects,” according to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
16. Water: Staying well-hydrated is important enough for any function of the human body, but drinking enough water throughout the day can also keep your liver healthy. According to liversupport.com, drinking enough water aids in liver health by thinning your blood, maintaining a healthy weight, and aiding in digestion. All of these factors take pressure off of the liver allowing it to do its job better.
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