The Role of Your Liver
The liver plays many important roles in keeping a person healthy. It helps in getting rid of harmful particles from the bloodstream and helps digest food. When a person overeats, eats processed foods often or the body becomes exposed to the different environmental pollutants or stress, the liver can become overworked. When the liver is overloaded, it is difficult for it to process toxins and fat efficiently.
Good thing, there are many foods that can help cleanse the liver in a natural way by stimulating its natural capacity to clean toxic waste from the body.
Healthy diet and lifestyle can give our liver the relief it needs from all the hard work it does for our body. We must care for our liver properly through regular exercise, healthy diet and proper rest. A liver detox (liver cleanse) is an important way to keep the liver healthy and for it to function well.
To avoid putting too much strain on the liver, an organic whole food/plant based diet is recommended. This helps your liver be healthier (as it’s not having to work extra hard at removing pesticides, sprays and other chemicals). Fruits, vegetables and leafy greens are highly nutritious and these type of foods should be the main part of our diets.
Here are the 10 top liver boosting foods on our list:
Garlic is very nutritious and contains bioactive compounds. It has also shown positive cardiovascular effects by decreasing the blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Garlic lowers risk of stroke and may also kill microbes like bacteria and fungi.
Fresh garlic is best added into your food or if you are not a huge fan of smelling like vampire-repellent, there are supplements available.
This drink is full of antioxidants known as catechins which can greatly assist in the liver function. But make sure it’s organic and not in a chemically-bleached tea bag or nylon bag. I love this one as it has the added bonus of organic moringa (which is also known to be incredible for the liver.
Leafy Green Vegetables
The best thing about eating plants is that they can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Eating leafy green vegetables is a powerful way of cleansing the liver naturally. Green veggies have high content of chlorophylls that can absorb heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. Be careful though with raw veggies as some are better eaten cooked, such as dark green leafy veg like kale, silver beet, spinach and things like broccoli, carrots, beetroot and Brussels sprouts. That’s because they contain a compound known as oxalates. and when oxalates accumulate in the body they can cause all sorts of health issues such as kidney stones, thyroid issues, arthritis and other.
To get around this, simply blanch or cook the veggies.
This superfood assists the body in producing glutathione, an important compound that can get rid of harmful toxins from the liver. Not only that though, avocados have great nutritional value, making them awesome for your health. It has a high fat content (but don’t worry, it’s the good type that you need). They contain good amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre, a great source of potassium, omega 3 fatty acids and lutein. More info about these amazing avo’s here.
Grapefruit is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants and can help encourage the production of glutathione. It boosts the production of liver detoxification enzymes that can flush out carcinogens and other harmful toxins.
Apples are high in pectin that bind to heavy metals in the body (colon specifically) and help their excretion. This process makes it easier for the liver to eliminate toxic load during the cleansing process.
When used in moderation, olive oil along with hemp and flax seed can all contribute to the well being of the liver. It takes away some burden from the liver when it comes to toxic overload.
Lemons and Limes
Citrus fruit is a must have in the superfoods list because of its abundance in vitamin C which aids the body to synthesise materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drink a freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice every morning to stimulate the liver. I add a good pinch of sea/Himalayan salt to mine as this helps to rebalance electrolytes.
Read this wonderful article about salt and health by the Weston A Price Foundation.
Turmeric can boost liver detox by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens. There is a significant enhancement of protection against liver damage as well as regeneration of affected liver cells. It is notably responsible for the health improvement of the gallbladder too.
Cabbage is rich in glucosinolate content and eating all types of cabbage may help in the activation of crucial detoxifying liver enzymes. Green cabbage is recommended due to its high chlorophyll levels but must be eaten raw or lightly steamed to maintain the highest nutrient levels.
Fermented (organic) cabbage - also known as sauerkraut is incredible for glutathione production as it contains sulfur.
Other veggies and fruits
Give your liver a boost by eating more fruits and vegetables because they have high amounts of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain the normal functioning of the liver. Avoid eating large meals and prefer eating smaller meals more often. To do a natural liver detox you may also add dandelion, artichoke, milk thistle and beetroot in your list for liver cleansing. They all have the ability to maintain a normal liver function and can protect the liver against toxins and infections.
Or if this all sounds too hard, take this. Though I do recommend making diet the number one priority and supplementation to top up what you may be missing…
*Disclaimer: the information in this article is intended purely as information and not health advice. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure and one should always seek expert advice from their trusted health practitioner.