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Your liver is one of those things quite literally that you just can’t live without. If your liver fails (cirrhosis) your body will no longer have the ability to filter out toxins, and this may also lead to kidney failure and eventual death. Taking this into consideration, you can see why it is wise to keep the liver that you do have in optimal shape. But how do we take care of our liver? First, you should reduce your alcohol intake, secondly start including foods that are beneficial to the health of your liver in your diet. In the following article, we are going to discuss which foods are the best suited for your liver and why.
Foods that Assist with Liver Health
A healthy, balanced diet should contain foods representing each color of the rainbow. Fruits and vegetables with the colors purple, green, yellow and orange e.g.carrots, oranges, eggplant, green leafy vegetables, plums, and capsicum are considered particularly efficient for cleansing the liver. The nutrients that give these foods their colors are phytochemicals which contain antioxidants that assist with liver health.
Raw fruits of all varieties are also beneficial for a healthy liver. Those that have a sweet taste are considered the best. The organic acids that give these raw fruits their sweet taste will lower the levels of insulin in the body which reduces the amount of work that your liver has to do to clear it from circulation.
Foods considered good for your liver, provide your body with all of the nutrients that the liver requires for healthy growth, repair, and maintenance. Examples of such foods are;
- Homemade hummus,
- Carrot and ginger salad,
- Vegetable soup,
- Turmeric Rice,
- Kale salad,
- Whole-wheat spaghetti with lemon and salmon,
- Banana, Berry, and Yogurt smoothies.
Omega 3s are the liver’s favorite kind of fatty acids. They reduce the production of triglyceride fats which the liver produces. These triglyceride fats are detrimental to health when they are allowed to build up in the liver’s tissues. According to a recent report ‘Hepatology’, non-alcoholic, fatty liver disease was treated with EPA and DHA, which are both omega-3 fatty acids. Once introduced the patients experienced a reduction of liver fat. They also experienced a decrease in their cholesterol levels.
Avocados and oily fish such as trout or tuna contain these healthy fats.
Liver Cleansing Foods
The liver’s primary function is to detoxify the body. It works in a similar way to a cleaning cloth being used to clean a countertop. After the countertop has been cleaned the cloth is now dirty. The cloth, just like your liver, has to be cleansed before it can return to optimum efficiency.
Certain food groups aid the liver in its self-cleaning process. The best foods for this process are;
- Garlic due its high content of Allicin and Selenium,
- Green tea which is packed with antioxidants to take care of any free radicals that may have been damaging the cells within the liver,
- Green leafy vegetables due to their high concentrations of Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll cannot be digested by the body, but when added to the bloodstream it is particularly effective at binding to heavy metals and chemicals which it then flushes out of the body. This is particularly useful for the liver as that is where heavy metals in the body build up,
- Apples. Pectin in apples acts to remove toxins from the digestive tract which is one of the liver’s primary functions. The assistance the liver gets from pectin reduces the amount of work that it has to do,
- Lemons and Lime. The high content of vitamin C in citrus fruits synthesizes toxins into a form that can be easily absorbed by water and flushed out through urine,
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli are packed with phytonutrients such as thiols, indoles and sulfur compounds which the body uses to maintain its detoxification systems.
These foods all have their benefits. However, the best for cleansing the liver is sulfur. High-sulfur-content vegetables aid the body in breaking down fats, making them more easily ejected from the body. Such plants include Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Bok Choy and Cauliflower.
Foods for Optimal Liver Function
Flaxseeds are one of the best foods to supercharge the liver. They attach themselves to hormone receptor sites to prevent excessive hormones and synthetic xenoestrogens from building up in the bloodstream. One of the liver’s many jobs is filtering these excess hormones. By adding flaxseeds to your diet, your liver will not be as burdened by this function which will make it more efficient at its other duties. With over 500 functions to oversee, your liver will take all of the help that it can get.
One of the liver’s many jobs is filtering these excess hormones. By adding flaxseeds to your diet, your liver will not be as burdened by this function which will make it more efficient at its other duties. With over 500 functions to oversee, your liver will take all of the help that it can get.
Lecithin is another compound that helps the liver function. It contains phosphatidylcholine and essential fatty acids which aid the liver in metabolizing fats to keep cholesterol levels down.
Foods to Repair your liver
Our bodies are in a constant state of repair and renewal. The primary chemical that restores damaged liver cells is glutathione (GSH). According to a study from the University of Southern California, rats that were unable to create GSH were also unable to regenerate their liver cells. Liver damage is common among people who drink a lot of alcohol, so if you’ve recently been on a binge and want to help your liver replace those cells that it lost, you should aim for foods high in GSH. Raw fruits and vegetables such as squash, tomatoes, and melon are the best sources for GSH.
Q: Can fatty liver disease be reversed by eating liver friendly foods?
A: Some studies claim that a diet that lacks Choline contributes to fatty liver. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, avocados, and cabbage will bring your choline levels back up. It may not eradicate the disease but it will help to reduce its severity.
Q: Will a liver cleanse benefit the liver of a person suffering from Hep C or speed up the emergence of symptoms.
A: The cleanse may be beneficial however everybody reacts differently.
Q: If I am taking supplement pills for vitamin D and Vitamin B12 will my body still benefit from a liver detox?
A: Your body will still enjoy the benefits of the liver detox.
Q: Is it okay to eat chicken liver for a healthy diet?
A: Yes. Chicken liver and egg yolk are great sources of choline.
Q: Is eating chow mein OK if you have an enlarged liver.
A: Noodles are a form of carbohydrates that are cooked in oil which gives them high-fat content so they are best avoided.
The care and maintenance of your liver are considered vital for optimum health. Keep these liver-friendly foods in your diet and you can be sure that your liver will be healthier for longer.