The liver’s main job is to filter the blood that is coming from the digestive tract before it goes to the rest of the body. Keeping the liver healthy efficient at its detoxifying function requires a healthy and balanced diet. Foods rich in fiber and essential nutrients protect the liver, while sugars and fats can overwork it.
The liver is responsible for a number of biochemical and metabolic functions that are essential for the proper functioning of the body. It stores nutrients provided by digestion such as glycogen, iron, and vitamins; is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats; processes waste products in the blood such as alcohol, drugs, and medications to detoxify the body; and synthesizes bile and many proteins. To help you stay healthy, here are the foods you should go for and the ones you should avoid.
Good foods for the liver
Eating foods rich in fiber helps the liver function optimally. Start your day with a bowl of sugar-free oatmeal, which in addition to lowering cholesterol levels can also help reduce visceral fat and prevent liver disease. Add some blueberries to your bowl of oatmeal to benefit from the polyphenols which are nutrients that are highly beneficial to the liver.
Taking coffee helps protect the liver from damage caused by too much alcohol or an unhealthy diet. Some research suggests that coffee may also reduce the risk of liver cancer. If you don’t like coffee however a cup of green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, will do the trick.
Add more vegetables to your diet. Some studies suggest that broccoli is a great ally in preventing liver disease. Spinach is also a good option: the antioxidants it contains help keep your liver functioning properly. Sprinkle on your meal some oregano, sage, or rosemary to add beneficial nutrients. For dessert, a handful of almonds will help protect your liver and cardiovascular system.
Consider adding more garlic to your diet as it helps your liver activate the enzymes responsible for eliminating toxins. Garlic also contains selenium and allicin, two nutrients that help the liver detoxify.
Avocado is also an excellent food for the liver because of its cleansing and detoxifying power. Avocado has a high concentration of L-glutathione an antioxidant that is essential in the process of eliminating toxins from the liver.
Turmeric, a popular spice that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it an excellent ally in the fight against many diseases, with a special mention for the liver. Animal studies confirmed the protective effect of turmeric against the toxic effects of certain drugs and substances harmful to the liver.
Grapefruit is another food that helps prevent liver damage. It promotes the production of detox enzymes in the liver and contains a flavonoid component known as naringenin, which allows the liver to burn fat instead of storing it.
Lemon is a natural diuretic. It promotes the elimination of impurities from our bodies. Consumption of lemon juice increases the amount of urine and thus helps to eliminate toxins faster. In addition, citric acid helps to stimulate and detoxify the liver.
Studies have shown that beets help against the occurrence of certain types of cancer (liver, lung, and skin), mainly thanks to the pigment betacyanin, which gives it the red color. Red beets also stimulate the liver and ensures its proper functioning.
Also, consider black radish a powerful liver detoxifier as it can help drain the liver and promote the production of bile, which allows better elimination of toxins.
Artichoke leaves are particularly effective in helping the liver detox and stay healthy. The cynarin artichokes contain acts on bile secretion which promotes digestion.
Finally, the only essential drink for the body and liver is water. Try replacing sugary drinks, like soft drinks, with clean filtered water.
Foods that are harmful to the liver that should be avoided
Part of the liver’s job is to convert sugar into fat. Eating too many sweets causes the liver to become too fat, which eventually builds up. Greasy meals are also a bad choice, as these foods make the liver work harder and can lead to long-term inflammation. To detoxify the body without weighing it down, try reducing your salt intake. Avoid processed foods and choose fresh vegetables instead of canned vegetables.
Too much alcohol can also cause liver damage and lead to cirrhosis. Occasional alcohol consumption can also be harmful. Ideally, you should avoid drinking alcohol completely but if you cant try to limit your intake and also consider getting some help on how to quit.