Just like the heart and brain are important organs of your body, the liver is an important organ of our body. ‘Liver’ stands for its equivalent ‘to live’, which is of utmost importance. Your liver is a primary detoxifier in the body, and it can handle a moderate intake of alcohol, fatty foods, and sugary treats.
The liver excels in converting toxins into waste products, cleansing the blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications so that they can be used by the body. The smooth functioning of the liver is essential to utilize all the products ingested by the body and for the metabolism of the food. But, the liver can get overwhelmed easily if you don’t give it a break. Detoxification is of utmost importance, and it flushes all kinds of toxins from the liver, thereby cleaning the body and supporting the body to function well in a coordinated and harmonious manner.
Your liver must be cared for to enable it to function healthily. There are products in the market that purport to detox your liver after overindulgence, but there isn’t any such thing as true liver detox because that’s what the liver does all the time. There is no scientific data to support the efficacy of such products and they may even harm the liver. Fortunately, you have an easy and simple natural solution to cleanse and maintain the good health of your liver – consuming healthy food. Eating healthy food can help ensure the good health of your liver.
Healthy eating is the best gift you can give to your liver and the good news is that you are probably consuming all the liver-friendly foods on our list. Read on to find some healthy foods that are beneficial for the good health of your liver.
- Coffee: Coffee is shown to protect the liver from disease even if you already have liver issues. Coffee lowers the risk of cirrhosis of liver and liver cancer as well as reduces the chances of inflammation. Researchers think it works because it can prevent fat build-up, one of the markers of liver disease, particularly that of the fatty liver. The strongest benefits are seen in people drinking at least 3 cups a day. So, having coffee regularly can be beneficial for your liver health.
- Green tea: Studies reveal that green tea also promotes better health of the liver. It is linked to liver-heath but you may need 5 – 8 cups of green tea to detox yourself or to stimulate the metabolism. Still, skip concentrated green tea supplements which have more damaging effects on the liver. Black tea seems to reverse the effects of a high-fat diet. At the same time, make sure that you do not have an excess of green tea. Check with your doctor if it exceeds 10 cups per day. Limit your tea intake to optimum quantity.
- Grapefruit: Grapefruit is great for the liver due to its antioxidant content. Two main antioxidants in grapefruit are naringenin and naringin which help reduce inflammation and protect the liver cells. They also seem to prevent excessive growth of connective tissues and decrease the amount of stored fat in the liver. Naringin is showed to improve your liver’s ability to metabolize alcohol and counteracts some alcohol’s negative effects. Make sure that you have grapefruit as a snack. Your liver will thank you for this. It is a food detox for your liver as it can cleanse it. Also, it is advisable to avoid alcohol for the good health of your liver.
- Blueberries and cranberries: Blueberries and cranberries comprise a category of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Beyond giving the berries their distinct colors, these antioxidants have been connected to many liver health benefits. Eating cranberries and blueberries daily for 3 – 4 weeks has been shown to protect the liver by preventing the development of lesions, scar tissues, and fibrosis. Blueberries, in particular, increase the cell response as well as antioxidant enzymes. Blueberries extract also inhibits the growth of liver cancer cells but more research is necessary. Consume blueberries for their delicious taste and to help the liver detoxify.
- Grapes: Grapes, particularly that of the red variety, contain several beneficial compounds. The one that you have probably heard about is resveratrol. It helps in reducing inflammation and providing protection against oxidative stress and free radicals. Regular consumption is supposed to lower the risk of cancer too.
A small research study on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease indicated that daily consumption of grape seed extract over three months improved liver function. Of course, grape seed extract is more concentrated than what you get in the whole grapes. But, make the grapes your daily snack, and you can certainly ask your doctor whether the grape seed extract regimen can be beneficial for you.
- Prickly pear: Prickly pear is a type of edible cactus. You may not be able to find it at all grocery stores, but it’s worth having because it helps to detox the liver. Prickly pear is a good detox for a healthy liver and takes care of metabolism and oxidative stress. It protects the liver from free radicals as well. Prickly pear seems to reduce the damage that has been caused to the liver due to oxidative stress. It also helps to keep antioxidant and inflammation levels stable. Prickly pear is a holistic medicine to treat liver disease as well as fatigue and exhaustion.
- Beetroot juice: Beets have a distinctive earthy flavor. They have antioxidants in a category called betalains. These compounds are great in minimizing oxidative damage and inflammation of the liver as well as increasing detoxifying enzymes. Though most studies have been done on beetroot juice, eating them whole is beneficial too. However, most of us don’t like beetroot juice so we can include them in the smoothies by adding flavors of blueberries and cranberries.
These seven foods cleanse the liver by reducing the effects of bad dietary habits and promote the smooth functioning of the liver.