The liver performs a host of essential tasks, which chief among them is eliminating toxins from the body and cleansing the blood. It also helps in producing proteins, cholesterol, and bile and converting carbohydrates to glucose. The proper functioning of this organ is crucial to the body’s overall health. If it stops working correctly, it can lead to severe health conditions, such as liver disease and type 2 diabetes.
Many things can slow down the detoxification mechanism of the liver and cause the buildup of toxins and harmful substances in the body. That includes the preservatives in the foods we eat, environmental pollution, and chemicals in skincare products.
These make it essential to regularly cleanse and detoxify the liver by making changes to our lifestyle and diet. That helps to reduce the liver’s workload and promotes its natural detoxification function.
This article will explore the possibility of liver detoxification or cleansing and the best foods to eat that can help detoxify your liver.
Fiber, which is primarily found in plant-based foods, helps promote the elimination of toxins, improve nutrient absorption, and slows digestion. However, many foods that we consume are stripped of their natural fiber content during the manufacturing process. That makes it difficult for the liver to remove toxins from the body, which leads to toxin buildup and can potentially cause liver damage.
You can overcome these by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. That not only help to cleanse and detoxify your liver but also improves your overall health.
2. Green Tea
Caffeine does have its benefits, including giving you that energy boost to stay active all day. However, too much of it can be detrimental to the liver and may lead to liver damage.
However, that is not the case with green tea. Research has shown that drinking green tea can help reduce oxidative stress and fat deposits in the liver, reduce liver cancer risk, and improve liver enzyme levels. Green tea also contains phytochemicals, which activate a liver detoxification process that neutralizes toxins in the liver and allows them to be removed from the body through urine or bile.
Garlic is known to have beneficial properties, and it’s widely used as an ingredient in foods and cuisines across the world. It contains a rich amount of sulfur and selenium, which have antioxidant effects. They trigger the conversion of toxins into liquid waste and ejects them from the body. A study has also revealed that adding garlic to your diet can reduce body weight and fat content in people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Aside from its positive health benefits, garlic also improves your meals’ taste.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C brings many health benefits to the body. It helps improve the immune system, promotes growth, development, and repair of the body tissues, maintains the cartilage, bones, and teeth, and enables wound healing.
Added to all these is its antioxidative properties, which slow the oxidative damages caused by a high-fat diet to the liver. It increases the production of enzymes that burn fat and promotes the elimination of toxins. Sources of Vitamin C include lemons, oranges, and grapefruits.
Although having featured in foods across the world for centuries, especially Indian cuisines, the antioxidant abilities of turmeric were only recently discovered. Turmeric naturally helps protect the liver from toxins damage, reduces oxidative stress, and promotes glutathione production – an antioxidant substance – in the liver. It also helps to remove excess fat through the production of bile in the small intestine. However, further research is required to validate these health benefits.
You incorporate turmeric into your diet by using it as spices in your food or adding it to your tea or milk.
Nuts contain several compounds that can be potentially beneficial to the liver. Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, are high in unsaturated fatty acids, the antioxidant vitamin E, protein, and amino acids. This composition helps cleanse and detoxify the liver, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and decrease NAFLD risk.
Eating nuts on a daily basis can help improve and maintain your liver health. Be sure not to overdo it and eat only a handful. Plus, you will get most of these benefits from the organic and unprocessed varieties rather than the processed ones.
7. Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables contain beneficial plant compounds that help promote the production of the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes, protect the liver from damage, and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
Some of these vegetables include broccoli, mustard green, sprouts, kale, lettuce, spinach, cabbage, collard greens, and bok choy. It is essential these vegetables regularly feature in our diet.
Can You Detox Your Liver?
Yes, it is possible to detox your liver. However, that depends on what you choose to take to detox it.
Search for liver detoxification on the internet, and you will come across many products, from vitamins, teas, to oils and supplements that promise fast and effective results. In using these products, you may be unknowingly causing damages to your liver. Studies have found that these herbal and dietary supplements can cause liver injuries and lead to various serious diseases.
Some of these products contain potentially harmful ingredients and are in most cases not approved by the FDA. Therefore, it’s essential to have a conversation with your physician before buying or patronizing any of these liver detoxing services.