13 Liver-Friendly Foods

May 23, 2023

Your liver is one of the most important organs in the body. It's busy managing hundreds of bodily functions, including supporting metabolism, bile production, protein synthesis, controlling blood sugar, and regulating fat storage.

"If you "feed" your liver a steady diet of junk food, alcohol, and prescription and OTC drugs, it can get overwhelmed with toxins and have problems processing nutrients. Instead of bombarding your liver with toxins it has to work overtime to eliminate, simply feed it well. " Dr. Frank Lipman, Functional Medicine Doctor & NY Times bestseller

The liver works hard to keep your cells nourished and to detoxify hazardous substances day in and day out. In order to keep it working at its best, your liver needs to be well nourished and protected from damage. Below are a list of 13 foods your liver will love. Eat them often!

Almonds

Almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, wheat germ, salmon, and avocado are all great sources of vitamin E, a potent antioxidant that research suggests can combat oxidative stress5 and help bolster liver health.

Artichoke

Bile helps to transport toxins so they can be removed from the body, so healthy bile flow is essential for optimal liver health and toxin removal. Artichoke contains phenolic derivatives that have been used for centuries to stimulate bile flow and help protect the liver.

Berries

Deep-hued berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries aren't only loaded with fiber; they contain phytochemicals called anthocyanins, which have potent antioxidant properties that have been shown to scavenge free radicals and promote normal inflammatory processes.

Beets

These ruby-hued roots contain phytonutrient pigments called betalains, which help promote normal inflammatory responses6 and support cellular repair in the liver thanks to their potent antioxidant properties. 

They also contain betaine, which helps liver cells eliminate toxins, and pectin, a type of fiber that helps bind and clear toxins. Consider trying one of these 10 delicious beet recipes for a healthy liver.

Broccoli sprouts

Cruciferous veggies—such as broccoli sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and watercress—contain sulfur-containing phytochemicals called glucosinolates, which help the body remove toxins and promote longevity.

One study found that a drink made with broccoli sprouts activated enzymes that help pick up pollutants from the bloodstream and flush them out via urine, while another tied broccoli intake to positive changes in gut-liver axis health7.

Citrus fruits

Lemons, tangerines, and oranges contain a phytonutrient compound called D-limonene. In a preclinical rodent study8, D-limonene has been shown to buffer the physiological stress of a high-fat diet.

Sipping on lemon water throughout the day is also a great way to stay hydrated, which promotes the movement of toxins out of the body.

Dandelion root and greens

Dandelion is known for its cleansing properties, and one study found that both the root and leaf helped rid the body of reactive oxygen species9. Reap the benefits by sipping on dandelion root tea, which makes a great caffeine-free alternative to coffee.

Dandelion greens (along with other bitter greens, such as mustard greens and arugula) are great too, because they help stimulate bile production and promote healthy digestion.

Fermented foods

Sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, lacto-fermented pickles, kefir, yogurt, and other fermented foods are loaded with beneficial probiotic bacteria that promote healthy digestion and the integrity of the gut lining, thereby helping keep toxins out of the bloodstream.

According to functional medicine expert Frank Lipman, M.D., they can also help clear heavy metals out of the body.

Glutathione-boosting foods

Glutathione is an antioxidant concentrated in the liver that helps bind and neutralize toxins and escort them out of the body via urine or bile. Glutathione can be obtained directly from a few foods—including raw spinach, avocado, and asparagus—and it can also be produced by your body from the amino acids glutamine, glycine, and cysteine.

Some foods containing the building blocks of glutathione include bone broth, whey protein, and sulfur-containing foods (such as broccoli and garlic).

Green tea

In addition to elevating antioxidant capacity in the body, the phytochemicals in green tea help trigger both phase one and phase two liver detoxification pathways in the body.

In phase one, toxins are converted into water-soluble compounds by enzymes; and in phase two, toxins are bound to protective chemicals that neutralize them and allow them to be eliminated via bile (and eventually feces) or urine.

Leafy greens

Dark leafy greens such as dandelion greens, arugula, spinach, and kale contain plant chlorophylls, which help remove chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals from the bloodstream. Chlorophyll, according to preclinical science10, has toxin-binding properties, which can theoretically reduce the toxic burden on your liver.

Lentils

When feces remain in the bowel, toxins can be reabsorbed into your system. So, it's important to get plenty of fiber-rich foods that bind up toxins in the gut and help promote regularity. Try legumes (especially lentils), raspberries, root vegetables, apples, pears, avocados, and almonds.

Salmon

There are so many reasons to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, and the health of your liver is one of them. A recent research review11 found that omega-3 consumption was associated with healthy liver fat levels—specifically, lower liver-fat levels and higher HDL "good" cholesterol levels.

Good sources of these healthy fats include oily fish (e.g., salmon, anchovies, sardines, etc.) for EPA and DHA, and plant-based sources like walnuts and flaxseed for ALA.

Article from: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/cleanse-your-liver-naturally

Share:

Latest Related Stories

Seasonal Attunement for Spring

Seasonal Attunement for Spring

As winter ends and we prepare for the season ahead we can remind ourselves how exciting this time of the year is – we made…

Learn More

Liver Love: Herbs that Promote Detoxification and Cleansing

Liver Love: Herbs that Promote Detoxification and Cleansing

Spring is the perfect time to turn our attention to our liver health.

Learn More