Research suggests that incorporating foods like grapefruit, milk thistle, ginger, turmeric, fatty fish, eggs, amla, walnuts, berries, and beetroot offers protection against liver damage (exposure to a fungicide) and reduces the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Also, the odorous veggies like garlic, onion help detox the liver by expelling the toxins from the body.
Do you take care of your liver? Unless you’ve had some specific liver problems, the thought of eating right for liver health hasn’t probably even crossed your mind. But did you know that every single thing you consume goes in some form to your liver? Whether it is that last meal you ate, the drinks you had after work, or the medication you took. Which is why so many detox diets revolve around consuming foods that are good for your liver, while also requiring you to avoid foods that stress or strain the organ.
Top 10 Foods To Cleanse Your Liver
Here are some foods that can give your liver that well-deserved cleanse. Just be sure to check for any possible drug interactions before you make them part of your daily regimen. Also, if you already have a liver problem, do get proper medical attention first.
The warm heat of ginger doesn’t just spice up your meal with its earthy heat, but can also be really good for the liver. It acts on your digestive system, increasing secretions and boosting metabolism and circulation. As one study on animal test subjects noted, ginger helped improve the histological liver profile. Lipid peroxidation (free radical damage resulting in oxidative degradation of the lipids in your body) markers went down while the level of antioxidant enzymes in the blood went up. This led the researchers to conclude that ginger could be quite effective in helping alleviate liver damage (resulting in this case from exposure to a fungicide)
Separate research showed ginger’s ability to lower hepatic triglyceride levels and demonstrated its antidyslipidemic properties and antioxidant effects. If you suspect you could be at risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, ginger would be a good addition to your diet, according to this study. Even otherwise, it will help keep up the overall health of your liver.
Amla or the Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) is a natural liver revitalizer. It is commonly used in Ayurveda for treating enlarged livers.3 Researchers have found it has hepatoprotective effects and can be used to treat liver problems like jaundice as well. Since it is hypolipidemic, it can reduce the load on your liver and may be good for anyone with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Omega-3 Rich Food
Get your daily dose of omega-3 to ensure good liver health. You could include some fatty fish like tuna, salmon, or trout, or omega-3 enriched eggs, or even walnuts in your diet. They inhibit triglyceride synthesis in the liver. Triglycerides are basically fats that can potentially damage your liver tissue and are bad for cardiovascular health in overly high amounts. In one study, patients with hyperlipidemia were given 5 ml of omega-3 fatty acids twice daily as treatment for 24 weeks. When checked with ultrasonography, the fatty liver had normalized.5
Yes. Odd as it may seem, all those odorous vegetables like garlic and onion are great for liver health. The sulfur in them, responsible for that distinctive smell, helps stimulate liver enzyme production. Your liver needs these enzymes to eliminate toxins from your body.6
Can’t bear the smell of garlic or onion but still want to be good to your liver? The good news is there are less offensive sulfur-rich vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. The glucosinolate in these cruciferous veggies can increase enzyme production to help your body’s detoxification pathways.
Cleanse your body naturally by giving it plenty of berries rich in polyphenols and anthocyanins. These nutrients are potent anti-inflammatory agents and powerful antioxidants. One study found that lingonberries, black currants, and bilberries were especially effective in preventing hepatic lipid accumulation; lingonberries in particular decreased body fat significantly in animal test subjects on a high fat diet.
The flavonoids in beetroot are good for liver health in more ways than one. Beetroot juice has been studied for its role in protecting the liver against oxidative stress from carcinogens or cancer causing agents. Some researchers suggest that the changes the long-term consumption of beetroot brings to your body’s metabolism could also help offer protection against liver damage.
The tangy tartness of a grapefruit is a great way to get in lots of fiber. This fiber helps keep your bowel movements regular, allowing the body to expel the toxins your liver has filtered out. Now, researchers believe that the antioxidant naringenin found in the fruit may even help the liver break down fat, mimicking the effects of lipid-lowering drugs and anti-diabetic drugs for improving insulin sensitivity. This effect of naringenin causes your liver to think it is in fasting mode. As a result, it starts to break down fats instead of carbohydrates for its energy needs.
A natural herbal remedy, the milk thistle can be enjoyed in a herbal tea that’s great for your liver. Some fans of the ingredient also use it in smoothies and salads. Silymarin, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoid in the seeds, is also hepatoprotective. It can offer protection not just from toxins in your diet, but also from drugs like Tylenol that cause damage to the liver when taken in high doses. Research suggests it may even help rejuvenate and repair your liver by aiding the growth of new cells.
No cleanse list would be complete without the anti-inflammatory and natural healing spice turmeric. Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine have both been using it to treat liver problems for centuries.12 The curcumin in turmeric prevents fat accumulation in the liver, as seen in several animal studies. Test animals consuming curcumin through their diet had lower cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations in the liver, showing the potential of including the ingredient in your diet.