Your liver is one of the most important organs of the body including a vital role in digestion. It is the processing plant where raw materials such as nutrients, alcohol, herbs and drugs — are absorbed from the digestive system and are processed, transformed, stored, detoxified and transported to the rest of the body.
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 12 foods your liver will love. Eat them often and in the most natural state possible.
Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
Grapefruit contains a high level of glutathione. Eating or drinking grapefruit juice helps your liver flush out carcinogens and toxins. One caution about grapefruit is the possible interactions with certain medications; consult your health care provider if you have a concern.
Beets contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that support detoxification through an important phase 2 detox step in the liver. When your liver is able to detoxify chemicals and toxins more effectively, then your body is better able to balance hormones, cholesterol and energy levels.
Artichokes, a relative of the famous milk thistle, stimulate bile flow, which helps to carry toxins from your liver out of your body. Artichokes have been used as an indigestion remedy in Europe for more than a century.
Warm lemon water each morning could be one of the simplest and most advantageous methods of improving the health of your liver. High in vitamin C and potassium, lemons can help regulate biological functions and are detoxifying.
Brussels sprouts are high in sulfur, which helps to remove toxins from the blood. Eating a serving or two of Brussels sprouts daily will help sponge out toxins – whether they’re environmental or dietary. These little sprouts also boost glucosinolate, an antioxidant that forces the liver to release enzymes that block damage.
Avocados are another fruit rich in glutathione. This green goddess is also a good source of monounsaturated fats and has been shown to lower cholesterol levels when eaten regularly.
Leafy greens are high in chlorophylls that remove toxins from the blood stream while neutralizing pesticides, heavy metals and chemicals in the body to help protect the liver. Cabbage can help to stimulate detoxifying enzymes in the liver to increase overall function.
Walnuts contain arginine acid that can help to detoxify ammonia. In addition they are high in omega-3 fatty acids and glutathione which can improve the liver’s natural cleansing function.
Broccoli works with the enzymes in your liver to turn toxins into something your body can eliminate easily. Broccoli contains a very powerful anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial called sulforaphane which may assist in the prevention of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and allergies.
One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver; leafy greens including spinach can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.
Your friends might stay away but your liver will love you for it. Onions are brimming with sulfur containing amino acids, which efficiently detox the liver and are known to soak up heavy metals from the body.
Written by Nicole Boisvert CHN for Community Natural Foods