As Hippocrates said, let your food be your medicine and your medicine your food. Along with eating these liver-friendly super foods; to spring-cleanse the liver, you also need to drink plenty water and reduce your sugar intake. Remember to give yourself some TLC as well as exercise and do cut back on that nicotine, alcohol and caffeine…
Think of it this way, if the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines were all students of a class; then the liver is the teacher. The role of the liver is simple and complex at the same time; it regulates all of the digestion process and ensures proper distribution of the post-digestion nutrients to the body as well.
The liver also plays a very important role, along with the kidneys, to detoxify the body of the waste produced during digestion as well as environmental toxins. To keep the body free of waste and toxins, as well as for maximum nutrient absorption; you need to cleanse your liver for it to be in peak condition. The good news is that there are commonplace foods you can eat, which cleanse your liver and keep it at its healthiest. Give these 10 liver-friendly foods a whirl…
The sulfur compounds in garlic, as well as its arginine and selenium work together to cleanse your liver for it to be at optimum health. A small amount of garlic, eaten raw and crushed, activates the liver enzymes and helps it detoxify the body that much faster.
2. Leafy Greens
Green leaf vegetables can neutralize heavy metals and other toxicity – and so give the liver function a much-needed respite and cleanse your liver alongside. Green leafy vegetables such as arugula, spinach, fenugreek and mustard greens, dandelion and chicory have the ability to soak up environmental toxins from the bloodstream like sponges.
Apples are rich in the soluble fiber pectin, which aids the body in getting rid of wastes and toxins very effectively. This, in turn, takes some stress off the liver so that it can cleanse itself and work healthily. Probably why the ‘apple a day keeps the doctor away’ adage is still alive…
4. Cold-pressed oils
Olive, Flaxseed and Hempseed oils are great for the liver – the healthy fat content, as well as the phenolic antioxidant compounds of these oils, soak up toxins and aid liver in functioning at its optimum. The heart benefits of these oils are an added plus!
5. Citrus fruits
Lemons and limes are high in vitamin C – and vitamin C basically dissolves the toxins into water-soluble chemicals and lets the kidneys flush them out in the form of urine. This takes a load off the liver and helps it detoxify itself.
Not just great baby food, avocados are great for the liver as well. Avocados aid the body into producing a valuable antioxidant glutathione, which is basically the primary antioxidant needed by the liver to detoxify itself as well the whole body. Greens, garlic and cruciferous vegetables also help the body produce glutathione.
7. Switching grains
Not to say that wheat and rice is unhealthy, but if you eat only one or two types of grain; you end up stressing the liver as it has to deal with those few toxins (like gluten) over and over again. Switch back and forth between healthy whole grains like quinoa, millet, bulgur, buckwheat and even the locally grown produce.
Think of this as liver’s favorite spice. Turmeric revs up the liver enzymes, boosting body detoxification and cleansing your liver. Most importantly, this spice also helps repair damaged liver tissue too!
The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts not only make it brain food, but also a great food to cleanse your liver. Enriched with amino acid arginine, walnuts also neutralize the ammonia in the body thereby taking some stress off the poor organ.
10. Cruciferous vegetables
The tree-like cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cauliflower increase the body’s glucosinolate levels which are organic sulfur compounds that work with antioxidants like folate, vitamin C and flavonoids to cleanse your liver, and the body of harmful toxins and waste products as well.