The liver performs over 500 functions in the body which involve but are not limited to:
- Detoxifying the blood to rid it of harmful substances (like toxins, drugs, alcohol, and more)
- Storing vitamins and iron
- Converting stored sugar to usable sugar when the body’s sugar levels fall below normal
- Producing bile, a substance needed to digest fats
- Breaking down hemoglobin as well as insulin and other hormones
- Destroying old red blood cells
Liver issues can be inherited or be a side effect of other viruses and diseases but more commonly are due to life-style factors such as alcohol, tobacco, lack of exercise and pollution.
The good news is that the liver is remarkably efficient at renewing itself and so when given a chance the cells in the liver can regenerate and work as they should. In order to detoxify and cleanse the liver the first step is to reduce the exposure to refined sugars, tobacco, alcohol and excessive coffee which can cause overload of this vital organ. We have rounded up the 19 best super-foods to support healthy liver function.
Detox Your Liver With These 19 Super Foods
1. Beets and Carrots: Carrots are rich in Glutathione, a protein that helps detoxify the liver. Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene. Eating beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.
2. Tomatoes: They have abundant amounts of Glutathione (see article above) which again, are a great detoxifier for the liver. As a side effect, Lycopene in tomatoes will protect against breast, skin, and lung cancer.
3. Grapefruit: Another source of the liver cleansing glutathione. It’s also high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes and increase the natural cleansing process of the liver.
4. Spinach: Raw spinach is also a major source of glutathione, triggering the toxin cleansing enzymes of the liver.
5. Citrus Fruits: Lemons and limes contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which helps stimulate the liver and aids the synthesizing of toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water.
6. Cabbage: The isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from cabbage’s glucosinolates provides liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins.
7. Turmeric: Turmeric is the liver’s favorite spice and helps boost liver detox. It does this by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens
8. Walnuts: Walnuts are a good source of glutathione, omega-3 fatty acids, and the amino acid arginine, which supports normal liver cleansing actions, especially when detoxifying ammonia.
9. Avocados: A nutrient-dense superfood, avocado helps the body produce glutathione.
10. Apples: They are high in pectin and other chemicals essential to cleansing and releasing toxins from the digestive tract. Apples make it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.
11. Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are high in sulfur and glucosinolate, which forces the liver to release enzymes that block damage from environmental or dietary toxins.
12. Garlic: Garlic is loaded with sulphur, which activates liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that also aid in liver cleansing.
13. Dandelion: Dandelion root tea assists the liver in breaking down fats, producing amino acids, and generally ridding it of toxins.
14. Leafy Green Vegetables: Green veggies are extremely high in plant chlorophylls that absorb environmental toxins, increase bile production, and neutralize heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, which lowers the burden on the liver.
15. Cruciferous Vegetables: Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase production of glucosinolate in your system, which helps flush out carcinogens and other toxins.
16. Asparagus: Asparagus is a great diuretic, helping in the cleansing process and sharing the detox load of the liver and kidneys. (Source)
17. Green Tea: Green tea is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function.
18. Olive Oil: Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp, and flaxseed offer great support for the liver, providing the body with a liquid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body.
19. Alternative Grains: Gluten rich grains such as wheat and rye increase the load on the liver’s detox function and enzyme production. Switch to alternative grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.
This article was originally published on Collective Evolution