The liver is the largest organ in your body which carries out many essential functions. It helps to deliver essential nutrients to other organs, helps convert food into energy, and converts chemicals and other toxins that get into your body into forms that can be excreted through the urine and your bowels.
Because your liver is primarily responsible for your body’s natural detoxification process, it is very important to care for it. Ensuring that it is functioning optimally will prevent you from suffering from many health problems.
There are a variety of ways to help keep it healthy. For example, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, drinking alcohol only in moderation, avoiding toxins as far as possible, and being careful of the medicines you take, as many harm the liver.
There is another effective way to keep your liver in tip-top shape, and that is by doing eating liver cleansing foods.
A liver cleansing diet is one of the safest ways to keep your liver healthy. It is a natural method of detoxifying your liver. This diet is less impacting and confronting than a more exacting liver cleanse or liver flush.
For the liver cleansing diet you eat foods that contain the specific nutrients that help to boost the liver’s ability to break down and eliminate toxins and fight free radicals. These are highly damaging to our cells and body tissues.
Liver Cleansing Foods
Here are some of the top liver cleansing foods to add to your diet, and a few of their particular benefits.
1. Apples – Apples contain phlorizidin, a flavonoid, which is thought to target the liver and help stimulate bile flow. The liver gets rid of toxins that it has processed via the bile so making sure you have good bile flow is important for detoxification.
Apples also contain a high level of pectin, a substance that aids in the detox of heavy metals. The apple skin being rich in soluble fiber also helps in moving things along in the digestive system.
Related reading: Why The Apple Cleanse Diet is Good for Your Liver
2. Asparagus – Asparagus is rich in glutathione and sulfur that aids in the body’s detoxification process. Although the body does not seem to absorb glutathione from food the sulfur, which is absorbed, helps the body produce it. It also contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
3. Avocado – Classified as a superfood, avocado is the fruit that contains the highest amount of sulfur of all fruits. This element helps the body to naturally produce glutathione. This antioxidant is comprised of 3 amino acids which the liver uses to bind with toxins so they can be eliminated from the body.
4. Beets – Beets contain betalains, a group of natural plant chemicals, which induce the Phase 2 liver detox enzymes. They attach various substances to toxins in the body so they can be excreted.
Betaine in beets help with bile flow. Beets have high levels of fiber which is good to keep the bowels moving to clear out the toxins that the liver has processed. They also contain vitamin C, making them a powerful antioxidant.
Related reading: How to use Superfood Beets for Liver Detox
5. Berries – Berries are packed with powerful nutrients. One is anthocyanin a flavonoid, which has antioxidant properties that can help boost your immune system.
They are also full of fiber to help cleanse waste from the digestive tract preventing toxins being reabsorbed into the blood and liver.
6. Broccoli and Cauliflower – Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower contain glucosinolate which induces the liver detoxifying enzymes. They are involved in the detox pathways that flush out toxins and pollutants from the body.
7. Carrots – Carrots are high in beta-carotene and plant-flavonoids which generally help support liver function. The process of liver detoxification results in the creation of free radicals so we must have a good internal anti-oxidant system to help quench them.
8. Celery – This is a great liver cleansing food. Researchers say that apiaceous vegetables like celery induce the Cytochrome P450 1A2 enzyme. This enzyme is involved in the detoxification of chemical toxins and drugs in the body.
Celery contains a number of nutrients that are involved in the optimal function of the liver detox system as well as being loaded with antioxidants.
It contains diuretic properties that can help remove toxins and contaminants in the body. Consumed regularly, celery can help promote kidney health and prevent liver diseases.
Related reading: Will Daily Celery Juice Cleanse Your Body?
9. Citrus fruits – Lemons, oranges and limes are some of the best fruits to help boost the liver’s ability to detoxify your body. The peels are particularly rich in d-limonene which induces the Phase 2 liver detox enzymes.
Lemon juice, especially if it contains some of the peel, taken daily will boost your liver health immensely!
Related reading: Liver Detox:The Morning Lemon Detox Drink
10. Green Tea – Green tea is great for your liver because it contains catechins – plant-based antioxidants that are known to improve liver function by the induction of Phase 1 and Phase 2 liver detox.
You will see some warnings on the internet about taking green tea extract supplements. In April 2018 The European Food Safety Authority concluded that in very rare cases, due to unpredictable reactions, a small number of people who take green tea extracts at a dose of more than 800 mg a day for long periods could end up with raised liver enzymes which indicate initial damage to liver cells.
They said there is no problem with drinking green tea in large amounts although more studies should be done.
Related reading: Green Tea Detox: Can You Really Detox With Green Tea?
11. Leafy Greens – Leafy greens such as kale, collards, dandelion leaves, and spinach are loaded with antioxidants that are perfect for your liver health and can help block free radicals.They also contain chlorophyll which boosts the Phase 2 liver detox enzymes.The late Ann Wigmore, a holistic health practitioner, regarded chlorophyll as a potent blood cleanser. She used wheatgrass juice on herself and clients to detoxify.
12. Sesame Seeds – Contains sesamin, a powerful antioxidant, that protects the liver from damage. It also enhances the liver detoxification of chemicals.Sesame seeds can protect the liver from the damaging effects of alcohol too.
13. Turmeric – Contains curcumin, the active ingredient, which helps increase glutathione levels. It is unusual in that it inhibits Phase 1 detoxification which inducing Phase 2 which helps with the prevention of cancer.It is a powerful antioxidant that repairs liver cells. It further helps the liver in detoxing metals and boosts bile production.
Related reading: Spice up your Liver Detox with Turmeric
14. Walnuts – Walnuts are high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids that promote and support natural liver detoxification. High in the amino acid arginine, walnuts also assist the liver in detoxifying ammonia.
15. Watercress – Another cruciferous vegetable which is sometimes considered an herb contains phenethyl-isothiocyanate. According to the Linus Pauling Instutute “ isothiocyanates may modulate the expression and activity of biotransformation enzymes that are involved in the metabolism and elimination of xenobiotics (e.g., carcinogens) from the body”.
Related reading: Tasty Watercress Recipes for Body Cleansing
Your liver is an important organ with many essential functions so it makes sense to do what you can to protect it. These top liver cleansing foods have beneficial effects on the liver including raising antioxidant and detoxification enzyme levels to protect you from harmful toxins. How many of them do you eat?