The liver is a gland that secretes chemicals required by other parts of the body. It is responsible for many important functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity and the storage of nutrients that the body needs to survive. In fact, the liver is the only part of your body that is both an organ and a gland.
When liver remains active and removes all toxins from the bloodstream, it helps person to remain healthy and helps in easy digestion of food. Liver produces bile which works as detoxifier. It divides the food and absorption of proteins as well as fats from the food that we consume. Liver removes harmful toxins from the blood as well as processes and converts nutrients absorbed by the intestines during digestion into forms that the body can use.
Liver is also known to store some necessary vitamins and minerals which will help in maintaining hormonal balance by production of some important enzymes for the body. It is also responsible for breaking down insulin, hemoglobin and other hormones. In addition, it destroys old red blood cells and produces chemicals needed for blood to clot properly.
An unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle can overwork and overload the liver, leaving it unable to process toxins and fat efficiently. Weak liver can raise the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, allergies and many other health problems.
Many foods can help cleanse, rejuvenate and detoxify your liver. This will help keep your liver healthy and functioning the way you need it to. Here are 10 foods to keep your liver healthy and functioning in the natural ways.
Garlic is great liver cleansing foods as it is very useful in repairing a compromised liver. Garlic contains numerous sulfur-containing compounds that activate the liver enzymes responsible for flushing out toxins from the body. It also contains two natural compounds called allicin and selenium, which aid in the liver-cleansing process and protect the liver from toxic damage. Garlic reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can overload the liver and hamper its functioning.
To promote liver health, use fresh raw garlic instead of processed, minced garlic or powder.
- Eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves daily and include garlic in your cooking whenever possible.
- You can also take garlic supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
Turmeric has antiseptic properties and also acts as an antioxidant. It also improves the body’s ability to digest fats. The antiviral action of turmeric prevents the multiplication of viruses causing hepatitis B and C.
The compound curcumin in turmeric induces the formation of a primary liver detoxification enzyme called glutathione S-transferase. It also helps regenerate damaged liver cells. It also boosts the natural production of bile, shrinks engorged hepatic ducts, and improves overall function of the gallbladder, another body-purifying organ.
- Mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of water and boil it. Drink it twice daily for a couple of weeks.
- You can mix ½ tsp turmeric with milk and drink it every day
- Include turmeric in your daily cooking.
3. Milk thistle
This herb is effective for a wide variety of liver diseases. Milk thistle is a powerful detoxifier. It helps rebuild liver cells while removing toxins from the body that are processed through the liver. It has the power to improve mortality in patients with liver failure. Liver can naturally reverse the harmful effects of alcohol consumption, pesticides in our food supply, heavy metals in our water supply, pollution in the air that we breathe in and even poison. There are evidences suggesting that this remedy is beneficial for acute and chronic viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcoholic hepatitis, the toxicity caused by chemicals, mushrooms etc.
- Take 900 milligrams of this remedy twice a day at mealtimes.
- Crush the milk thistle seeds and steep them along with the leaves to make tea. Drink this tea daily to clean your liver.
Being a good source of vitamin C, pectin and antioxidants, grapefruit also aids the natural cleansing process of the liver. It contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and detoxifies the liver. Glutathione also helps in the detoxification of heavy metals. It also contains a flavonoid compound known as naringenin that causes the liver to burn fat rather than store it.
- Drink a small glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice or enjoy the whole fruit with your breakfast daily.
Note: If you are on medications, consult your doctor before taking this fruit as it may interact with certain drugs.
Avocados have been shown to naturally protect and repair your liver. Rich in glutathione-producing compounds, avocados actively promote liver health by protecting it against toxic overload, and boosting its cleansing power. The high amount of monounsaturated fat in avocados helps reduce low-density lipoproteins or bad cholesterol and increase high-density lipoproteins or good cholesterol. The liver easily processes good cholesterol. It contain many minerals, vitamins and plant nutrients that support overall liver health and help break down fats.
- Eat 1 to 2 avocados per week for a couple of months to help reverse liver damage.
- Make avocado salad mixed with other veggies for better result.
Walnuts contain high levels of l-arginine, an amino acid, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids which also help to detoxify the liver of disease-causing ammonia. The high amount of the amino acid l-arginine in walnuts aids the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Moreover, walnuts contain glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which aid the natural liver-cleansing process.
Walnuts also help oxygenate the blood, and extracts from their hulls are often used in liver-cleansing formulas. Polyphenols present in walnuts prevent liver damage induced by carbon tetrachloride and d-galactosamine.
- Eat a handful of walnuts as a snack daily.
- You can also sprinkle them over a salad, side dish, soup or baked goods.
7. Green Tea
Green tea is also beneficial in treating or preventing liver disease. By drinking green tea daily, you can help your body flush out toxins and fat deposits, while increasing hydration levels. The catechins in tea help stimulate lipid catabolism in the liver. This in turn prevents fat accumulation in the liver.
This healthy beverage also protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances like alcohol. According to a 2009 study published in Cancer Causes and Control, people who drink green tea have a lower risk of developing liver cancer.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea daily. If desired, sweeten your tea with honey.
Note: Avoid drinking green tea in excess as it can have an adverse impact on your liver and other body parts.
8. Green vegetables
Leafy vegetables stimulate the flow of bile and pectin present in the apple remove toxins from the digestive tract. This will help to protect the liver. Leafy greens also eliminate pesticides and herbicides from the body, and spur the creation and flow of cleansing bile. The high fiber content in vegetables also improves the digestion process. Moreover, it contains fat-soluble vitamin E, an important antioxidant for the liver to carry out its functions.
The natural products that are found in vegetables, as well as fruits, plant extracts and herbs have been traditionally used for treating liver diseases. Fruits and vegetables help to flush carcinogens and other harmful toxins out of the body.
Leafy green vegetables such as bitter gourd, arugula, spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens, lettuce, asparagus, celery and chicory contain numerous cleansing compounds that neutralize heavy metals, which can bear heavily on the liver.
- Include cooked or raw green veggies in your daily diet. Prepare salad with veggies and fruits for your every meal.
- Eat any fruit or drink fruit juice daily.
9. Dandelion Root
This remedy helps to promote healthy liver function. The vitamins and nutrients present in dandelions help cleanse our livers and keep them working properly. Dandelions also aid our digestive system by maintaining the proper flow of bile. They are also high in vitamin C, which helps with mineral absorption, reduces inflammation and prevents the development of disease. Being natural diuretics and allow the liver to eliminate toxins quickly.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of dandelion root powder with 1 cup of water. Boil the water and strain it and have the tea twice daily.
- You can also boil a small amount of roots in a glass of water and drink this.
10. Beetroot and carrot
Beetroots and carrot are another powerful food for cleansing and supporting liver function. High in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, they help stimulate and improve overall liver function. Moreover, beetroots are natural blood purifiers. They are widely-known in natural healing circles, eating these can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.
These are rich in folates, phosphorus, vitamin C, copper, potassium and manganese; these important nutrients are lost when you cook. It is better to eat them raw and as juice
- Simply add fresh beetroots or carrot in your daily diet as fruit or salad.
- Mix beetroot and carrot juice to your daily diet.
- Make a powerful liver-cleansing salad with 1 cup of chopped or grated beetroots, 2 tablespoons of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and the juice of ½ lemon. Mix all the ingredients together and eat 2 teaspoons of it every 2 hours during the day for a week.