The liver is one of the body’s most important organs, with a wide range of functions. We’ll tell you the nine best foods that detox your liver naturally.
What Is a Liver Detox?
The liver’s primary functions include storing vitamins and iron, converting stored sugar to usable sugar when the body’s sugar levels fall below normal and cleansing the blood by destroying old red blood cells. According to the American Liver Foundation, an estimated 100 million Americans have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a build-up of extra fat in the liver cells. NAFLD occurs when fat makes up 5 to 10 percent of the liver’s total weight and is caused primarily by high-calorie, fatty diets and excessive alcohol intake. It is important to keep your liver healthy, as it has so many crucial functions. Here are nine foods that detox your liver naturally.
1. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens, including spinach, kale and cabbage, can be eaten either raw, cooked or added to juices and smoothies. Leafy greens are incredibly high in chlorophyll, so they soak up environmental toxins from the bloodstream and help detoxify the liver.
Coffee is one of the best beverages that you can drink to improve liver health. Coffee consumption is linked to a lower risk of cirrhosis — or permanent liver damage — in people with chronic liver disease, a lower risk of developing a common type of liver cancer and a reduced chance of liver disease.
When buying coffee, remember that it is important to buy fair trade.
3. Cruciferous vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, are a significant source of glutathione. Glutathione is made from amino acids that trigger cleansing enzymes, helping flush out carcinogens and other toxic compounds in the body. These types of vegetables may also combat fatty liver disease.
4. Oatmeal and Grains
Whole-grain foods like oatmeal, brown rice, millet, quinoa and barley are great for the liver as they are high in fiber. This means that they aid digestion and reduce sugar storage in the liver. Eating oats may also help prevent obesity and abdominal fat distribution. They also improve overall liver function.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and is an excellent beverage to detox your liver naturally. Green tea consumption is linked to a reduced risk of liver disease. In particular, green tea helps regulate lipid metabolism, which reduces the accumulation of lipids in the liver.
6. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits stimulate the liver and help turn toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits are all high in vitamin C and antioxidants, which support the liver’s natural cleansing abilities. Grapefruit is especially beneficial as it contains antioxidants that reduce inflammation and may help protect the liver from injury.
Try drinking hot water with fresh lemon juice in the morning to stimulate the liver to flush out toxins.
Garlic is another one of the best foods to detox your liver. Garlic contains sulfur compounds essential for liver support and activating enzymes responsible for flushing out toxins and waste. Garlic is also demonstrated to be beneficial for improved liver function, and it may help reduce the bodyweight of people who suffer from NAFLD.
8. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish is another food that detoxifies your liver naturally. Fatty fish, such as fresh tuna, anchovies, sardines and mackerel, are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation. Research shows that they prevent the build-up of excess fats and maintain enzyme levels in the liver. Omega-3 has also been linked to decreased liver fat.
If you eat fish, it’s important to choose sustainable species to reduce your impact on global marine wildlife.
9. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Replacing less healthy fats with olive oil may help to improve your liver function, as studies show that olive oil has many liver-protecting properties. Olive oil consumption may also reduce fat accumulating in the liver and provide improved insulin sensitivity.
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