Here is everything that liver does for you: it processes what you eat and drink into energy and nutrients, in addition to filtering everything you consume to remove harmful substances from your blood. A functioning liver works as our bodies’ fat-burning organ: It converts nutrients from the food we eat into essential blood components, storing vitamins and minerals and producing proteins and enzymes to maintain hormone balances in our bodies. That’s why liver health is so important to our immune system in helping it fight infections, remove bacteria from the blood and make bile, which is essential for digesting our meals. When you consume fatty or fried foods, and pile on the salt, your liver literally is under attack and is not able to perform all the vital activities optimally.
Here is Health Fitness Revolution’s list of Best Foods for Liver Health are:
- Garlic: Garlic helps your liver activate enzymes that can flush out toxins. It also has a high amount of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. To read all the health benefits of garlic, read our article here.
- Leafy Greens: Leafy greens like spinach and lettuce have the ability to aid the body in eliminating free radicals by neutralizing metals, chemicals and pesticides that may be in our foods, and act as a protective mechanism for the liver. To read our list of favorite leafy greens, read our article here.
- Grapefruit: High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.
- Avocados: This nutrient-dense super-food which we wrote about here helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.
- Green Tea: This beverage is great for the liver because it is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function. Read our list of Healthiest Teas and 10 Good Reasons to Drink Green Tea.
- Apples: High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This, in turn, makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.
- Citrus Fruits: These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. As mentioned in our article here, drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver.
- Turmeric: The liver’s favorite spice, it helps boost liver detox, by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up.
- Cabbage, Cauliflower, and Broccoli: they help stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes including glucosinolate that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut.
- Whole Wheat Foods: Grains, such as brown rice, are rich in B-complex vitamins which are nutrients known to improve overall fat metabolization, liver function and liver decongestion. Read our article on eating Whole Wheat vs. White Flour.
Here are the Foods you should avoid for a healthy liver because mistreating your liver can raise the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, allergies and many other ailments:
- Fatty Foods and Fried Foods: Fried foods and other high-fat foods (like processed foods containing hydrogenated oils) would also be particularly hard on your liver. There is a limit to the total amount of fat than your liver can process while maintaining all of its other metabolic activities.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells. The liver breaks down alcohol so it can be removed from your body. Your liver can become injured or seriously damaged if you drink more alcohol than it can process.