Your liver has a big job when it comes to your body, so it makes sense that it’s the biggest internal organ! The liver runs over 500 processes inside your body, some of which are cleansing and detoxing. The word detox or cleanse is a tricky one, your body already has processes that cleanse and clean your blood, remove toxins from your system and metabolize food so you get all the proper nutrients and proteins. If you already have liver damage you’ll probably have to devise a treatment plan with your healthcare provider, rather than experimenting with home detox methods.
That said, there are some foods and drinks you
can have that will be beneficial for your liver health! And today we’re gonna tell you about some of the best ones, plus some foods you can have if you already have liver issues, and a few tips on how to make your life liver friendly! Since we can’t actually “detox” the liver per day, we can eat foods that’ll give it a boost and really help liver function at its best. The huge bonus of all this is that most of these foods you’re probably already eating, and if not, they’ll be a great addition to your diet whether your liver health is struggling or not.
You’ve probably heard how grapefruit is great for your liver, and the rumors are true! Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, but there are two main ones in grapefruit that protect the liver from damage, they are naringenin and naringin. These are said to reduce inflammation and protect the cells of the liver. A study from 2019 suggests that these antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress and may protect against liver disease. One caveat with grapefruit is that it could react with some medications, so best to check with your doctor first if you’re worried. Let’s stick with fruit for the next one:
Again a big thing with grapes, just like grapefruit is that they’re loaded with antioxidants. One study suggests that these can protect against liver damage, which is great news because grapes are pretty much available everywhere, and they’re is a few types to choose from. But when it comes to beneficial plant compounds
you probably want to stick with the red and purple varieties as they contain resveratrol which hosts a number of benefits for your body, not just your liver. These types of grapes can help lower inflammation, increase antioxidants and prevent damage to the liver. Grape juice can work too, but you want
to be careful with fruit juice as it can have way too much sugar and end up not being that good for you overall.
3. Prickly Pear
You might not have heard of this one, and it’s actually not a pear at all but a type of cactus. It has long been known to help treat ailments such as wounds, ulcers, fatigue, and of course, liver disease. One study showed that this plant helped reduce feelings of a hangover, which is one of the liver’s main functions, to get rid of (or detoxify) the alcohol that’s floating around in your body. The main thing was that it reduced inflammation in the body, which can be caused by alcohol. There are also studies that focus on the extract and juice that have shown positive effects on the liver, but more studies are needed to prove its effectiveness. On to the next one, which should come as no surprise:
4. Cruciferous Veggies
Of course we were gonna mention vegetables, as they’re so healthy for you. A good rule of thumb is to try and include some fruits or veggies in every meal…yes even breakfast. When it comes to liver health though, cruciferous veggies really shine. These are things like, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens. Human studies seem to be limited, but one study on human liver cells showed that it can help increase levels of protective enzymes to protect the liver from damage. One thing to watch out for is canned veggies though, these can contain way too much salt which would not be great for your liver.
Ok let’s get to one that you’re really gonna love:
Yes! Coffee can be great for the liver! Especially if you drink coffee everyday. Many studies have shown this beloved morning beverage can help lower the risk of cirrhosis or permanent damage, has positive effects on liver disease, and decreases inflammation. One study shows that it can increase antioxidant levels in the liver, reduce fat buildup, and help rid the body of cancer causing substances. That’s huge. There’s also evidence that suggests coffee and protects you from liver disease or helps you out if you already have liver issues. Which is great news. Plus coffee has a host of other benefits for you if you lay off the cream and sugar. So if you’re a coffee lover, there’s a few more reasons to enjoy it! While we’re on the topic of hot beverages, let’s discuss a favorite among tea lovers:
6. Green Tea
You probably guessed this would be on our list, as green tea is known to be super healthy, and many folks swear by it. Plus, we’ve got the data to back it up. One smaller study showed that folks who drank green tea regularly, who also had NAFLD (non alcoholic fatty liver disease) had better liver enzyme levels, less fatty deposits and reduced oxidative stress in their livers. Antioxidants get rid of oxidative stress throughout the body, so green tea won’t just help your liver function,
you’ll see benefits throughout your body. Now drinking green tea and taking green tea supplements are two separate things, so talk to your doctor before taking any kind of supplement, especially if you’re already suffering from NAFLD.
Let’s get back to things you can eat.
7. Fatty Fish
This one is great because you can have many different kinds of fish that fall into this category. Salmon, Mackerel, Herring, white fish, and anchovies. The big thing about fatty fish is that they contain omega 3 fatty acids. These are helpful not only with lowering inflammation, but an analysis found that these omega 3s helped those with NAFLD by lowering triglycerides. Another issue when it comes to omega 3s is that the ratio of omega 3s to 6s is usually off with most
Americans. Adding more omega 3s can help balance this ratio and reduce the risk of liver disease in the first place. Sure, knowing some foods will definitely help you
help your liver, but what about foods to avoid?
Let’s start with starchy foods:
Overall anything processed should be a treat or something you only eat rarely. The goal is to focus on whole, unprocessed foods. That’s how you’ll keep your whole body healthy, liver included. But starchy foods include low fiber breads, cookies, cakes, and white pasta.
Speaking of cookies and cakes:
Super sugary foods like cakes, cookies and anything else you buy from the store that’s sweet is probably not going to do your liver any favors. This can also include sugary drinks like soda, certain fruit juices, and sports drinks. Not to mention adding too much sugar to your tea and coffee, as we said earlier those are pretty healthy for you as long as you don’t load them up with sugary ingredients.
Man, we’re ruining all the fun! Well you can still have salt, just try to reduce it. Avoid processed meats, canned vegetables, chips, things that are salted. For example instead of a jar of mixed nuts, buy some whole walnuts instead that haven’t been salted. Go for soup that’s labeled reduced sodium, and snacks that don’t have added salt.
You knew this one was coming. If you’re concerned about your liver in any way, now is the time to cut booze from your diet. Even taking a break for a few weeks can really help. Some other things you can do to improve the health of your liver are:
Eat a detox liver natural food for liver detoxification healthy diet
We touched on this a bit throughout the article, but eating whole, unprocessed foods should be your goal. Try your hand at cooking and baking at home, so you know exactly what is going into your meals. Start exercising: Aerobic exercise can be really great for your liver health! Research shows that it can decrease fat in the liver and could lessen inflammation when combined with weight loss. Combining these healthy foods with regular exercise and an overall healthy diet will do wonders for your liver health in the long run.