In this day and age our livers are over burdened with toxins, either from the foods we choose to eat to the environment we live in, leading to all sorts of health issues. Anytime we overeat or eat processed or fried foods, and, anytime we are exposed to environmental pollutants or stress, the liver becomes overworked and overloaded. When the liver is taxed, it cant process toxins and fat in an efficient way. There are many foods that can help cleanse the liver naturally by stimulating the natural ability to clean toxic waste from the body. A change in diet is always the best first step. It's healthful to know the foods that will target the task of cleansing the liver.
List of Foods that Cleanse the Liver
In addition to taking a liver-cleansing supplement (from the Global Healing Center), and performing at least two liver and gallbladder cleanses per year, eating the following foods is the best way to keep your liver healthy and functioning the way you need it to. It's a great idea to incorporate these liver cleanse foods into your weekly diet.
Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that helps your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing. It's easy to add to several dishes to incorporate in meals.
High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increase the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins. Grapefruit is one of my favorite snacks, and I have one almost daily.
3. Beets and Carrots
Both extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene, eating both beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function. They are also great for juicing. Carrots make a great snack too.
4. Green Tea
This liver-loving beverage is chock-full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a constituent known to assist the livers overall functions. Green tea is not only delicious, it’s also a great way to improve your overall diet. To make sure it doesn't turn out bitter, add green tea leaves to hot water (cooler than boiling) and let it steep for a few minutes. It will taste bitter if added to boiling water or steeped for too long.
5. Leafy Green Vegetables
One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens literally suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to nuetralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.
Try incorporating leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens and chicory into your diet. This will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.
This nutrient-dense super-food helps the body produce glutathione, which is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins. Recent studies indicate improved liver health when avocados are eaten regularly. Add an extra boost by squeezing fresh lemon on top...this will also help to keep it from browning.
High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents needed 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. Great for a snack, and juicing to sweeten things up.
8. Olive Oil
Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. In this way, it takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of the toxic overload that many of us suffer from. Best to Not heat the oil, drizzle on a fresh green salad instead.
9. Cruciferous Vegetables
Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, adding to enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens, and other toxins, out of our body which significantly lowers our risk of cancer. Another cheap cruciferous veggie is the daikon, which looks like a is a white carrot.
10. Lemons & Limes
These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of the vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic material into substance that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver. I have a warm mug of lemon juice every morning. A fantastic way to start your day!
Holding high amount of the amino acid arginine, walnuts aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids which support normal liver cleansing actions. Make sure you chew the nuts well (until they are liquefied) before swallowing. Raw nuts are most healthy, and should be well soaked and rinsed before consuming.
Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi (fermented that will do wonders for your digestion increasing the good bacteria in your gut), coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut.
The liver’s favorite spice. And pretty much an overall power spice, one of the bests out there for overall health. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detox, by assisting enzymes that actively flush out known dietary carcinogens. You can also have it in teas. Just be careful with not spilling, as it does stain.
Tips For Doing a Liver Cleanse
Other liver cleanse foods not listed above are artichoke, asparagus, kale and brussel sprouts. Eating the foods listed above is a great way to keep your liver functioning properly. However, for the best results, doing a liver cleanse is also a good idea to jump start the process. Doing a liver cleanse at least twice a year will eliminate any foreign substances that may be trapped in your liver. Another great idea is adding Chlorella to your daily diet. In either pill form or powdered in shakes. It will help eliminate heavy metals from your body. I take a Spirulina/Chrlorella blend tablets every day do to having an amalgam filling, that I hope to have removed some day!