Foods to Improve Liver Function

Foods to Improve Liver Function and Cleanse Your Body

Foods to Improve Liver Function and Cleanse Your Body

Foods to Improve Liver Function and Cleanse Your Body

The liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It cleanses your blood from harmful substances, keeps glucose levels high enough, breaks down hormones, and destroys old blood cells. This vital organ is probably the busiest and your life depends on its proper function. Foods to improve liver function are thus very imprortant for your overall health.

The liver is also very resilient so when it starts showing the first signs of failure, it’s hard to get it back on track. In order to keep the liver functioning properly, you need to take care of it by keeping to a proper diet and avoiding toxic elements, such as drugs and alcohol. Here is a list of foods to improve liver function and keep you healthy.

Garlic

The main active ingredient in garlic is allicin. It’s a powerful antioxidant and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Besides that, garlic contains arginine. This amino acid relaxes blood vessels. Being an antioxidant, garlic helps keep the toxic substances from reaching your liver. This makes the organ’s job significantly easier.

To get the most benefits out of garlic, you need to eat at least four fresh cloves daily. You can add chopped garlic to your meals or buy a garlic supplement. Be careful, garlic is a natural blood thinner, so you should discuss the supplement dosage with your doctor. [1]

Citrus Fruits

Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits are a must-have on your list of foods to improve liver function. Citrus fruits have a high vitamin C and fiber content. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps detoxify your body from the free radicals thus making the liver’s job simpler. By taking on even a small part of your liver’s job, antioxidants improve its function.

You must remember, however, that citrus fruits are not a quick fix for your liver problems. You can’t indulge on unhealthy foods and alcohol and then eat a pound of oranges hoping to negate the effect of the bad diet. Citrus fruits are just little helpers that coupled with a proper food regimen can help your liver function. [2]

Beets

Beets contain glutathione. This substance is naturally produced by your liver and is important for the overall function of your body. It produces chemicals and proteins that are compulsory for the proper organism function and good immune system maintenance. It’s also responsible for tissue building and repairing. [3]

By adding glutathione to your diet, you are detoxifying your body and helping the liver do its job. Beets are also rich in plant-flavonoids, which stimulate and improve the liver function. You can replace beets with carrots. They have similar content.

Leafy Greens

The benefits of leafy greens are endless. One of them is liver detox. You can eat them raw, cooked, or even juiced. They are high in chlorophylls that are cleaning the environmental toxins from your blood and neutralize heavy metals and pesticides. Leafy greens are a powerful weapon on your list of foods to improve liver function. They don’t just help the liver work, they protect it.

Leafy greens are also powerful antioxidants. Plant-based antioxidants can prevent and treat many different liver diseases, including alcoholic liver, fatty liver, viral hepatitis, and even liver cancer. [4] Incorporate spinach, chicory, arugula, and mustard greens into your diet to give your liver a hand.

Turmeric

Turmeric is one of the most powerful plant-based medicine known to man. When it comes to foods to improve liver function, you should put turmeric on your shopping list. A study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand showed that the livers of rats with diabetes were repaired and regenerated after regular intake of turmeric.

Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin. Numerous studies linked curcumin to the liver health improvement. Turmeric can assist the enzymes that clean your body from dietary carcinogens. As a result, the liver function improves and the affected liver cells can regenerate. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory properties and can facilitate the gallbladder function. [5]

Apples

One of the popular foods to improve liver function are apples. They are high in pectin, which is a soluble fiber that can eliminate toxins and cholesterol from your blood. Apples also contain malic acid, a nutrient that is responsible for removing toxins and carcinogens from your body. Apples make it easier for the liver to detoxify your blood and improve its function.

Not all apples are created equal. The pesticide content in some of them can force the liver to work harder instead of helping it. Your best bet would be to go for organic apples since they have the smallest pesticide content.

Asparagus

The power of asparagus shouldn’t be underestimated. This plant contains glutathione that your liver needs to function properly. It’s also a great source of fiber, iron, vitamins A, C, E, K, and folate. Asparagus is a natural diuretic and helps detoxify your body along with your liver and kidneys. It also contains a prebiotic known as inulin that supports the good bacteria in your digestive system.

All these properties are vital for improving your liver function. A recent study showed that asparagus could protect liver cells from the toxins. The same study found that the most potent asparagus parts were leaves. [6]

Cruciferous vegetables

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower have rich glucosinolate content. These vegetables help activate detoxifying enzymes in your liver. These enzymes help remove the toxic element from your body while improving the overall condition of your liver. Green cabbage also contains a high amount of chlorophyll that can strengthen the liver. These veggies are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, K, and folate. Broccoli is especially high in vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant.

All these foods to improve liver function are readily available at your nearby grocery store. Adding them into your diet shouldn’t be a problem. All you need to do is make consuming these foods part of your routine and your liver will say thank you.

 

References:

[1] http://www.livestrong.com/article/346836-benefits-of-garlic-on-liver/

[2] http://www.livestrong.com/article/496484-does-eating-oranges-help-detox-the-liver/

[3] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-717-GLUTATHIONE.aspx?activeIngredientId=717&activeIngredientName=GLUTATHIONE

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4499388/

[5] http://naturalsociety.com/turmeric-repairs-damaged-liver-tissues-promotes-liver-health/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19895471

Anthony Alayon
 

Anthony Alayon is a Certified Personal Trainer & Certified Sports Nutritionist with the ISSA. He’s written for Natural Muscle Magazine, Bliss Magazine, Bodybuilding.com, About.com (A New York Times Company), Labrada.com, and several other popular fitness websites. He’s taught thousands how to eat better, and build the physique they could only dream of (including numerous pro athletes). Today, he’s here to share his knowledge and experience with you!

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