Foods That Improve Liver Function
The liver is one of the most important organs of the body. It plays a role in getting toxins out of our system and makes bile for the breakdown of fat we eat. The liver also plays a big role in the storage of glucose as glycogen and helps metabolize prodrugs into drugs. Without the liver, we would die within a few days. The functions of the liver cannot be taken over by any other organ of the body and the actions by the liver are essential for life.
Unfortunately, most of us have livers that are doing overtime every day. There are toxins in the environment and environmental pollution that the liver must process so that they can be harmless to the body. If the liver weren’t healthy, we would have no way to adequately address the pollutants and toxins we are exposed to every day.
On the other hand, there are foods you can eat that can help the liver function at its maximum.
These are the best foods you can eat to improve liver function.
Grapefruit. Grapefruit is good for the liver because it is high in antioxidants and healthful vitamins that cleanse the liver so that it can do its job. There are detoxification enzymes in grapefruit and grapefruit juice that help the liver do its job.
Garlic. Garlic has the ability to help liver enzymes function at its best. It contains large amounts of selenium and allicin—both of which help clean the liver of toxins.
Green tea. Green tea is high in antioxidants such as catechins. Catechins are components of tea that help the liver work better by scavenging for oxygen free radicals that would otherwise do damage to the liver.
Carrots and Beets. These colorful vegetables are high in beta-carotene the help the liver work better. They also contain a large number of plant-flavonoids that also aid in enhancing liver function.
Avocados. These are a type of fruit/vegetable that helps the body make glutathione. Glutathione helps the liver remove toxins from the body and acts as an antioxidant for better liver health.
Leafy Green Vegetables. Leafy green vegetables are perhaps the best thing you can eat for better liver health. They can be made into a smoothie, eaten as part of a fresh salad, or steamed to keep in their natural nutrients. Leafy green vegetables are good for you because they have lots of chlorophyll in them, which help the liver get rid of unhealthy toxins in the environment.
Olive oil. Olive oil contains healthful fatty acids that soak up the toxins the liver is trying to get rid of. It helps get rid of toxins that the liver would otherwise have to manage on its own. This takes the pressure off the liver, which is already doing overtime with getting rid of toxins. You can also eat flaxseed oil or help oil, as they function much the same thing as olive oil.
Healthy grains. If all you are eating is white flour or even whole-wheat flour, you are not maximizing your liver performance. Some of the alternative grains include buckwheat, millet, and quinoa. These do not contain gluten so they are better processed by the gastrointestinal tract. Even if you aren’t gluten-sensitive, eating these grains will take the pressure off the liver and can be made into many recipes that would otherwise contain white flour.
Apples. Apples are rich in pectin and are especially designed to cleanse the liver and to get rid of toxins in the gastrointestinal tract. By doing so, they take the pressure off the liver and help clean out the liver.
Citrus fruits. Citrus fruits like limes and lemons are high in many plant-based nutrients and vitamins like vitamin C. These help the liver turn toxins into harmless molecules that can then be gotten rid of through the kidneys. You can enhance liver function by having just one glass of freshly made lemon juice each day.
Cruciferous vegetables. These vegetables help the body make glucosinolate, which helps the enzymes of the liver work better. When the liver works better, toxins are gotten rid of better and there is a decreased risk that he toxins can turn cells of the body into cancerous cells.
There are other foods that can help the liver work better, including asparagus, kale, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, walnuts, and turmeric. By eating these foods, you help improve liver function so that your overall digestive health will operate at its maximum ability.
Top Liver Detox Supplements
How important is the liver? Studies have shown that it has almost 500 functions! These include taking care of your blood, aiding your metabolism and eliminating toxins. So, it goes without saying that you ought to take care of your liver. It is your liver’s job to cleanse your body, so it’s your job to take the steps to help cleanse your liver. Clean the cleaner with these supplements!
Milk Thistle Capsules
These capsules contain silymarin. Silymarin is effective in treating liver damage. Damage can be done by many different methods including drinking too much alcohol, eating a poor diet high in fat and processed foods, taking certain medications and infections/illnesses. Taking these liver-rehabilitating wonders can be a real plus to your health.
These berries (found in the East) are known to help diarrhea, indigestion, cough and liver problems. Many people use them to rejuvenate their liver and help with stress and fatigue.
Vitamin C takes care of the growth of your tissues and repairs them, including those in your liver. So, pop a tablet or two!
Glutathione and N-Acetyl Cysteine
Glutathione prevents cells from dying. Every cell in your body needs it, including the cells in your liver. Glutathione can be taken orally as capsules or can be injected in your bloodstream by a doctor. Fun fact: Glutathione in the body also improves skin complexion. N-Acetyl Cysteine is a precursor to glutathione and has been found to be a bit more effective in supplement form than glutathione.
Also called as Vitamin B complex (since they constitute 8 vitamins), they can do a lot, including producing new cells for your body.
Yes, your morning stimulant might help with lowering your risk of developing liver disease, specifically cirrhosis (severe scarring of the liver).
This antioxidant assists the liver in flushing waste from your body. Good sources are orange, yellow, and red-colored fruits and vegetables.
A tonic for stimulating liver functions, it also fights symptoms associated with hepatitis, the inflammation of the liver and jaundice, the disease that turns the color of your eyes and skin yellow.
Warning: Only drink it from experts who know how to prepare this tea. The four herbs in it are for liver protection. Some even claim that this tea actually cures certain types of cancer. Do your research on this one – it is interesting stuff.
Also known as PC, this supplement is food for your cells. It helps to heal ailing liver cells and grow healthy new ones.
These supplements are excellent for the health of your liver. While you can take them in supplement form, you can also find many of them in the food you eat. Also, be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
Natural Ways to Improve Liver Function
As organs go, your liver is perhaps the master of them all, performing more than 500 different functions at any given time. Without your liver, you would quickly die as there is no manmade way to make up for all the liver does for us. Fortunately, there are several ways you can help your liver do its job that are all natural and easy to do. The liver is one organ that can regenerate itself when damaged so that anything you do to help the liver along will cause it to repair itself and function at its best. When you strengthen your liver, you do a lot towards balancing your weight, maximizing energy and improving your total body health.
Things to do to help your liver…
Feed it vitamins and minerals. Many of the functions of the liver require high amounts of minerals and vitamins to keep it going. You can help your liver do well by eating a diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods.
Cut out food additives. Your liver becomes overworked when it has to filter out and neutralize food additives. Eat wholesome foods that are free of over-processing, color additives, flavor additives and food preservatives and your liver will not have to work so hard.
Eat flaxseeds. Decide to eat two large tablespoons of ground flaxseeds, served up on your cereal, on toast, in salads or blended into a variety of smoothies. The ingredients in flaxseeds bind to receptor sites in the liver, preventing synthetic fake estrogens called xenoestrogens from binding to the liver. These xenoestrogens come from plastics and other unnatural substances and must be filtered out of the blood by a healthy liver. Flaxseeds can help this process.
Eat fresh beets and carrots. These are two vegetables known for powerfully cleansing the liver. Along with these non-green vegetables, eat plenty of green vegetables. Green vegetables contain chlorophyll, which is also a liver cleanser.
Herbal medicine for the liver. These herbs are believed to strengthen the liver: dandelion root, turmeric, artichoke, milk thistle, wahoo, fringe tree bark, black root, slippery elm, balmony, blue flag and boldo. Turmeric and milk thistle are especially good for the liver. Do not take any of these supplements without consulting a qualified doctor if you have a serious illness, take prescription medications or are pregnant.
Cut down on synthetic sweeteners and refined sugar. While these things may help your sweet tooth, they only tax your liver. Even refined sugar, based on natural sugar, overworks the liver because it must put all the sugar into storage form as liver glycogen.
Take lecithin. Lecithin reduces cholesterol and aids the liver in its metabolism of fats. It contains phosphatidylcholine and several essential fatty acids that cannot be innately produced by the liver or any other part of the body. Lecithin has the added effect of lowering the blood pressure by improving blood flow through small blood vessels. Lecithin can be eaten when you drink soy milk, eat organic eggs and eat foods like miso and tofu. It also comes in capsule form at your local health food store.
Take a multivitamin with minerals. Even the best diets can be lacking in all the essential vitamins and minerals your liver must use to do its job. Some vitamins can be harmful in high doses so don’t overdo it and take more that the recommended daily allowances each day.
Take vitamin C daily. Vitamin C is water soluble so it is one of the exceptions to the rule of not taking too much. Any excess will be safely eliminated from the body. Try taking between 1 and 2 grams of vitamin C every day.
Eat several small meals a day. Large meals just overtax the liver and make it function less efficiently than it should.
Eat steamed bitter greens. These important vegetables help cleanse the liver when you eat them. Other foods, such as raw fruits and salad greens can help clean out liver toxicities.
Avoid eating meals closer than three hours before bedtime. The liver does some of its best work at night while we are sleeping. For this reason, you should avoid overtaxing the liver doing digestive work when it has a lot of other things to do.