In this article, we will discuss foods that will detox your liver. The liver is the second largest organ in your body and one of the most crucial glands. Its non-stop functioning ensures detoxification, protein synthesis, carb metabolism, production of biochemicals required for digestion, glycogen storage, red blood cell decomposition, hormone secretion, and bile production (1).
Liver damage of any kind will hinder all the associated metabolic functions. So it is necessary to take steps to ensure you take good care of your liver. In this article, we have listed 20 amazing foods to help you do just that. Consuming these healthy and nutritious foods will help you heal and minimize the symptoms of liver damage and keep it healthy.
Here are the 20 foods that will detox your liver.
It is very important to detoxify to ensure your liver stays healthy. The rich antioxidant effect provided by allicin in garlic protects the body from oxidative damage. Moreover the hepatoprotective effects it exhibits, powers the liver to activate the enzymes that can flush out harmful substances.
Advanced Biomedical Research published a study that stated that 400 mg of garlic powder could reduce body weight and fat mass among people with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disorder (NAFLD) without disturbing lean body mass.
2. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in antioxidants such as catechins which are the main polyphenols responsible for all the health benefits. Scientists in China have found that green tea drinkers showed a significant reduction in the risk of liver disease, liver cirrhosis, liver steatosis, liver cancer, and hepatitis.
Another study done by researchers from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, found that green tea extract significantly lowered the liver enzymes linked with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
However, overconsumption of tea could have harmful effects, due to its caffeine and aluminum content and the effects on iron bioavailability. Hence, it is safer to take your doctor’s advice before drinking green tea for improving your liver health.
Coffee, along with its stimulating effects, also plays a hepatoprotective role. A Japanese study with middle-aged people showed that coffee might have protective effects against liver dysfunction.
The Journal of Hepatology which published another study stated an inverse relationship between the incidence of chronic liver disease and coffee intake. Participants who drank 3 cups of coffee daily exhibited lower rates of disease progression than those who drank less than 1 cup/day.
The hepatoprotective effect in turmeric can be credited to curcumin which is the main bioactive agent. It helps minimize oxidative stress, reduces inflammation, improves lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity which lowers the risk of liver diseases and injury.
An experiment was conducted by scientists from the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Israel, where they supplemented rats with induced liver cirrhosis with turmeric for 12 weeks. The anti-inflammatory property of turmeric inhibited the development of liver cirrhosis in rats.
The rich source of antioxidants in the grapefruit has great efficiency in boosting immunity. An experiment was carried out by Japanese scientists in which they fed grapefruit juice, oroblanco juice, and sugar mix to lab rats. This was followed by a procarcinogen injection after one week. The experiment found that the rats that were fed grapefruit juice had a quicker and more active expression of liver enzymes that helped in detoxification.
Beetroot contains antioxidants called betalains that exhibit potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects to reduce oxidative stress. A rat study showed that long-term feeding of beetroot juice could help reduce DNA damage and liver injury induced by oxidative stress.
Broccoli is a rich source of sulfur-containing compounds such as isothiocyanates. These compounds regulate the expression of genes that flush out carcinogens and improve metabolism. Moreover, they also possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Scientists at the University of Illinois conducted a study that confirmed consuming broccoli could help lower the risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver. Another study at the College of Agriculture, University of Illinois, found that eating broccoli could aid in protecting the liver from cancer.
Ginseng is a medicinal herb that contains ginsenosides which are compounds that can be credited for its medicinal properties. There are around 40 ginsenosides that can be found in ginseng which may protect against liver injury, fatty liver, liver toxicity, and cirrhosis.
Carrots may lower the risk of liver toxicity and nonalcoholic fatty liver. In a rat study conducted by the National Institute of Nutrition, Jamia Osmania, Hyderabad, India, found that supplementing carrot juice for eight weeks significantly lowered the levels of triglyceride, DHA, and Monounsaturated Fatty Acids in the liver.
10. Leafy Greens
Leafy green veggies such as collard greens, lettuce, spinach, rocket spinach, mustard greens, radish greens, sweet potato greens, etc., comes with significant amounts of calcium, vitamins A, C, and K, along with antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. The leafy greens provide protection to your liver from oxidative damage and other diseases. Rat studies found that consumption of leafy greens protected the liver from developing fatty liver.
One of the many health benefits of avocado is its ability to protect the liver. The fruit is rich in healthy fats that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Since bad lifestyle choices are the main cause for nonalcoholic fatty liver, these properties of avocado can help lower the risk.
Due to its vitamin and mineral content, lemons show significant hepatoprotective effects. Biomedical Research published a mice study that stated that lemon juice intake can help lower alcohol-induced liver injury and also reduce the levels of liver enzymes for overall liver protection.
A research was conducted by scientists on the effect of dehydrated apple products on liver and serum lipid levels. At the end of three months, they found that Apple products successfully lowered the liver and serum lipid levels.
Researchers in China also confirmed that the polyphenols present in apples play a vital role in protecting the mice against concanavalin induced immunological liver injury.
14. Olive Oil
Olive oil is a great addition in the regular diet of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Experts have found that people who consume olive oil have lower chances of getting liver diseases.
Olive oil aids in reducing the bad cholesterol and serum triglyceride levels and also in increasing insulin sensitivity and lipid oxidation.
Asparagus is a great source of nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, vitamins A, C, E, K, folate, choline, potassium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber.
A study conducted by Jeju National University, Korea found that the leaves and young shoots of asparagus are able to hinder the growth of hepatoma cells and also reduce oxidative stress to protect liver cells.
Walnuts have great anti-inflammatory properties in rich and healthy fats. In a study, when walnuts were supplemented to high-fat diet-induced fatty liver mice, there was a reduction of triglyceride levels in the liver. It also reduced the levels of the enzymes involved in liver homeostasis and stunted the genes involved in liver inflammation.
17. Whole Grains
Whole grains, such as, rye, brown rice, barley, quinoa, amaranth, etc., have high dietary fiber content, which assists in shedding fat and reducing cholesterol. This further allows whole grains to protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
The high amount of antioxidants makes red tomatoes quite good for the health of your liver. They help lower inflammation and injury of the liver and also protects against liver cancer. A rat study was able to show that supplementation of tomato extract could help lower the risk of liver damage.
The Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology published a study that showed that the antioxidative properties of dandelion roots were protective against alcohol-induced liver damage.
20. Brussel Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, K, and folate. Experts have found that the consumption of Brussels sprouts can regulate the production of phase II metabolizing enzymes and also lower oxidative stress.
The liver carries out many important functions which makes it an important organ of the human body. Ensuring protection against any sort of damage to the liver is very important. If you make it a point to add the above-listed foods in your regular diet, you can help your liver function at its optimum best.
If you are experiencing any other clinical symptoms get yourself checked by your doctor. It is always best to take the advice of a nutritional expert to better understand the best method of using these foods and the right dosage that needs to be added to your diet.