Liver Cleansing and supporting Foods

liver foods collectionsThe liver has many important functions that keeps a person healthy. It removes harmful material from the bloodstream and helps digest food. A functioning liver works as our bodies’ fat-burning organ: It converts nutrients from the food we eat into essential blood components, storing vitamins and minerals and producing proteins and enzymes to maintain hormone balances in our bodies. Our livers also help our immune system fight infections, remove bacteria from the blood and make bile, which is essential for digesting our meals.

Problems with your liver can be inherited or can occur if your body is infected by any viruses or harmful chemicals, according to The Mayo Clinic. Mistreating your liver can raise the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, allergies and many other ailments. Although the immune system protects our body from many dangers, it is the liver that protects the immune system from becoming overloaded.

But the good news is the liver is the only visceral organ that possesses the remarkable capacity to regenerate. The liver can regenerate after either surgical removal, disease, or after chemical injury. It is known that as little as 25% of the original liver mass can regenerate back to its full size.

These foods below can help protect, regenerate, heal your liver. Add them to your diet, reduce stress, and cut out or, at least, reduce your intake of animal products such as meat, dairy, and others that are high in cholesterol.

1. Beets and Carrots
Beets are a high-antioxidant vegetable that contain a number of nutrients that have been shown to be cleansing and detoxifying. A few of these include betaine, which helps the liver cells eliminate toxins; pectin, a fiber which clears the toxins that have been removed from the liver so they don’t reincorporate back into the body; and betalains,  pigments with high anti-inflammatory properties to encourage the detoxification process. (1)

Carrots are one of the top sources of carotenoids called beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A. Carotenoids also help keep your liver healthy. The liver produces bile, which removes wastes, but bile stays in the liver or gallbladder until fats enter the small intestine and trigger its release. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, so when you eat a carrot, they stimulate bile to flow and remove wastes. 

2. Grapefruit
High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins. (2)

3. Cruciferous Vegetables
These are a rich source of bi-functional modulators to balance both detox pathways in the liver. These include watercress, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts. The cruciferous vegetables contain phyto-nutrients such as sulforaphane, which is an isothiocyanate and a potent inducer of phase 2 liver detox enzymes.

4. Avocados
Avocados can help the body produce a type of antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione is needed by the liver to filter out harmful substances and protect liver cells from damage. … In addition to glutathione, avocados are rich sources of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, antioxidants that neutralize free radicals.

5. Lemons and limes
Lemons and limes aid in cleansing, boosting immunity, balancing pH levels. The vitamins and minerals contained in lemons, help to loosen toxins from the body thereby flushing unwanted materials from the digestive tract. The citric acid in lemons helps maximize enzyme function, which stimulates and aids the liver in detoxification.
6. Milk Thisle seeds (ground)
Milk thistle contains silymarin and silybin, antioxidants that are known to help protect the liver from toxins, including the effects of alcohol. Not only has silymarin been found to increase glutathione (a powerful antioxidant that is crucial for liver detoxification), but it also may help to regenerate liver cells.
7. Garlic & Onion
Garlic has compounds that can flush away toxic from your stomach. It is rich in selenium, Allicin, and enzymes that clean the liver.
There are many key compounds in onions that promote liver health. Folic acid – is essential for protein metabolism and the formation of red blood cells. Liver disease is often accompanied by a deficiency in folic acid.
8. Chlorella & Cilantro Combo
Chlorella eaten with food or dosing chlorella 1 hour prior to a cilantro dose will bind the neurotoxin in the bile with the chlorella and carry it out in the feces. Cilantro causes the liver to release the bile. Cilantro is also an important source of organic selenium, a very important mineral in heavy metal detox.
9. Apples
Apples are rich in pectin, the soluble fiber that helps remove toxins and cholesterol from the blood, which helps your liver big time! They’re also rich in malic acid, a naturally cleansing nutrient that removes carcinogens and other toxins from the blood.
10. Green Tea
Green tea is packed with catechins, an antioxidant compound that in the proper dose delivers big benefits like lower cholesterol and reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.
11. Turmeric
Turmeric supplementation helps prevent high cholesterol levels in the blood and reduces the risk of fatty liver disease by regulating the enzymes responsible for cholesterol metabolism. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
12. Olive oil, hemp oil, flax oil
Liver damage is caused by inflammation and oxidative stress; extra virgin olive oil (also cold-pressed hemp and flax oils) can reduce this stress. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation throughout the body (a common cause of many chronic diseases). These need to be used sparingly – they best pair up with greens and vegetables (salads).