The liver performs many essential functions for the proper functioning of the body. Besides storing nutrients from digestion, it helps in the metabolism of sugars, fats, and proteins and cleanses the body by acting as a filter.
This organ, which is also one of the largest in the body, since it can weigh on average between 1300 and 1600 grams, is particularly sensitive to the frequent consumption of alcohol, foods too rich in sugar and fat such as industrial products, processed foods and large meals. Likewise, the stress generated by the constraints of daily life can affect it.
To maintain liver health, it is advisable to consume foods rich in fiber and essential nutrients like magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and iron. Here are 15 foods to favor to take care of the liver.
15 foods that are good for your liver
The most well-known active ingredients found in garlic are allicin, quercetin, and selenium. Thanks to these elements, garlic participates in the activation of enzymes promoting the detoxification process. To stimulate the liver, you can add garlic to all your salad, meat, and vegetable dishes. It is also a natural antibiotic, particularly beneficial for the regeneration of an already diseased liver.
Foods rich in fiber
Foods high in fiber help reduce fat and protect against liver disease. Thus, oatmeal and green vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, beans are to be favored in your diet. In addition, these are suppliers of vitamins and also contain antioxidants, very useful for purifying the body.
This citrus fruit has so many health benefits that you should always have it in the house. Along with its superpowers against a multitude of diseases, it also has the capacity to cleanse your liver and stimulate detoxification.
In addition, lemon in boiled water, taken on an empty stomach, stimulates the production of bile and digestive movements and cleanses your stomach and colon.
Artichoke acts on bile secretion and thus improves digestion. The active substances are mainly found in the leaves. You can prepare an herbal tea or an infusion of artichoke leaves or consume this vegetable in a salad.
Avocado has a remarkable effect on the liver. It shows restorative properties that could come from the natural fatty acids it contains. It also helps lower cholesterol levels and helps clean up toxins.
Beets are a powerful blood purifier and have the capacity to absorb heavy metals that enter your body through food or the air you breathe. Beets are also rich in antioxidants. Along with these nutrients that help fight free radicals and cell aging, they also contain iron and folic acid.
Lentils are one of the best legumes to strengthen your liver, thanks to their high values of an amino acid called arginine.
This component helps you to free your body from ammonia, which is a toxin that leads to neurological problems such as confusion and fatigue.
Contrary to popular belief, dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa content is good for the liver. Its magnesium intake helps protect this organ. In addition, the antioxidants in dark chocolate slow down the aging of cells and reduce the risk of inflammation. Magnesium also helps refuel and relieve stress.
Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is recommended to fight against many diseases including those of the liver. It helps cleanse the body, aids digestion, and helps prevent cancer.
Oilseeds like walnuts, Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, almonds, or hazelnuts are high in phosphorus. Their consumption helps cleanse the liver and facilitate lipid metabolism, which prevents the build-up of fat that causes liver disease.
Grapefruit is a beneficial food for cleaning the liver. Thanks to naringenin, a flavonoid present in this fruit and which helps to burn fat, it contributes to the purification of the body and prevents the accumulation of lipids in the liver cells. In addition, this fruit is rich in pectin and vitamin C.
Rosemary has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the secretion of bile by the liver cells, facilitates digestion, and thus participates in the elimination of waste and the purification of the body. These restorative benefits help tone the body and fight against physical fatigue. Young shoots are known to be more active than other parts of the plant.
Green tea contains theanine and helps reduce fat. Rich in antioxidants, it is also a diuretic. Its polyphenol content allows it to slow the assimilation of fats and carbohydrates and reduces the number of calories absorbed while improving cardiovascular health. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Hepatology shows that coffee and tea consumption was associated with less hepatic stiffness in the general population.
The ultimate slimming food, spinach is also a great ally for the liver. It contains betaine, a substance that supports good digestive and liver health. A good reason to consume it in case of an overloaded liver.
A study, conducted in rats, has shown that spinach has an ameliorative effect on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Black radish stimulates the secretion of bile. This eliminates certain waste produced by our bodies. It also cleanses the liver of alcohol, drug residues, or pollutants. By stimulating this bile, the liver is allowed to regenerate itself.
Nutrients Needed by the Liver
|Minerals and Vitamins||Where to find it|
|Vitamin A||Rice bran (whole grains), sage, mint, garlic, paprika, savory, bay leaf|
|Vitamin C||Pepper, blackcurrant, kale, lemon, avocado, broccoli|
|Vitamin D||Cod liver oil, smoked herring, trout, sardines, salmon, mackerel|
|vitamin E||Sunflower oil, avocado oil, wheat germ oil, whole grains|
|Omega 3||Linseed oil, Chia seeds, walnuts, pecans, sesame seeds|
|Magnesium||Seaweed, dark chocolate, Brazil nuts, coffee, cloves, coriander|
|Phosphorus||Almonds, flax seeds, mung beans, peanuts, hazelnuts, fresh walnuts|
|Selenium||Garlic, tuna in brine, pork kidney, porcini mushrooms, wholemeal bread, scallops|
|Do||Black pudding, lamb kidney, poultry liver, chicken heart, beef|
|Calcium||Parmesan, goat cheese, sheep cheese, yogurt|
Foods should you avoid?
To preserve the health of the liver certain foods are to be avoided. These include foods that are too sweet, meals that are too salty or too fatty.
Indeed, these foods can in the long term cause inflammation in the liver which will have more and more difficulty in processing them. The resulting buildup of toxins can lead to cell damage. It is also advisable to consume less alcohol or to avoid it altogether.
Indeed, the alcohol that we consume is almost completely absorbed through the digestive tract. A small part (about 10%) is eliminated by the kidneys via the urine and lungs in the exhaled air. Most of it is sent to the liver which will degrade it thanks to two enzymes.
If a person drinks too much alcohol, too quickly, they will saturate these enzymes. In addition, by breaking down alcohol, the liver will produce a molecule that induces oxidative stress and which can be particularly toxic for cells: acetaldehyde.
In the event of cirrhosis, the consumption of alcohol, even in low amounts, is totally prohibited.
Erica is an experienced nurse working in the central Florida area. She focuses on subjects related to pregnancy and infant health. She is a mother of two with hobbies ranging from dancing to playing the piano.