A functioning liver is essential for body health as it digests our meals, and turns them into nutrients and energy for later use. It also flushes toxins out of the bloodstream and protects the immune system from infection. Unfortunately, excessive alcohol drinking can overtime drown out the nutrients in your diet and interfere with the body’s digestion and flushing out processes. These malfunctions can create toxin and fat build-up as well as progressive alcohol liver disease, making the liver increasingly unable to function properly.
With that said, however, there are steps you can take to help prevent further liver damage and revitalize your health. Here are 6 foods to add to your diet that are particularly helpful in improving digestion, releasing toxins and cleansing the liver.
Garlic is packed with two body cleansing compounds, selenium and allicin, which protect the liver from damage. Garlic also contains high amounts of sulphur, which triggers the liver enzymes essential in the detox process. By adding a little garlic in your meat or veggie stews you can help the liver trigger these compounds. Add some onions in the mix and you’ll have one powerful detoxification combo.
Grapefruits are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants are known to boost the immune system and prevent disease. Not only do they help protect the liver, they also help you clean it out. It contains naringenin, which enables the liver to burn rather than store fat. Try including grapefruits in your daily diet so your liver can wash out the toxins that are preventing it from doing its job.
An essential liver cleansing food is beetroot. It’s loaded with nutrients including potassium, which regulates blood pressure and flow; copper, which holds off free radicals and help prevent infection; and vitamins B1, B2 and B6 to help convert food to energy and boost the immune system. When consumed, it essentially sucks up toxins from the blood stream.
4. Green Leafy Vegetables
Vegetables like kale, spinach, mustard greens are powerful liver cleansers that can be consumed in raw, cooked or even in juice form. They suck up and neutralize the toxins in the blood stream and also help produce bile, which the liver needs to digest meals and get rid of waste in the blood. Serving them in olive oil and a dash of turmeric, which helps rejuvenate liver cells, can further enhance its cleansing properties.
In order to detoxify efficiently, the liver needs the amino acids found in protein. Fish is an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids, which help normalize an inflamed liver. Eating cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna three times per week is recommended. However, remember to eat no more than 4 ounces at a time because it may cause you to bleed more if you have an existing liver condition. Season your fish with lemon juice in order to further boost the liver; it’s high in vitamin C, aids in digestion and removing toxic substances from the body.
Walnuts help add oxygen into the blood and are rich in arginine, glutathione, omega-3 fatty acids—all of which are important in cleansing the liver. Peanuts, on the other hand, contain aflatoxin, helping in toxin removal. Other healthy nuts, such as Brazil nuts, also contain the very high levels of selenium known for being crucial in cleaning out the bloodstream.
The liver plays such an important role in the body. When it becomes compromised due to substance addiction, normal bodily functions get disrupted and life can be very difficult. While the foods mentioned above can go a long way towards normalizing your liver, their detox properties work best when you obey all of your doctor’s recommendations and completely abstain from alcohol.