The liver is one of the body’s vital organs. It is responsible for many important functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity and the storage of nutrients that the body needs to survive. The liver is a gland that secretes chemicals required by other parts of the body. In fact, the liver is the only part of your body that is both an organ and a gland.
A healthy liver regulates the composition of blood, removes harmful toxins from the blood as well as processes and converts nutrients absorbed by the intestines during digestion into forms that the body can use. It also stores some vitamins, iron and simple sugar glucose. It is also responsible for breaking down insulin, hemoglobin and other hormones. In addition, it destroys old red blood cells and produces chemicals needed for blood to clot properly.
Because the liver performs so many vital functions, it is important to keep it healthy. An unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle can overwork and overload the liver, leaving it unable to process toxins and fat efficiently. This in turn can raise the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, allergies and many other health problems.
Many foods can help cleanse, rejuvenate and detoxify your liver. This will help keep your liver healthy and functioning the way you need it to. Here are some foods to help keep your liver healthy.
Olive oil: Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. In this way, it takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of the toxic overload many of us suffer from.
Lemon and lime: These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver.
Walnuts: Holding high amounts of the amino acid arginine, walnuts aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions. Make sure you chew the nuts well (until they are liquefied) before swallowing.
Cabbage: Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins.
Garlic: Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
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.
Green tea: This liver-loving beverage is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function. Green tea is not only delicious, it’s also a great way to improve your overall diet.
Avocados: This nutrient-dense super-food helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.
Green vegetables: One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophyls, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver. It will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.