Foods that are good for your liver health
Foods for liver health are those foods that help cleanse your liver immensely and maintain its overall health. The production of proteins, cholesterol, and bile to storing minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates are some of the tasks performed by a liver.
The liver also helps break down toxins such as medications, alcohol, and natural waste products of metabolism. It is advisable for you to keep your liver in good shape as it helps maintain your overall health.
Best proven foods for liver health
Here are the lists for the best foods to consume to help cleanse your liver naturally:
If you really want to boost your liver health, take some coffee.
Drinking coffee has been known to reduce the risk of developing liver cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in individuals with severe disease of the liver. Also consuming coffee has been found to lower the risk of having a common type of liver cancer, and it has significant effects on liver disease/inflammation.
Furthermore, people with chronic liver disease who consume at least 3 cups in a day tend to have their chance of being dead from this condition lowered.
Drinking coffee helps reduce inflammation and increases levels of the antioxidant glutathione. These antioxidants help fight against free radicals which are produced in the body and can cause cells damage.
With the numerous health benefits of coffee, your liver can stay healthy by taking that early morning coffee drink.
The two main antioxidants (naringin and naringenin) present in grapefruit helps protect the liver naturally. A study carried out on animals deduced how the two main antioxidants present in grapefruit helps protect the liver from unseen injury.
Grapefruit helps in the reduction of inflammation and protection of cells in the body. Another study has shown that these antioxidants can lower the development of hepatic fibrosis, a harmful condition in which excessive connective tissue accumulates in the liver. This completely results from severe inflammation.
Consequently, some mice were given high-fat diet, naringenin was found to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and also increases the number of enzymes required for burning fat, which can help prevent excess fat from building up.
Naringin has been found in rat to improve the ability to breakdown alcohol and counteract some negative effects of alcohol. But the recent evidence shows how grapefruit has been a good way to keep your liver healthy by fighting inflammation/damage.
Although most studies talked about the antioxidants in grapefruit and are carried out on animals.
Usually, the red and purple grapes contain some important plant compounds of which resveratrol are the most famous of all. Studies carried out in animal deduced how grapes can reduce inflammation, prevent damage and increase antioxidant levels immensely.
A research carried out in humans with NAFLD shows how supplementing with grape seed extract for 3 months helps improve liver function.
However, since grape seed extract is in concentrated form, you won’t be able to see the same effects from consuming whole grapes. More researches are required before taking grape seed extract to boost your overall liver health.
The wide range of proving from animal and some human studies show how grapes are foods for liver health.
They are one of those foods for liver health because they contain nitrates and antioxidants know as betalains. Beetroot helps improve heart health and lower oxidative and inflammation.
You might think consuming beets themselves would have similar health effects with beetroot juice as most studies use beetroot juice.
Beets help with increasing oxygen by cleansing the body and can break down toxins to assist them to be excreted quicker. They also help stimulate bile flow and improve enzymatic activity. Beets also contain vitamin C and fiber, which are two main natural cleansers for the digestive system.
A study involving rat shows how beetroot juice reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the liver, as well as increase natural detoxification.
Although animal researches look promising, similar researchers have not been performed in humans.
Nuts are rich in fats, contains nutrients such as the antioxidant vitamin E and important plant compounds which serves as one of those essential foods for liver health.
6-month observational research in 106 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease discovered that eating nuts bring about improved levels of liver enzymes in the body.
Nuts like walnuts are rich in arginine, which helps the body to neutralize and eliminate toxic byproducts of alcohol/ammonia from your brain and central nervous system (CNS).
Another study deduced that men who consumed small amounts of nuts and seeds stand a higher chance of developing NAFLD than men who consume large amounts of nuts/seeds.
However, more improved quality researches are needed as preliminary data only addressed nuts as being an important food for liver health.
Olive oil has a lot of health benefits ranging from improving heart/metabolic health to significant effects on the liver.
A study involving 11 people with NAFLD found that taking one teaspoon usually about 6.5 ml of olive oil in a day improved fat levels and liver enzyme. It was also known to increase the levels of a protein associated with potential metabolic effects.
The participants also had less build-up of fat and efficient blood flow in the liver.
Others studies carried out recently have also discovered similar effects of olive oil consumption in humans, including less build-up of fats in the liver, improved insulin sensitivity and improved blood levels of liver enzymes in the body.
The buildup of fat in the liver is usually the first phase of liver disease. But with the beneficial effect of olive oil’s on liver fat and other aspects of health, make it a must healthy food to consume.
Garlic is known to contain selenium, an important mineral that helps remove harmful substances from the liver. It also helps activate liver enzymes into flushing out toxins from the liver naturally.
Garlic has 39 different antibacterial agents, which serves s a great food for preventing illnesses at bay.
Carrots are important foods for liver health because they are rich in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene. They also contain vitamin A, which helps prevent the development of a liver problem.
Avocado help produce glutathione, the compound that enables the liver to get rid of harmful substances from the body. They also help cleanse your arteries immensely.
Tea is generally known for its health benefits, but recent studies have shown it is one of those important foods for liver health you must consume.
Green tea contains catechins, plant-based antioxidants found to improve the proper functioning of the liver.
A Japanese study discovered that drinking 5-10 cups of green tea daily was associated with improved blood markers of liver health.
Another study in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients deduced that drinking green tea rich in antioxidants for 3 months improved liver enzyme levels and may also reduce oxidative stress and accumulation of fats in the liver.
Furthermore, another research found that people who drank green tea were less likely to have liver cancer. The lowest risk was seen in people who drank 4 or more cups daily.
Some studies have been experimented on mice and found that black tea extract reversed many of the negative effects of a high-fat diet on the liver, as well as boost blood markers of liver health immensely.
It is advisable that people with liver problems should be careful before consuming green tea as a supplement. This is because several reports of liver damage have been received as a result of consuming supplements containing green tea extract.
Blueberries and cranberries
These fruits contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that give berries its distinctive colors and also have a lot of health benefits.
Several studies carried out in animal shows that whole cranberries and blueberries, as well as their juices/extracts, can help keep the liver healthy/active.
When you consume these fruits for 3-4 weeks, it helps protect your liver from damage. It is also known that blueberries help improves immune cell response and antioxidant enzymes.
Consequently, research shows that the types of antioxidants present in berries slowed the development of fibrosis and lesions, the development of scar tissue, in the livers of rats.
Notwithstanding, the blueberry extract has been discovered to prevent the growth of human liver cancer cells in studies conducted using test-tube. But more studies are required to determine if this effect can be viable in the human body.
Inculcate these berries into your diet regularly as they are important foods for liver health and also improve your overall health.
Prickly pear has been used in traditional medicine for the treatment of ulcers, fatigue, wounds, and liver disease. Its scientific name is Opuntia ficus-indica.
A study involving 55 people in 2004 shows that the extract of prickly pear helps reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
Participants experienced less dry mouth, nauseating feelings, and lack of appetite and were half as likely to develop a severe hangover if they consumed the extract before drinking alcohol, which is detoxified by the liver. The study concluded these side effects were as a result of the reduction in inflammation, which often arises after drinking alcohol.
Furthermore, a research carried out in mice found that consuming extract of prickly pear helped stabilize enzyme and cholesterol levels when consumed at the same time as a pesticide known to be harmful to the liver. Subsequent studies discovered similar results.
A recent study carried out in rats strives to determine the effectiveness of prickly pear juice, rather than its extract, at fighting the negative effects of alcohol. The juice was found to reduce the amount of oxidative damage and injury to the liver after alcohol consumption and helped maintain antioxidant and inflammation levels.
More human studies are required, especially using prickly pear juice/fruit, rather than extract in combating the negative effects of alcohol on the human body.
Broccoli, Brussels sprout and mustard greens are essential foods for liver health because they are rich in fiber content and have a distinctive taste.
Animal studies have shown broccoli sprout extract and Brussels sprouts improve levels of detoxification enzymes and protect the liver from damage.
Broccoli sprouts also contain indole-3-carbinol, a compound that helps the liver remove excessive levels of hormones from the body.
A study carried out in human liver cells shows that this effect remained even when Brussels sprouts were cooked.
Recent research in men with fatty liver discovered that broccoli sprout extract, which is rich in important plant compounds, improved liver enzyme levels, and reduced oxidative stress. The same study shows that the broccoli sprout extract prevented liver failure in rats.
Broccoli sprouts have precursors of sulforaphane, which has been shown to help prevent cancers.
Studies involving humans are limited. But so far, you’ve seen that cruciferous vegetables are important foods for liver health. You can turn cruciferous vegetables into a tasty and healthy dish by lightly roasting them with garlic and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.
Fatty fish helps reduce inflammation and also lower your risk of having heart disease because of the presence of healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids. The fats present in fatty fish have been found to help prevent the accumulation of fat, stabilize enzyme levels, fight inflammation and improve the resistance of insulin.
You have to take into consideration the ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats than just consuming it the way you like.
It is known that many Americans exceed the intake recommendations for omega-6 fats, which are derived from many plant oils. If the omega-6 fats to omega-3 fats ratio are very high, it can lead to the development of the liver disease. On the other hand, you have to reduce your consumption of omega-6 fats, as well.
This herb has a lot of health benefits as it aids the enzymes that flush out harmful substances from the liver. Turmeric contains antioxidants that repair liver cells and also assists the liver in removing harmful metals while improving bile production.
Apples are essential foods for liver health as they are rich in pectin, a chemical that helps the body cleanse and remove toxins from the digestive tract. The liver can manage its toxin load with fewer toxins in its digestive tract making it able to better cleanse the rest of the body.
An individual feeling bloated or constipated for more than 3 days is advised to consume some fermented foods like Kefir, pickles, sauerkraut, and kimchi according to Dr. Passler. Also, these fermented foods introduce gut-friendly bacteria to fill the intestines and promote healthy flushing.
Now that you’ve known the several foods for liver health, adhere to those foods to save not just your liver but your overall health.