The liver is one hard working organ. It performs many functions, from detoxifying the blood, breaking down hormones, and storing essential nutrients.
We tend to overlook the importance of cleansing the liver. It’s not surprising to me. After all, it’s an internal organ. But do you really want to wait to be diagnosed with a liver disease before you start caring for your liver?
Why cleanse the liver?
Cleansing the liver will not only lower your risk of liver related ailments. The impaired liver function could be the cause of many other health issues like constipation, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, poor appetite, excessive sweating, and even depression.
You can also lose weight when you cleanse the liver. A well functioning liver can promote bile production which in turn can aid the body in fat metabolization. Thus, you can shed unwanted pounds faster when you go on a liver detox.
You will also feel younger and more energetic when you cleanse the liver.
The good news is that there are several liver-cleansing foods that you can incorporate into your diet. These are five of the best foods that you should eat more of if you want your liver to be at its optimum state:
Yes, it has a pungent smell that turns off a lot of people. But there’s no denying that garlic is one super food that has many health benefits like cleansing the liver.
Garlic has allicin, a sulfur compound that converts to allicin. This is a powerful antioxidant that alongside the mineral selenium, acts as a cleansing agent of the liver. Allicin also aids in optimizing the function of the immune system, which in turn can lighten the load of the liver.
Garlic’s ability to lower cholesterol levels can also have a positive impact on the liver. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Nutrition noted that garlic can contribute to the reduction of elevated triglycerides that are formed in the liver.
It’s easy to incorporate garlic into your diet because it is an ingredient in many recipes. However, I suggest you use fresh raw garlic instead of processed garlic as you can get more nutrients from it.
You can also eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves daily. Just be sure to brush your teeth afterward.
Packed with vitamin C and glutathione, grapefruit can also contribute to the cleansing of the liver. Glutathione, in particular, has been found to have an ability to increase the production of liver detoxifying enzymes. A grapefruit contains more than 70 micrograms of glutathione.
Studies have also shown that grapefruit has a special type of pectin that can lower the levels of a fat that can clog the liver.
Grapefruit oil has also been linked to cleansing the liver as well. A 2007 study published in the Alternative Medicine Review cited that grapefruit contains D-limonene that can break down and dissolve gallstones.
Like grapefruits, beets contain high levels of pectin. Pectin can flush out fats and toxins from the liver, preventing these from being reabsorbed by the body.
Beets can also promote the good function of the liver by thinning the bile. When this happens, bile can move better through the liver.
There are many ways to incorporate beets into your diet. You can cut off the leaves and then steam the bulb. Don’t remove the skin as it contains many important nutrients. You can also roast or bake beets.
You should also eat the greens as these are packed with nutrients. You can simply steam it before eating. I also know that beets are commonly grated raw for salads.
Or you might want to try making a beet root liver detox drink. You will simply combine one large beetroot with three carrots, one jicama, one fresh turmeric root and one fresh ginger in a juicer. Puree until smooth.
A close relative of ginger, many of us know turmeric as the yellow root that is a staple of Indian cuisine. Many people love turmeric not only because it gives a unique flavor to their recipes, but it also has a lot of health benefits like cleansing the liver.
Turmeric is particularly effective in improving the ability of the human body to digest fats. This can lessen the workload of the liver. It also contains a compound called curcumin that can facilitate the excretion of glutathione, which can regenerate damaged cells in the liver.
You can add turmeric in your daily cooking to avail of its liver-cleansing abilities. Or you can simply mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of water. After boiling it, you can drink this tea twice a day for 2 weeks.
Lemon and lime
Lemon and lime are rich in vitamin C. This is a vitamin that can remove toxic materials, and lessen the load on the liver. The said toxic materials may then be absorbed by water.
I usually drink freshly squeezed lemon juice every morning. This is an effective way of cleansing the liver.
Cleansing the liver can yield a lot of health benefits, from weight reduction to lower risks of certain ailments. You can start to cleanse your liver by taking more of the five foods I discussed above.