- Garlic-super detoxifier for your liver! So are onions and leeks. They are high in vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Diabetics need to consume lots of onions and garlic to help lower blood sugar levels!
- Oat Bran-it's a source of liver-loving, water-soluble fiber which aids in the elimination of bile and cholesterol. Like oatmeal, it contains B complex vitamins, protein, fat, and minerals. In addition, oat bran can help the liver by reducing the bad LDL and raise levels of good HDL cholesterol.
- Cruciferous vegetables-these include, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and bok choy. One of the big reasons to eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables is that they may help to lower your risk of getting cancer.
A tasty, simple, and efficient way to get more cruciferous and other liver friendly vegetables and fruits, nuts, seeds and cold pressed oils into your healthy diet is through all natural Juices and Smoothies. Just follow the link for recipes and information!
A review of research published in the October 1996 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association showed that 70% or more of the studies found a link between cruciferous vegetables and protection against cancer.
Some of these veggies have shown the ability to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining (endometrium), lung, colon, liver, and cervix, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.
- Artichokes-although an artichoke can look a little bit intimidating to us, this vegetable is very good for your liver and packed full of flavor!
One artichoke contains approximately one fourth of an average sized adults fiber needs. The artichoke is also rich in vitamin C, potassium, folic acid and magnesium. It is cleansing to the liver, and protects and regenerates the liver.
Research has also shown that there is a chemical naturally contained in the artichoke that may help lower blood fat levels. They believe this chemical causes your liver to release more bile which minimizes fat in your blood.
Any food that increases the bile that is released into your digestive tract will result in less fat being absorbed into your blood.
- Chicken-limited amounts provide an excellent protein source. Chicken is a very good source of the cancer-protective B vitamin, niacin, and B complex. Chicken is also a good source of the trace mineral, selenium.
Research published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry indicates regular consumption of niacin-rich foods like chicken provides protection against Alzheimer's disease and age-related cognitive decline.
If you have access to organic chicken (and can afford it), go for it. Organically grown chickens have been fed an organically grown diet and have been raised without the use of hormones or antibiotics, which will ease the load on your liver. Free-range chickens are allowed access to the outdoors as opposed to being confined to the hen house.
- Eggs-one egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids. Eggs are extremely liver friendly.
They are a good source of choline. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline which is an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system.
They contain the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat,and eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D. You can also purchase eggs that are enriched with omega 3 fatty acids!
Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their liver-loving, high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals. Many people find their hair growing faster after adding eggs to their diet, especially if they were previously deficient in foods containing sulphur or B12.
According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke, and heart attacks.
- Legumes-beans, peas, soybeans and peanuts are a good source of essential B vitamins, fiber, protein, and iron.
Beans also contains the amino acid arginine. There are many benefits of arginine, according to the Nutritional Supplements Health Guide, including increased immune function, the ability to detoxify the liver, and increased fertility in men.
Arginine also causes the release of nitric oxide in the blood vessels, which has the effect of relaxing blood vessels! You know what they say, "Beans, beans, good for the heart........"
- Beets-one of the best foods out there for your liver could be beets, although most people wouldn't list them under their "favorite food" category.
Beets are especially good for the liver. They're a wonderful source of iron; a great source of antioxidants and folic acid; and have been shown to be an immunity booster and guard against cancer. Follow the link for testimonials and learn more about amazing health benefits of beet juice.
If you're wondering how to prepare beets, other than juicing, try a Borscht recipe. Borscht, a very popular vegetable soup made of beets, is a traditionally loved dish in Poland, Russia, Germany and other Eastern European countries. There are cold and hot Borscht soups and each country varies some of the ingredients, but beets are the one common, and main, ingredient of this revered and hearty soup.
- Brown Rice-brown rice is an great source of fiber, B vitamins, manganese, and of the minerals selenium and magnesium.
White rice can't compare to brown. The complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.
By law in the United States, fully milled and polished white rice must be "enriched" with vitamins B1, B3, and iron.
- Carrots-are an excellent source of antioxidants and the richest vegetable source of the pro-vitamin A carotenes, which help protect your liver.
Carrots' antioxidants help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer and also promote good vision, especially night vision.
If you are a smoker.....EAT CARROTS!
They are easy to eat on the go, and are great as an appetizer, or snack, with some tasty veggie dips.
- Tomatoes-there are more health benefits derived from eating a tomato than the scientific community is able to print, at least yet. They are very high in vitamins C and E, and lycopene!
Cancers such as prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, rectal cancer, and cancers of the stomach, mouth, pharynx, and esophagus have all been proven to be staved off by high levels of lycopene.
The tomato is a good blood purifier and tomatoes help in cases of congestion of the liver, protecting the liver from cirrhosis. Tomato juice is even recommended for gallstones.
- Nuts and seeds-are rich in vitamin E and potassium, high in minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. Some are good sources of folic acid, niacin, and other B vitamins. Others provide plant protein, fiber, and Omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Don't worry that nuts are fattening. These are the good fats that your liver and your body needs. They contain monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils that do not cause clogging of blood vessels with fatty plaque. As a matter of fact, nuts have the ability to lower cholesterol and heart attack risk.
Nuts are a slow-burning food and studies show they can even help people lose weight.
- Cold Water Fish-another great protein source and provider of omega 3 fatty acids for healthy liver function.
Omega-3 is used in the body to make, repair, and maintain cell membranes. The cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems all need Omega-3 fatty acids. A deficiency of Omega-3 in the diet has been linked to serious illnesses such as depression, heart disease, and strokes.
This would include salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, and more. When possible opt for the "wild caught" instead of the "farm-raised" fish.
- Flaxseeds and Flaxseed oil- flax has been called one of the most powerful plant foods on the planet. There’s some evidence it can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
Flaxseeds contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects; lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities; and both the soluble and insoluble types of fiber.
- Fruits-several fruits can benefit the liver by helping to build new blood cells and eliminating the body of bacteria and harmful waste.
A liver cleansing diet should consist of quality fruits (organic when possible) and plenty of pure water. Apples are very cleansing to the blood; fresh lemon juice is great for cleansing the liver; and pomegranates provide excellent antioxidant protection, and have been proven to lower LDL cholesterol, which can clog the liver.
Pomegranates increase blood flow helping the liver function better, considering that there are about three pints of blood that flows through the liver every minute.
Decide what your favorite fruits are and try to consume some of them each day.
- Sea Vegetables-kelp, nori, and wakame are a few. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K; a very good source of the B-vitamin folate; magnesium; a good source of iron and calcium; and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. They also contain measurable amounts of vitamins C and E.
They offer one of the broadest ranges of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean - and not surprisingly, many of same minerals found in human blood, which is good news for the liver.
Where do you buy sea vegetables? Check out Live Superfoods website! They also carry high quality, organic flaxseeds, nuts, and nut butters.
This list provides you with a base of foods to start incorporating into your diet for a healthy liver.
Focus on eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables; herbs and spices; and fish and lean meats; and you will be enjoying the benefits of a healthy liver in no time. Oh, and keep drinking that water!
Just keep adding a new healthy liver food one day, or week, at a time.
The important thing is that you get that liver functioning smoothly so you can lose weight, feel good every day, and live well and live long.