Why You Should Love Your Liver This January, 7 Amazing Foods To Boost Your Liver Function
It’s the New Year, and of course, everyone is talking about detoxing. Bottles of wine stashed in the vegetable drawer of the fridge are being replaced with, well, vegetables! We are dusting off our blenders, and juicing anything green. But what does the term detoxing actually mean? And can we really reverse the effects of our festive indulgences with a dry January?!
The good news is that our liver, the second largest organ (the first being the skin) and the detoxification hub of our bodies, is busy detoxifying all of the time. Even in December! The liver metabolises everything that we eat and are exposed to and detoxifies the entire body’s system from all ingested toxins.
Over the festive period, it is likely that our liver has had to work a little harder than usual, having been overburdened with alcohol, sugar and processed foods not usually consumed in such vast quantities! But we can be motivated by the fact that the liver is amazingly regenerative, and through diet, there is a lot we can do to help it. This essentially is what we are aiming to do when we “detox”, and there are certain foods that have powerful liver-boosting effects.
Top 7 foods to boost liver function
1) Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. These are all rich in sulphur-containing compounds, which help the liver to detoxify by boosting the production of high levels of detoxifying enzymes.
2) Garlic is rich in sulphur-containing compounds, and in addition, contains selenium and allicin- two powerful nutrients that help protect the liver from toxic damage.
3) Green tea is loaded with catechins, a type of antioxidant (compounds that help the body get rid of harmful free radicals) that have been shown in studies to promote liver function and prevent the accumulation of dangerous fat in the liver http://www.nature.com/ijo/journal/v26/n11/abs/0802141a.html.
4) Turmeric, the key component is curcumin, a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that prevents the liver from damage and can help to regenerate new liver cells. Turmeric also helps to stimulate the production of bile, necessary for the breakdown and processing of fats and proteins from your food, and the removal of waste and toxins.
5) Bitter greens, such as dandelion, chicory and rocket. The bitterness of these foods helps to stimulate bile flow. They are also high in chlorophyll which plays a role in cleansing the blood and ridding the body of ingested toxins.
6) Beetroot is bursting with antioxidants and folic acid for detoxification. It also contains betaine, a compound which promotes the regeneration of liver cells.
7) Avocados are rich in glutathione, the ultimate liver-boosting antioxidant which prevents damage to the liver and aids detoxification.
It really cannot be emphasized enough; loving your liver is one of the most important things that you can do for your health this January.
Naomi Mead, a a trained nutritional therapist. Naomi is accredited at the renowned Institute of Optimum Nutrition and writes for Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about the particular areas of weight management, female health, sports nutrition and digestive disorders.