Five Foods Your Liver Will LOVE
This month I’m diving into the liver, one of the most important organs in the human body.
The saying “you are what you eat” is entirely true when it comes to the liver – there are foods that will tax this powerful detoxifyer, leaving it in a weakened state and less able to rid your body of harmful toxins.
Then there are those foods that assist liver function and leave it in peak form. So without further ado, here’s my list of some of the top foods that support optimal liver function and nourish those liver cells!
These include broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, brussel sprouts and cabbage. The veggies contain sulfur-containing compounds, glucosinolates, which help to bind onto carcinogenic compounds and eliminate them out of the body.
Broccoli compounds also support the activity of enzymes in the liver, which enhance detoxification pathways. Compounds such as sulforaphane and I3C help convert dangerous compounds into less toxic compounds that can be safely eliminated from the body.
The pigment that gives beets their rich color – betacyanin – is a powerful cancer-fighting agent. In animal studies, the beet fiber has been shown to increase the level of the antioxidant enzymes (specifically glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase) as well as increase white blood cell immune response.
Beets also contain a group of phytonutrients called betalains that support phase 2 detoxification in the liver. This allows the elimination of toxins more efficiently and lessens the toxic load on the body.
The therapeutic uses of garlic are amazing! From lowering cholesterol levels and high blood pressure, to treating diabetes, yeast overgrowth and other microbial infections. Much of garlic’s therapeutic effect is thought to result from its sulfur-containing compounds: allicin, diallyl disulfide, diallyl trisulfide, and others. These sulfur containing compounds help to activate liver enzymes responsible for flushing out toxins from the body.
Garlic also contains high concentrations of trace minerals particularly selenium and germanium that are important for free radical scavenging during the detoxification process.
Lemons are rich in Vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C in particular is required for the production of glutathione – a very potent and key antioxidant involved in detoxification. Lemons also contain a substance known as d-limonene, which is being used to help gallstones and showing promising anti-cancer properties.
Curcumin, turmeric’s yellow pigment, has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity. This antioxidant activity has shown to be beneficial for protecting against damage to DNA from environmental toxins and free-radical formation. There is also promising research emerging that curcumin protects against age-related brain damage, in particular Alzherimer’s disease.