5 Foods That Cleanse and Support the Liver
Drinking alcohol, and eating an excessive amount of fatty and processed foods, many of which contain chemical additives, can leave the liver feeling overworked and fatigued. Commercial detox programmes are unnecessary, since the liver is constantly working to cleanse itself and process toxins. However, there are foods that can help to further support and cleanse the liver, stimulating its natural ability to process toxins and improving your overall health.
Garlic contains allicin and selenium, compounds which help to cleanse the blood and boost the immune system. Studies have shown that allicin boosts and stimulates the enzymes which process alcohol, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation1.
The catechins in green tea are potent antioxidants that have been demonstrated to support and improve liver function and reduce inflammation, by reducing oxidative stress2.
Beetroot (beets) contain antioxidants called betalains which have been demonstrated to protect the liver against liver damage3. The fibre and nutrients present in beetroot also help to stimulate and improve liver function.
Turmeric contains the compound curcumin, which as well as displaying potent anticarcinogenic properties, has also been shown to have a strong anti-inflammatory activity in the liver and the ability to slow the development of liver cirrhosis4.
Sweet potatoes, as well as squashes and carrots, are rich in beta-carotene. This antioxidant converts into Vitamin A in the body, and this is required for healthy bone growth and eye function. Alcohol consumption reduces the amount of vitamin A present in the liver and a diet rich in beta-carotene can help to replace this nutrient. Sweet potatoes also contain anthocyanins which have been shown to help protect the liver and support normal liver function5.
The liver is such a vital organ in the body that it can always benefit from a little TLC. Having a break from alcohol, drinking plenty of water, and including the above foods in your diet will help to naturally cleanse and support the liver.
Important note: although the above food compounds are safe when consumed naturally through the diet, scientific studies have shown that their artificial supplementation in the form of tablets and capsules could cause more harm than good.
Medical disclaimer: The advice given in this article is for general information only, if you have any symptoms of liver damage then you must seek professional medical advice.