10 Foods and Herbs That Can Improve Your Liver Health
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
The liver is one of the most important organs in our body. It is responsible for approximately 500 functions, including the metabolism of nutrients, the production, and regulations of hormones, the filtering of toxins — to name a few.
If the liver function is compromised by an overload of toxins, fatty foods, sugar, or alcohol, it will affect our entire body and can lead to conditions including:
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Elevated cholesterol
- Fatty liver disease
If I have clients that can’t lose weight no matter how hard they try, I asked them to get their liver checked. In many cases, their tests come back, revealing some sort of liver issues.
On the good side: the liver is an organ that recovers well when taken care of.
This post will introduce you to 10 ideas that can help to improve your liver functions and overall well-being:
Foods That Promote Liver health:
A diet high in refined carbs or alcohol can compromise liver health. However, certain foods can help your liver to stay healthy and well-functioning. Here some examples:
Garlic is loaded with vitamins and minerals. Especially the B-vitamins found in garlic are necessary for proper digestion and the absorption of nutrients, which is one of the primary functions of the liver.
Apart from that, garlic contains antioxidants. According to studies, these antioxidants can help to prevent liver damage by improving the detoxification processes.
Important note: cooking destroys many of the medically active components. That’s why it’s best to eat garlic raw or take garlic supplements. *
Research has shown that the nutrients contained in artichokes can help to improve liver health by increasing the effectiveness of liver functions.
The antioxidants contained in artichokes can help to repair liver tissue. Apart from that, artichokes are a good source of calcium and magnesium, which can support this repair process.
Grapefruits contain antioxidants such as naringenin and naringin which can decrease inflammation and are linked to improved liver health. Also, Grape seed extract can aid weight loss and improved liver function in patients suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Research suggests that the consumption of 4 cups of coffee per day can help to prevent liver diseases because it stimulates the liver enzymes and thus accelerates the detoxification process.
Watermelons contain arginine and citrulline. These amino acids can help to remove ammonia, which is a by-product of protein digestion. The accumulation of these can slow down liver functions.
Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Apart from that, avocados are a good source of fiber and Glutathione, which help the body to remove harmful toxins.
Other foods that can support your liver health include oats, fatty fish, leafy greens, broccoli, berries, and lemons.
Supplements for liver health*
Milk thistle (Silybum Marianum)
Milk thistle is a powerful antioxidant that can help to prevent the free radical damage and inflammation. (1) It can also help to stimulate the production of new liver cells.
You can take milk thistle supplements* or consume it as tea. Milk thistle also supports kidney health and your immune system.
Turmeric is a spice that contains phytochemicals, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins.
The most active component is called curcumin, which can reduce inflammation and help to protect the liver from damage by toxins.
Dandelion are high in potassium, a mineral that acts as a diuretic and can help the liver flush out toxin. Dandelion also it makes it easier for the liver to digest food and aids the overall digestion process.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid that can improve gut health, heart health, and sports recovery. It’s also beneficial to improve fatty liver disease. Research also found that it can improve fatty liver disease by reducing the amount of fat in the liver. (2)
You can learn more about this powerful amino acid in this blog post:
In good health,
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In good health,
*Please consult with your health care provider before taking any supplements, especially if you’re suffering from any chronic condition or are taking mediation.
(1) Das SK, Vasudevan DM. Protective effects of silymarin, a milk thistle (Silybium marianum) derivative on ethanol-induced oxidative stress in liver. Indian J Biochem Biophys. 2006;43(5):306‐311.
(2) Grant JP, Snyder PJ. Use of L-glutamine in total parenteral nutrition. J Surg Res. 1988;44(5):506‐513. doi:10.1016/0022-4804(88)90155-2