In the human body, the liver is the largest organ, and rightly so with the numerous vital functions it performs. The liver detoxifies the body from processed foods, harmful chemicals, environmental toxins, etc., but how about the liver itself? How do you take care of an organ that takes care of the entire body?
The liver is fully capable of efficiently detoxifying and cleansing itself, but while it can do this, it doesn’t hurt to get a boost in the detoxification process with the help of these powerful superfoods:
AVOCADO – Avocado is rich in one of the body’s most powerful antioxidants, glutathione. Glutathione supports glutathione peroxidase that protects your hepatocytes from oxidative stress. It also regulates immune cell production to prevent inflammation in the liver, neutralizes free radicals and toxins by binding to the liver walls and inactivating them and breaks down heavy metals so they can be flushed out faster.
TURMERIC – the curcumin in turmeric is responsible for most of its numerous benefits, and it is this same active ingredient that helps liver detoxification. Add to this its polyphenol content that sticks to the walls of damaged hepatocytes, activating the liver’s regeneration. Curcumin increases LDL receptors in the liver, which in turn, prevents cholesterol buildup in the liver.
Curcumin, in general, lowers inflammatory markers, stimulates the immune system’s natural killer cells and prevents the overproduction of extracellular matrix (ECM) which stops inflammation and protects against infection.
LEMON – Lemon is rich in D-Limonene, a kind of antioxidant, responsible for accelerating the production of liver enzymes, which hastens the detoxification process. Lemon’s vitamin C content helps boost the natural production of glutathione in the liver. In addition, vitamin C boosts the absorption of glutathione from outside sources. Lemon keeps liver enzymes under control to prevent damage too.
The pectin and flavonoid content of lemon help keep the gut healthy. A healthy digestive system breaks down waste products and combines toxins faster, minimizing unnecessary wastes from traveling to the liver, which eases the liver’s workload.
MATCHA GREEN TEA – beyond the usual green tea, matcha green tea has concentrated antioxidants called catechins, one of the most potent, that flush out toxins and fats in the liver. This high dose of catechins and in addition, flavonoids, helps reduce inflammation and lowers the enzyme levels in the liver. Catechins also hunt free radicals in the body, breaking down and flushing it fast. Further, it may also help prevent liver cirrhosis as it keeps the cell lining healthy and keeping oxidative stress at bay.
BEETROOT – Beetroot is abundant in betaine, a type of compound that metabolizes toxins, thereby activating liver detoxification as a result. In addition, beetroot is rich in pectin, a compound that has the ability to purify blood from toxins as it flows through the bloodstream.
Another compound abundant in beetroot is betalains, a type of antioxidant that has various pharmacological properties. This antioxidant communicates with the immune system to boost anti-inflammatory marker production and boost the flow of the detoxification process in the liver.
GARLIC – Garlic contains allicin, a type of sulfur compound that attaches to free radicals and inactivates it. Once it attaches to these radicals, it signals these liver cancer cells to self-terminate, enabling cell death, and preventing cancer or its progression. Garlic also hastens fat metabolism and lowers low-density lipoprotein so fatty liver is avoided.
At the end of the day, these superfoods are not an emergency liver cleansing solution but should be a staple added to your daily diet. Even better than eating the right kinds of food for liver detoxification is a holistic approach to a healthier lifestyle!
My name is Sarah Burgess and I’m a health and nutrition specialist and enthusiast. I did my PhD at the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University and finished in 2015 and now I’ve been writing for Slowfoodnation since 2017. Apart from writing on blogs about health, superfood and nutrition, I love to exercise, running and pilates are two of my true addictions! I believe we create our own luck and everyone have the potential to reach true potential and be the best version of ourselves.