The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ attached to the liver that exists as part of the digestive system. The gallbladder's job is to store bile that is created in the liver and secrete it into the duodenum of the small intestine to help break down dietary fats. Cleansing the gallbladder periodically is believed to help prevent instances of gallstones and gallbladder diseases. While it is rare, gallbladder cancer might also be prevented by practicing an annual gallbladder cleanse.
Avoid foods that overwork and damage the gallbladder. It is suggested that in the beginning of a gallbladder cleanse, foods that trigger the gallbladder to work or cause damage to the gallbladder should be avoided, including fried foods, oils and excessive fat sources, to give the gallbladder a rest. Alcohol is believed to increase the likelihood of gallstones forming in the gallbladder and should also be avoided during a gallbladder cleanse.
Focus the diet on foods that support the health and vitality of the gallbladder, such as foods low in protein and fat. Unrefined grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit are recommended. Consume foods that are believed to help break down gallstones, including lemon, lime, pears, parsnips, seaweed, radishes, turmeric, apples and chamomile tea.
Consume a sudden high intake of dietary fat. Near the end of a gallbladder cleanse, consume a large amount of dietary fats, such as flax or olive oil, to send the gallbladder into spasms, which helps clear out any sediment that can form gallstones or toxins. This phase of a gallbladder cleanse can be dangerous if not done properly because gallstones that are already formed could clog up the gallbladder, resulting in pain and cause for immediate medical attention.
- ''Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition''; Paul Pitchford; 2002
- ''Nutritional Symptomatology''; Danielle Perrault; 2009
- ''Staying Healthy With Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine''; Dr. Elson Haas; 2006
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Gallstones and gallbladder disease