The liver helps maintain good health and is important for many body functions including digestion, metabolism, detoxification and blood clotting. Liver enzymes are proteins that help to speed up reactions, and elevated levels are signs of a liver impairment that must be treated. While a variety of conditions and some medications can cause enzyme imbalances in the liver, diet also plays a crucial role.
According to author and physician Dr. Sandra Cabot, a liver-cleansing diet can help balance the enzymes and functions of the liver. Liver-cleansing includes reducing the consumption of refined carbohydrates such as sugar, white breads, pasta, pastries, biscuits and desserts. Also avoid sugary processed foods and drinks, deep-fried foods and carbonated beverages and saturated fats such as margarine, butter and animal shortenings.
Increase fruits and vegetables in your meals and add garlic, which contains the antioxidant allicin to decrease heavy metals in the liver. Foods that are rich in the B-complex vitamins such as eggs, broccoli, spinach, brown rice and whole grains help to decongest the liver. Also add bitter vegetables such as bitter gourd, mustard greens and chicory to your diet to promote the production of bile in the liver and drink plenty of water to flush out toxins.
Toxin and Hormone-Free Diet
According to Stem Cell Network, the liver is the body's main blood reservoir. It filters more than 1.4 liters of blood per minute, and one-fourth of all blood leaving the heart goes to the liver for processing. It is also plays an important role in fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Foods that contain chemicals such as antibiotics and hormones increase the workload of the liver because they must be filtered from the body. To decrease stress on the liver, avoid these toxic substances by restricting the amount of poultry, turkey and beef eaten; these meats contain steroids, growth hormones and antibiotics. Milk, cheese and other dairy products may also contain these substances. Decrease these foods from your diet and stick to organic poultry, meats and dairy whenever possible. Soy milk is a good milk replacement. Also avoid artificial sweeteners as they contain chemicals and foods with artificial flavorings and colors.
Raw Juice Diet
A raw juice diet helps to decrease weight and cleanse and strengthen the liver. Dr. Cabot recommends both raw vegetable and fruit juice for their concentrated healing and rejuvenating properties in the form of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that decrease inflammation and balance function in the liver. Fruits and vegetable juice that are suitable for balancing the liver include juiced apples, which contain pectin that helps to remove heavy metals from the intestines, grapefruit, beets and carrots contain potent antioxidants and vitamins. Celery, cucumber and cabbage juice help to balance pH levels and reduce metabolic wastes in the body.