Maintaining a healthy liver depends on how well you take care of it. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body and is essential in metabolizing nutrients from foods, regulating digestion and detoxifying harsh substances from the body, notes MayoClinic.com. The most significant way you can keep your liver clean and healthy is through eating a nutritious diet, free of chemicals. The American Liver Foundation indicates that fatty foods, being overweight and overuse of damaging substances, such as alcohol or medications, can increase the risk of developing liver complications. Talk with your doctor before you begin any self-treatment.
Use artichoke to increase bile production. Bile is secreted by the liver and serves to remove toxins by way of the bowels. The Disabled World website suggests eating artichokes to increase bile production as a means for cleansing the liver. Leafy greens, endive and chicory also stimulate bile flow.
Take a milk thistle supplement. Milk thistle contains a flavonoid complex, which is important for protecting the cells against free radical damage and inflammation. The American Liver Society indicates that use of milk thistle can restore normal structure and function of a liver harmed by alcohol abuse as well as other damaging substances. Get a milk thistle supplement containing 70 to 210 mg of silymarin, a liver detoxifying agent, to take three times a day. Remember to discuss your plans to use milk thistle with your physician before you begin.
Add garlic and onion to your meals. According to Disabled World, garlic and onions contain allicin, a sulphur-containing compound that promotes liver detoxification. Allicin occurs best when garlic or onions are finely chopped or crushed. Add these to your entrees at the end of cooking to receive the most benefits from the allicin.
Consume less sodium and saturated fats. The Hepatitis Foundation International notes that sodium, contained in salt, can cause fluid retention and swelling when consumed in high amounts. Do not add salt to your meals and avoid foods with high-sodium content, such as canned meats or vegetables, and certain condiments. Eating foods lower in fats is also important for cleansing a damaged liver. Try reading food labels to determine fat content and sodium content. Stick with fresh foods, such as produce, lean meats and whole grains.
Drink lemon water daily. Lemon is a natural cleanser for the body. Mix freshly squeezed lemon juice into a cup of hot water and drink in the morning on an empty stomach. Lemon will increase bile production and stimulate your bowels. Do not add sugar to your drink.
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Do not cook garlic and onions for too long as this will decrease the detoxifying effect. Fruits, such as apples, berries and oranges, contain antioxidants, which are good for protecting the liver from chemical toxins.
Avoid drinking excess amounts of alcohol to prevent liver damage, notes MayoClinic.com. If you have a drinking problem, do not drink alcohol at all as this will cause liver damage.