Your liver produces bile, which breaks down fats and aids in digestion, as well as removes toxins from your body. Every food you eat passes through the liver in some form. A liver cleanse helps release toxins that may build up from eating a poor diet high in saturated fats, such as fried and salty foods, and alcohol and drugs -- both recreational and prescription. Before modifying your diet for a liver cleanse, consult your physician.
Guava, red bell pepper and kiwi all contain more vitamin C than orange juice. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that fights free radical damage and benefits your liver by allowing healthy cells to regenerate. Your liver is the only organ in the body capable of replacing damaged tissue with new cells, says Dr. Douglas R. LaBrecque, director of liver services, Iowa University Hospital. Other good sources of vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, strawberries and Brussels sprouts.
Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, pinenuts and peanut butter are excellent sources of fat-soluble vitamin E that naturally contain unsaturated fat, helping your body absorb the vitamin effectively. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that boosts your immune system and assists enzymes to detoxify damaging chemicals. Foods that aid in detoxification, ease the burden on your liver.
Navy beans, kidney beans, split peas and lentils are high in fiber, which binds with material in the GI tract and helps your body expel waste more effectively. Helping your body rid itself of waste as quickly as possible helps cleanse your body of toxins. A high fiber diet may also help treat diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol and colon cancer.
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may prevent hepatic steatosis -- the medical term for fatty liver disease and lower insulin resistance. A study done in Barcelona, Spain shows that two types of lipids specific to omega-3s, resolvins and protectins, are responsible for the benefits to your liver. Eat salmon, anchovies, sardines and other fatty cold-water fish. Walnuts, flaxseed and purslane are good plant-based sources of omega3s.
Garlic, onions and egg yolks contain sulphur, a compound that helps the liver detoxify from a wide range of poisons, ranging from alcohol to pesticides and other environmental toxins.
- MedLine Plus: Liver Diseases
- USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005
- Women Fitness: Top 10 Tips for a Healthy Liver and Lymph
- Digestive and Liver Disease Consultants: High Fiber Diet
- The FASEB Journal: Obesity-induced insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis are alleviated by ω-3 fatty acids: a role for resolvins and protectins