Every time we go out at the weekend and have a tad too much to drink, we joke about the damage we’re doing to our liver. But have you ever stopped to really think about the damage you’re doing and how diet can play an important role in keeping your liver healthy?
Your liver is kinda an important organ. It’s your biggest detoxifying organ, which means it’s responsible for cleaning out your system, eliminating nasty toxins and chemicals so that your body keeps functioning at its optimum. But when it’s under too much stress from a poor diet (including alcohol), your liver can start to slow down. When this happens, you’ll feel it in the form of symptoms that include fatigue, headaches and skin conditions.
The thing is that, yes, your liver can breakdown and, yes, that can be scary. In fact, most people who have a fatty liver probably don’t even realise it. The good news, on the other hand, is that your liver can regenerate, which means it can get back to being as healthy and hardworking as it used to be. But only if you treat it well. Let’s take a look at the 10 best foods to eat for a healthy liver.
All the best mornings start with coffee, so let’s start this list with it! While we all know how amazing coffee is for our energy levels and alertness, coffee also works wonders for our liver. In fact, studies have demonstrated that coffee can even protect us from liver disease. It reduces the risk of scarring, permanent liver damage, cirrhosis, and it can also help a fatty liver to repair itself. So if you’ve been thinking of giving up your morning cup of Joe recently, you might want to rethink that particular decision!
Not a massive fan of coffee? Maybe you could drink more tea to promote better liver health instead. Green tea in particular is widely known for its health benefits. As well as lowering our blood sugar levels, slowing down the ageing process and burning more fat, green tea also supports your liver. Studies have shown that the more green tea you drink, the more you can reduce your risk of developing liver cancer. However, as much as we love green tea here at Beauty and Tips, we would always advise that people drink it as opposed to taking green tea supplements. Why? Because studies have shown that the supplements can actually be dangerous enough to cause liver damage. If you’re not keen on the way green tea tastes, there are other tea options. That said, you can also buy flavoured green tea.
Lemons and Limes
Whether you prefer lemons or limes, it’s time to start adding more of these citrus fruit to your diet. Both of them are rich in liver-friendly vitamin C and they make the perfect addition to your morning glass of water.
There are two reasons why you should eat more garlic: To ward off vampires and to support your liver. And we’re only kidding about one of those reasons. In fact, nutritionists, scientists and health experts are all in agreement that we should try to eat garlic at least once per day. This can be tricky as garlic doesn’t work in every dish, but the key takeaway is that you should eat it as much as you can. Why? Because it’s rich in sulphur compounds that active the liver enzymes which flush out waste and toxins from your body. Garlic is also rich in selenium, a key nutrient and mineral that also assists with the detoxification process.
Cabbage isn’t to everyones taste but if you don’t mind it, it’s well worth eating more of it as it boosts enzymes in your liver that eliminate pesky toxins.
Broccoli is perhaps more well-known as a “brain food” but it also supports your liver – just like its brassica vegetable siblings, such as cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. Something these guys have in common are sulphur compounds, which are also found in garlic. These compounds boost the detoxification process, and thus give your liver a health kick. Broccoli also flushes toxins out of your system, and it contains compounds that help your liver metabolise hormones. So the next time you’re offered broccoli, try not to clamp your shut, while shaking your head violently. It’s good for you!
One of the most bitter fruits on the planet, grapefruit is a great way to get your metabolism firing in the morning. It’s a bit of an acquired taste but if you love it, it’s time to eat more of it as grapefruit cleanses your liver and supports its abilities to flush toxins out of your system.
Avocado is everywhere at the moment and we promote it a lot on Beauty and Tips – and for good reason. It’s a fruit that everyone seems to be eating, from your hipster friends to your mom and her sewing circles. But is it really as good as people say it is? Well, some folk don’t appreciate its taste (or ‘lack of taste’), while others can’t get onboard with its mushy texture. But everyone else pretty much loves it! As well as making a fine addition to salads, sandwiches, guacamole and scrambled eggs, avocado is also rich in a powerful antioxidant that protects your liver from toxins and waste. Get on it!
Many of us are unsure of what oil we should be cooking with, but if you want to look after your liver, olive oil is a very good option. Olive oil shouldn’t be used excessively but – like flaxseed and hemp – it provides support for your liver by shouldering some of its duties.
A really colourful and vibrant vegetable, the humble beetroot supports your liver by kicking into touch nasty carcinogens that are intent on causing as much damage as possible. Enjoy beets raw or cooked, and add them to your salads this summer.