The liver is one of the five vital organs in humans and carries out hundreds of roles in the body. However, the liver is best known as the body’s processing plant, removing toxins from anything you ingest. It is also one of the most forgiving organs, as it has the unique ability to regenerate. However, if the damage is too severe, it cannot recover, and so good care is necessary to support a healthy lifestyle. This article provides five foods known for their liver enhancing capabilities, which are straightforward to introduce into a balanced diet.
Garlic is an excellent food to add to your diet for many reasons, but it has particular benefit for liver health. The key component is the sulfoxide alliin, which, when chopped or crushed, converts to the active ingredient allicin. It is this allicin which is understood to have the most effect on liver health, due to its antioxidant properties that help protect the liver from damaging free radicals. Garlic also contains many additional compounds that contribute to reducing liver hypertension and fatty liver disease, making it an excellent choice for maintaining a healthy liver.
Nutrient-rich vegetables such as spinach, kale, or chard make a great addition to a liver-friendly diet. They reduce stress on the liver by neutralizing many of the toxins that burden the liver. In doing so, the organ has more time to recover and repair any damage before it becomes permanent. Also, like many vegetables, you can eat as many leafy greens as you want without any negative impact, so they make a great addition to almost every meal.
Green Tea falls on a fine line between benefiting and hindering your liver. In small amounts, it can do wonders for liver health, but it is important not to overdo it, as too much can cause hepatotoxicity. Green tea contains antioxidants known as catechins that have shown to assist and protect the liver. However, too much and the opposite can occur, resulting in permanent damage to the liver. The key is moderation, with the recommendation set at one or two cups a day.
Yes, an apple a day can help keep the doctor away! The major benefit to liver health comes from a soluble fiber known as pectin, which helps clean the blood by removing toxins and cholesterol. In addition to this, apples also contain compounds known as flavonoids, which stimulate bile production, helping the removal of toxins from the liver.
It seems that turmeric is the answer to virtually every ailment these days, but there has been conclusive research showing that turmeric excels at reversing the effects of some liver disease. Turmeric contains a polyphenol known as curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory properties. This feature prevents overburdening of the liver, which is understood to reduce the risk of fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis. When these conditions are already present, turmeric has been shown to slow down the progress of these diseases, and, in the case of fatty liver disease, reverse it.
As with any dietary change, it is important to maintain balance and variety in the foods chosen. The key is to substitute the less nutritious parts of your diet with alternatives. By adding some of these five into your daily plan, you should ensure that you have all of the nutrients and vitamins available to maintain a healthy liver.