It is important to eat foods that are good for the liver, because among the various functions of this organ is to detoxify the body. Throughout the day, we end up consuming a lot of toxins, but through food we can reinforce the activities performed by the liver.
Citrus fruits, apples and avocados, as well as vegetables such as carrots, beets and even green tea , have components that help the organ to metabolize toxins and also prevent damage caused by them in the body.
Are you curious to know how this works? Keep reading this article, because Home Remedy has separated a list with the 10 best foods for the liver, how they act in the body and also some habits that help to prevent diseases. Check out!
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Foods for the liver
Apples, tomatoes, cabbage and olive oil are some of the foods that are good for the liver. But it’s not just these! Everything we eat and drink directly influences our health, and with the liver, the organ responsible for cleaning the body, it’s no different.
For this reason, it is important to maintain a diet rich in antioxidant substances that act as a natural detox , improving organ functioning. Here are the 10 best foods to keep your liver healthy!
Apples are good for the liver due to two factors. The first is the large amount of soluble fiber , which acts directly on the reduction of fat accumulated in the liver.
This happens because these substances act together with bile acids, reducing the absorption of fat by the organ and favoring its elimination through the feces.
Another reason why the apple is an ally of the liver is due to the presence of antioxidant substances . In particular phenolic compounds, which protect the organ against damage caused by free radicals.
These are substances produced during cell oxidation, but they cause several problems for the liver and can lead to the development of various degenerative diseases.
Tomatoes aid in the production and metabolization of glutathione, a molecule considered “the mother” of all antioxidants and which has a detoxifying action on the liver.
This causes the consumption of tomatoes, preferably raw, to contribute to the increase in glutathione. In addition to stimulating the growth of other types of powerful antioxidants in the body, such as lycopene and carotenoids.
In this way, the fruit helps protect the organ against damage caused by toxins ingested throughout the day, free radicals and other external elements.
These benefits were proven in a study published in 2011. This research also showed the positive effect of the fruit against the damage caused by the action of tetra-hydrochloric carbon, a substance that simulates the harmful effects of the virus that causes hepatitis.
Another excellent food for those looking to ingest glutathione naturally is spinach . Vegetables contain large amounts of the antioxidant, so it is an essential part of the liver’s cleansing process.
On top of that, it’s rich in vitamins like K, A, C and E, with the last three acting as antioxidants in the body. As such, spinach should be in the diet of anyone who wants to take better care of their liver .
But beware, the vegetable has large amounts of oxalate, a substance that hinders the absorption of various minerals and can even cause kidney stones. Therefore, the raw leaves should not be consumed in excess.
Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons also have many benefits in liver care. This is because they have the ability to increase the production of a protective serum, which coats the organ and prevents damage.
At the same time, the phytochemical compounds in these fruits lower levels of bilirubin, a substance that is excreted in the urine and which in large amounts indicates liver problems.
Finally, the essential oils found in citrus fruit peels also have the ability to reduce cholesterol absorption. In the long run, this prevents the accumulation of fat in the tissues.
Carrots are rich in so-called carotenoid compounds, especially beta-carotene and retinol, components of vitamin A that act as powerful antioxidants in the body.
This was discovered in tests done using tetrahydrochloric carbon, where it was found that the phytochemicals in carrots were able to prevent most of the damage caused by external factors such as viruses and alcohol.
A beet , in addition to having high levels of carotenoids, is also rich in a substance called betalaína, giving red tone of the root. Other beneficial substances present in this root are phenolic compounds.
All of these important antioxidants protect the liver from damage caused by ingesting certain types of medication and alcohol, for example.
At the same time, the root also increases glutathione levels, while decreasing the levels of other elements that are harmful to the organ’s proper functioning. An example of this is the case of xanthine oxidase, which produces uric acid and, in excess, can cause serious damage to the liver and kidneys.
The cabbage , especially white, is rich in substances called isothiocyanates. These are powerful antioxidant compounds produced from glucosinolates, which are present in large amounts in the vegetable and are responsible for its semi-spicy taste.
In the body, isothiocyanates have the ability to stimulate the production of bile. In this way, it helps prevent a problem called cholestasis, which is when the body doesn’t produce enough bile and the liver can’t metabolize fat.
To complete the list of benefits of the vegetable, we can mention the phytochemical compounds of cabbage. These elements also inhibit the production of enzymes that cause lesions and have an anti-necrosis action on liver cells.
Choosing olive oil in food preparation is also a habit that is good for the liver. This is mainly due to the large amount of antioxidants found in the product.
On top of that, olive oil is rich in good fats, is anti-inflammatory, releases substances that protect the organ and has an anti-steatotic function. That is, it helps to prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver.
In this way, the organ in question is able to metabolize only what is necessary for the maintenance of the organism.
Green tea has been used for thousands of years and is known around the world for its medicinal effects. The good news for lovers of a cup of tea is that this type is also extremely beneficial for the liver.
This happens due to the presence of catechins, which are phenolic compounds and powerful antioxidants. When ingested, they have the power to inhibit damage caused by the virus that causes hepatitis C.
In addition to stopping the necrosis process, which is cell death, and preventing liver fibrosis during recovery from the disease.
The last food on the list is avocado . The fruit is rich in antioxidant phytochemical compounds known as phenolics and flavonoids, which help prevent damage caused by ingesting toxic substances to the liver, and reduce the risk of developing a disease.
In addition, avocado stimulates the functioning of the liver, causing the liver functions to be performed in its entirety. Thus ensuring the health of the entire body.
Habits that help prevent disease
You’ve seen in this article 10 foods that are good for the liver, which when consumed regularly can help prevent many types of diseases that often affect the liver.
However, it is not enough to just start consuming all the aforementioned foods and not promote a total change in lifestyle habits. Below are the Ministry of Health’s recommendations for habits that help make the liver healthier:
- Avoid drinking alcohol as it damages cells and puts strain on the liver, which needs to work harder to get rid of toxins.
- Avoid self-medication as some medications are hepatotoxic. That is, they cause serious damage to the liver
- Maintain a healthy diet rich in natural foods
- Keep the weight off, as excess body fat puts pressure on the organ
- Practice physical exercise frequently
- Avoid eating too many carbohydrates and increase your fiber intake .
After all, what are the functions of the liver?
The liver has several functions, among which are: metabolize and store various nutrients ingested through food, form bile, which is a liquid that acts as a detergent, break down fat particles and even work on blood clotting.
Furthermore, the organ is also considered an exocrine and endocrine gland. That is, it releases secretions and other substances into the blood and lymphatic system.
To complete its importance for the organism, it is replete with phagocytic macrophages. These are a type of defense cell in the body that has the ability to track down and swallow microorganisms that are harmful to health. Therefore, it also plays an important role in the immune system.
All this makes it one of the largest organs in the human body and the largest in the abdominal cavity, as well as being considered the largest gland in the human body. The healthy liver of an adult person represents 2% of their total weight, usually weighing about 1.5 kg.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.