11 Foods That Are Good For Your Liver – Nirogam  

11 Foods That Are Good For Your Liver

11 Foods That Are Good For Your Liver

Being the largest internal organ of our body, the liver does myriad jobs to keep our body functioning and healthy. It aids in digestion, detoxifies the body, produces proteins and stores glucose, among many others. Any malfunction in the liver will lead to the digestive process going haywire. Even the brain will not function as effectively since it will be clogged with toxins. Knowingly or unknowingly, it is the bitter truth that we have been testing our liver strength far too much. Were you drinking at the bar last weekend? Or digging in the plate full of high fat and carb meals? Remember, whatever we eat has to pass through the liver. Not only pass through, but the liver also has to break it down either for our body’s internal use or excretion. So, the least that we can do is include liver-friendly foods in our diet and try to stay away from those that are highly abusive in nature.

This article attempts to bring into light 11 such foods and drinks that help the liver perform its function healthily. Let’s get started!

  • Turmeric: Ah! The golden herb! There are very few lists that are complete without the mention of Turmeric. This one, for sure, is not among those. One of the important functions of the liver is aiding the digestion process by producing bile. It also helps in the absorption of fats and fat soluble vitamins in the small intestine. Wondering where Turmeric fits? Turmeric, my friend, is known to help increase the production of bile, the key compound for digestion and metabolism. Turmeric is also instrumental in boosting the metabolism of fat. Did you know it is bile due to which the stool is brown in color? So if you are passing white or too dark colored poop, it is a warning sign that your liver is not producing enough bile - and that should make you see a doctor!
  • Green Tea: Research says that green tea inhibits fat absorption, one of the prime reasons why the health industry is promoting it as an elixir. But there is much more to green tea than just reducing a few kilos. Research is still going on regarding the impact of green tea on the reduction of fat storage in the liver. The catechins, a type of antioxidant, found in green tea are known to have an anti-cancer impact and also mitigate obesity. These antioxidants protect the liver from damage. A 2016 review conducted on Asian participants said that liver cancer risk may be reduced with the help of green tea in the Asian female population.
  • Grape Fruit: Grapefruit is rich in antioxidants and enzymes which battle the free radicals and keep the liver happy and healthy. It is also high in Vitamin C. The two primary antioxidants, namely naringin and naringenin, along with ample Vitamin C reduce any inflammation in the liver and protect its cells. These antioxidants hinder the development of hepatic fibrosis, a condition wherein excess connective tissue builds up in the liver resulting in severe inflammation. Because it reduces fat and increases fat burning enzymes it is a great tool to fight Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Grapefruit also finds a mention in the World Journal of Gastroenterology as beneficial for liver health.
  • Coffee: One of the most popular drinks across the world, coffee not only provides you the kick to jumpstart your day, but is actually very useful in guarding the liver. Enough researchers have concluded that by drinking coffee the risk of cirrhosis is decreased even in the ones where it has already been initiated. Drinking coffee daily may help you prevent liver cancer and may reduce the risk of chronic liver diseases. It also reduces fat buildup in the liver which is extremely important for the healthy functioning of the organ.
  • Fatty Fish: For fish lovers, this is good news! Consuming fatty fish like herring or salmon may actually help you keep your liver in good shape. The World Journal of Gastroenterology supports the claim and says that it is helpful in reducing the impact of NAFLD. Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. These are considered healthy fats which reduce inflammation and are also good for your heart. Omega-3 fatty acids ensure no extra layer of fats is built up around your liver and helps maintain the level of healthy enzymes. Digging into fish twice or more weekly is recommended. If that is difficult or not feasible, check with your physician for a fish oil supplement.
  • Nuts: Nuts are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E, unsaturated fatty acids and other plant compounds. This combination is not only useful for the heart but also for the liver. In one of the studies conducted in 2019, it was established that those who ate nuts daily had a lower risk of developing NAFLD. Another study concluded that men, who ate more nuts in comparison to those who ate less, had a lower risk of NAFLD. Thus, taking a leaf out of these studies, have a handful of almonds, walnuts and other nuts every day. Be careful to mind your waistline and not overeat, as they are rich in calories too.
  • Garlic: Garlic is an herb that naturally enhances the taste of any dish. This ingredient that adds a dash of flavor to your dishes is also a pro in enhancing your liver health. Adding garlic to your food stimulates the liver. It is rich in allicin and selenium. Both these compounds help cleanse the liver by activating the liver enzymes that drive out the accumulated toxins. Since the leading cause of NAFLD is obesity, it was shown in one of the studies that consumption of garlic helped in reducing fat content and body weight in participants diagnosed with NAFLD. The cherry on the top was no change was observed in lean body mass.
  • Prickly Pear: A type of cactus, prickly pear, has been traditionally used as a medicine for the treatment of wounds, ulcers, fatigue and liver disease. It was shown in a study that when the participants consumed the extract of prickly pear before getting drunk, the resulting hangover was quite mild. This was because of the reduction in inflammation that generally accompanies alcoholic beverages. Most of the research has been on the extracts of the plant. However, more research on the impact of its fruit and juice are needed.
  • Beetroot Juice: The nitrates and betalains found in beetroot are known to reduce oxidative damage and inflammation. While most of the studies have been conducted based on beetroot juice, it can safely be deduced that eating the vegetable shall have the same effect. The antioxidants in the beetroot help the liver stay healthy and function effectively.
  • Avocado: Hailed as a superfood, avocado does not disappoint when it comes to the liver. Being nutrient dense, it helps the liver produce an antioxidant called glutathione. Glutathione is responsible for clearing toxins from the bloodstream. Apart from avocado, cruciferous vegetables, lentils, black-eyed peas, asparagus, etc., also help in the production of this antioxidant. Including these in your diet shall help in the elimination of toxins from your body.
  • Olive Oil: Along with keeping the heart and metabolism on track, olive oil is good for your liver as well. Studies have shown improvement in liver enzymes and fat levels on the consumption of olive oil. It decreases the fat accumulation in the liver thereby lowering the risk of NAFLD. 

Eating right is equivalent to living a healthy life. And your liver would certainly appreciate the boost of health with these foods!

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