Monday 1 March 2021

7 Foods you should eat for a healthy liver

 Your liver does a great deal for your body. It removes toxins from your blood, regulates metabolism and makes bile for digestion, among other vital functions. So it’s hardly surprising that a poorly functioning liver may lead to a host of ailments that negatively affect your quality of life.

The good news is, you can easily keep your liver in good shape by adding certain foods to your daily diet. Listed below are the best foods to eat for a healthier liver:

1. Leafy green vegetables

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage your cells, including those lining the liver. Luckily, many leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach and collard greens contain nutrients and compounds that help neutralize free radicals, thus protecting your cells, proteins and even your DNA from damage.

Leafy greens are also packed with fiber. This macronutrient supports weight loss by keeping you full for longer, which has the effect of discouraging overeating. A condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is strongly associated with obesity.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries are incredibly rich in plant compounds called anthocyanins. These are plant pigments that give blueberries their distinct color. As antioxidants, they also protect your liver from inflammation and damage.

One animal study found that blueberry juice has protective effects against liver fibrosis, which happens when chronic injury or inflammation causes a buildup of scar tissue in the liver.

If you’re not a big fan of blueberries, you can opt for strawberries, cranberries or raspberries. They also contain high levels of anthocyanins, especially in their peels.

3. Broccoli

Eating more broccoli is a good way to keep your liver healthy, too. In 2016, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that broccoli helps stops fat from building up inside the liver and causing NAFLD.

In the study, researchers fed mice a high-fat, high-sugar diet similar to the Western diet. Some of the mice were also given broccoli, while others were not. The latter all became obese as a result of the diet and all had more cancer nodules in their livers.

In contrast, the mice that were given broccoli had fewer cancer nodules than those that didn’t receive broccoli. Although feeding them broccoli didn’t help them lose weight, it still helped restore their livers to normal health.

4. Garlic

Use more fresh garlic daily in your food preparations for a healthier liver. Studies show that the active compounds in garlic, such as allicin and ajoene, help protect your liver from free radical damage and inflammation.

Plus, fresh garlic contains amino acids, proteins and antioxidants that help protect your liver from natural and environmental toxins. These toxins can cause liver damage and failure if they overwhelm your liver.

5. Turmeric

Turmeric is an aromatic golden spice often used in Indian cuisine. Turmeric is hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties, which it owes to active compounds known as curcuminoids.

Turmeric also has antioxidant properties. There is some evidence that turmeric is so powerful that it can protect the liver from damage caused by toxins. This could be a plus for people who take strong maintenance drugs for serious health conditions that can severely damage their livers in the long run.

6. Green tea

Green tea — arguably the healthiest drink in the world — supports liver health by preventing fat buildup. Drinking green tea regularly also helps your liver do its job because it aids in the process of flushing out toxins. Incorporate green tea into your daily diet to support detoxification.

7. Pineapple

Eating pineapple chunks may help take some of the load off your liver. Pineapples are naturally rich in digestive enzymes that metabolize fats and proteins from foods, which is one of the many functions of the liver. Pineapples also contain vitamin C and magnesium, both of which have been shown to fight inflammation.

Your liver is an important organ that’s involved in many bodily processes. Keep your liver healthy by adding more fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to your diet.

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