10 Best Foods To Eat For A Healthy Liver
The liver plays an important role in maintaining our overall health. From breaking down carbohydrates for energy to detoxifying, storing nutrients and producing bile for digestion, the liver performs many vital functions in our body. Today’s lifestyle choices, such as overconsumption of alcohol, unhealthy eating habits, and not exercising, all impact the liver. These might lead to damage or dysfunction of the liver, causing complications such as cirrhosis, ascites, hepatitis, liver failure, etc.
Here’s what you should be eating to keep your liver strong and healthy.
Garlic is one of the best foods for detoxification. This is also important to keep the liver healthy. It contains allicin, an antioxidant that protects the cells in the body from oxidative damage. Allicin is the main bioactive compound for stimulation of the liver and activation of the enzymes that can remove harmful substances. Aging garlic – allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes after cutting can activate the allicin, but heating may destroy its qualities. Garlic can also be consumed in the form of capsules sold by pharmacies.
2) Cranberries and blueberries
Both these berries are rich in anthocyanin, an antioxidant that provides berries their distinctive colors. Cranberries and blueberries have been connected to many health benefits. They can also help keep the liver healthy. Consumption of these berries for 3–4 weeks can protect the liver from damage. Also, blueberries have been known to help increase immune response as well as antioxidant enzymes. Blueberry extract has also been shown to inhibit the growth of liver cancer cells in lab studies, but more studies are required to determine if this is also effective in the human body. Having these berries regularly as a part of your diet is a good way to ensure that your liver has the antioxidants needed to stay healthy.
Walnuts and other nuts are rich in healthy fats and have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies with rats who have high-fat diet-induced fatty liver were given walnuts, showed a reduction in hepatic triglycerides, lowered the levels of enzymes that are involved in liver homeostasis, and suppressed the genes which are involved in hepatic inflammation.
Walnuts are high in fats and the antioxidant vitamin E – this is responsible for many health benefits, especially for cardiac health, and potentially also for the liver.
Broccoli is a rich source of sulfur-containing compounds, called isothiocyanates. These substances regulate the genes that are involved in washing out carcinogens and improving metabolism. They are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and studies have confirmed that broccoli can help reduce the risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver in a person. Another study found that having broccoli can help protect from liver cancer.
Beetroots are a source of antioxidants called betalains. These may benefit the heart and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Studies have confirmed that long-term consumption of beetroot juice can help reduce the damage to DNA and liver injury induced by different carcinogens.
6) Green tea
Green tea is known to be an excellent source of antioxidants and provides many health benefits. Catechins are the main polyphenols that are responsible for all the goodness of green tea. Scientists have confirmed that people who regularly drink green tea show a significant reduction in the risk of liver cancer and liver problems such as liver steatosis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatitis. A study also found that green tea extract supplements can reduce the liver enzymes that are associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
However, overconsumption of tea has also been shown to have harmful effects. This may be due to three main reasons: its caffeine content, presence of aluminum, and effects on iron bioavailability.
7) Leafy greens
Leafy green vegetables have several health benefits. They can also protect the liver from oxidative damage and many other diseases. Green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, radish greens, sweet potato greens, mustard greens, and others have a good amount of antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, calcium. They also have many anti-inflammatory properties. Consuming leafy greens can help protect the liver from fatty liver, according to studies.
Coffee is one of the best beverages to promote liver health. Studies show that coffee can protect the liver from certain diseases, even in people who already have problems with their liver. Many studies have reported that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in people with chronic liver disease.
Coffee may also lower the risk of developing common liver cancer and has positive effects on liver disease and inflammation. It’s also associated with reducing the risk of mortality in people with chronic liver disease. The benefits of coffee are derived from its ability to prevent the buildup of fat as well as collagen, the two main markers of liver disease. It even reduces inflammation and increases levels of the antioxidant called glutathione. This antioxidant neutralizes harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.
Avocado has several health benefits, including protecting the liver from diseases. This fruit is rich in good fats that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This can help people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease as this is caused by bad lifestyle choices. Avocado’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can be highly beneficial in preventing liver disease and suppressing liver damage.
Grapefruit is rich in antioxidants – mainly naringenin and naringin. It has also been known to boost immunity. Scientists have carried out experiments with rats using grapefruit juice, oroblanco juice, and sugar mix. The rats were injected with a procarcinogen after one week. Rats fed with grapefruit juice were found to have a quicker and more active production of liver enzymes. This helped in hepatic detoxification.
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