The liver plays an extremely complex and significant role in regulating digestion, maintaining your metabolism and filtering harmful chemicals out of your body. However, if the liver is damaged, it is unable to efficiently convert nutrients in the foods we love, the same way a healthy liver would.
Like many other major organs, following a well-balanced diet is critically important for liver health. While there’s no magical food to protect your liver from damage and disease, including the following foods in your diet will help your liver work at its best:
Berries: It’s no secret that berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries (among others) are among nature’s superfoods. Containing antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, a daily diet rich in super fruit, has been shown to reduce the level of enzymes released from liver cells when they are damaged by an astounding 23 percent, per a study in a the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Crucifers: Containing vital phytonutrients like flavonoids, carotenoids, sulforaphane, and indoles — which help your liver neutralize chemicals, pesticides, drugs, and carcinogens – veggies, including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cress, bok choy, and daikon, may prevent the formation of carcinogens in your stomach in response to foods made with hydrogenated oils and sodium nitrite.
Dark leafy greens: Foods like kale, Brussels sprouts, dandelion, and cabbage are powerful in that they contain high levels of sulfur. This is key for liver support during the detoxification process – the removal of free radicals, heavy metals, pesticides and
Eggs: This breakfast staple is a great source of protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, cholesterol, and choline. Amino acids aid in the detoxification process. While, choline – which is found in the yoke — boosts metabolism as well as protects your liver from free radicals. Plus, one egg packs only 77 calories – a great option for those watching their waistline.
Fish: In general, fish is healthy. Some wild-caught fish, such as Atlantic mackerel, sardines, and anchovies, are famous for their omega-3 fatty acids. While, wild salmon, is an excellent source of protein. In saying that, all fish are not one in the same. Stay clear of farmed fish, salted fish, and fish canned in oil, all which can prove dangerous for patients with liver disease.
Protein: Opt for clean, lean meats like poultry and non-meat protein sources such as beans and nuts. You may also want to consider plant-based products like soy milk. Meanwhile, experts urge meat-lovers to shy away from red meat, laden with chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.
Nuts: Almonds are packed with fiber, riboflavin, magnesium and iron and have more calcium than any other nut. Like all nuts, they provide one of the best sources of natural protein. Unsaturated fats also help lower cholesterol levels which is golden for both liver and heart health.
In general, avoid sugary foods, alcohol, foods high in sodium, and high amounts of dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), which can inhibit the liver’s ability to metabolize proteins properly, resulting in a sluggish feel.