Tuesday, 28 June 2016

34 Foods That Will Boost Your Liver Function

A healthy liver plays a key role in relieving digestive issues, such as a sluggish metabolism, gas, bloating, and constipation. It regulates blood sugar levels, which, when out of balance, can cause sugar cravings, fatigue, and fuzzy thinking.


A toxic liver can lead to inflammatory diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, and autoimmune diseases. Without a healthy liver, you may suffer from hormonal imbalances that can cause headaches, mood swings, and depression. It's time to nurture this amazing organ with foods that help it function optimally.




Water
Other than oxygen, your body needs water more than any other substance, including food, just to survive. Because water flushes toxins and waste products from your body, you feel more energized and alert when you're fully hydrated, and most of us often aren't. Usually 8 to 10 glasses (8 oz) will do the trick; try these naturally flavored water recipes to start. Just don't overdo it—too much water can be harmful, too.

And skip the ice when you're drinking water between meals; your body uses energy to warm the ice, diluting important digestive enzymes.

Crucifers
Crucifers, which include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, and daikon, contain vital phytonutrients—flavonoids, carotenoids, sulforaphane, and indoles—to help your liver neutralize chemicals, pesticides, drugs, and carcinogens. They're also some of the best foods to fight spring allergies.

Dark Leafy Greens
Kale, brussels sprouts, and cabbage are powerful vegetables that contain high levels of sulfur, which supports your liver in its detoxification process, triggering it to remove free radicals and other toxic chemicals.

Dandelion is another dark leafy green known as one of the most effective plants to support liver detoxification. One of its chemical components, taraxacin, is believed to stimulate the digestive organs and trigger the liver and gallbladder to release bile, which supports digestion and fat absorption.

Sea Vegetables
One of the oldest inhabitants of the Earth, sea vegetables detoxify your body by preventing assimilation of heavy metals as well as other environmental toxins. Studies at McGill University have revealed that a compound in brown algae (arame, kombu, and wakame) reduced the uptake of radioactive particles into bone.

Sprouted Seeds, Nuts, Beans, and Grains
The energy contained in a seed, grain, nut, or legume is ignited through soaking and sprouting. And those sprouts are super-high in enzymes, proteins that act as catalysts for all of your body's functions. For example, broccoli sprouts are high in sulforaphane, which triggers your body's natural cancer protection.

Garlic
One of the oldest land-based medicinal foods on the planet, garlic contains an active sulfur-based compound called allicin, a critical supporter of liver detoxification. It helps the organ rid your body of mercury, certain food additives, and the hormone estrogen.

Onions, Shallots, and Leeks
Onion, shallots, and leeks have multiple health benefits. These garlic relatives contain sulfur compounds that support your liver in its production of glutathione, a compound that neutralizes free radicals.

Eggs
Eggs provide some of the highest-quality protein, containing all eight essential amino acids, cholesterol, and the essential nutrient choline. Your liver needs these essential amino acids to perform detoxification processes. Choline, a coenzyme needed for metabolism, is found in egg yolk and protects your liver from toxins while detoxifying heavy metals.

Artichokes
Two phytonutrients found in artichokes, cynarin and silymarin, have been shown to nourish your liver, increase bile production, and prevent gallstones.

Mushrooms
Maitake, shiitake, and reishi mushrooms are thought to provide significant healing nutrients that nourish and support your immune system. These medicinal mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant called L-ergothioneine, which neutralizes free radicals while increasing enzymes that boost antioxidant activity.

Berries
Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries are among nature's superfoods because they contain phytochemicals—antioxidant-rich plant compounds that help your liver protect your body from free radicals and oxidative stress, which have been linked to chronic diseases and aging. Anthocyanin and polyphenols found in berries have been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in the liver.

Apples
Apples, like berries, contain powerful phenolic compounds, including flavonoids, which can fight inflammatory disease. They also contain pectin, a valuable source of soluble fiber than can help eliminate toxic buildup.

Prebiotic-Rich Foods
Prebiotics are indigestible fibers that feed your beneficial gut flora—basically, they help probiotics grow and flourish. Prebiotic-rich foods include asparagus, leeks, cruciferous vegetables, and several root vegetables—burdock, chicory, dandelion, beets, and Jerusalem artichoke.

Cultured Foods
These include kimchi—a traditional Korean dish made of fermented cabbage, radish, garlic, red pepper, onion, ginger, and salt—sauerkraut, and real miso. Fermentation, an ancient form of preservation in which food is naturally transformed by microorganisms that break down all of its carbohydrates and protein, aids in digestion.

Flaxseed
A great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, freshly ground flaxseed helps regulate hormone levels.

Hemp Seeds
A mix of omega-6 and omega-3 fats, hemp seeds help ease inflammation while lowering dangerous blood fat levels.

Chia Seeds
A staple in Central American Aztec and Mayan diets for thousands of years, chia seeds are all-around nutritional powerhouses. Three tablespoons contain 5 grams of protein, 200 milligrams of calcium, 10 grams of healthy fat, and 12 grams of fiber.

Coconut Oil
An extremely healthy saturated fat, coconut oil is easy to digest and is almost immediately broken down by enzymes in your saliva and gastric juices. This means that your body doesn't need to make fat-digesting enzymes, which puts less strain on your liver.

Avocado
A vital source of monounsaturated fat rich in oleic acid, avocados contain glutathione, an essential nutrient for liver health.

Cold-Pressed, Unrefined Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Unadulterated olive oil is rich in phenols, the same anti-inflammatory compounds found in berries and apples. Daily consumption of olive oil supports the liver in decreasing oxidative stress in the body.

Ginger
Gingerol antioxidants possess anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties. Ginger supports detoxification by nourishing your liver, promoting circulation, unclogging blocked arteries, and lowering blood cholesterol by as much as 30%.

Cumin
In one Indian study, cumin was shown to boost the liver's detoxification power while stimulating the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas, which helps your body absorb nutrients.

Coriander
Coriander seeds have been shown to help the liver lower blood lipid levels among those with obesity and diabetes, lowering triglycerides and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, while increasing HDL ("good") cholesterol. Corriander leaves (otherwise known as cilantro) help remove heavy metals from the body, mobilizing mercury, cadmium, lead, and aluminum that's been stored in the brain, spinal cord, and central nervous system.

Cardamom
This member of the ginger family helps improve digestion by stimulating the flow of bile, which is critical in fat metabolism. Cardamom accelerates the gastric emptying rate, relaxing the stomach valves that prevent food from entering the small intestine, allowing nutrients to pass on to the small intestine without excess effort.

Cayenne
This detoxer stimulates your circulatory system, increasing the pulse of your lymphatic and digestive rhythms, heating your body. This heat helps get your gastric juices flowing, enhancing your body's ability to metabolize food and toxins.

Cinnamon
Used for centuries in flavoring and medicine, cinnamon keeps sticky platelets from forming clots in your arteries, boosts metabolism, and prevents candida, a condition characterized by yeast overgrowth.

Fennel  
The essential oils in fennel prompt the secretion of gastric juices, helping to lower inflammation in your digestive tract, which allows your body to absorb nutrients more efficiently.

Turmeric  
The curcumin compounds in turmeric have been shown to heal your liver, aiding in detoxification and strengthening your whole body.

Meat
Eat only clean, grass-fed land animals, ones raised without the use of feed grown with pesticides. Avoid factory-farmed meat laden with chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics.

Fish
In general, fish is healthy and protein-rich. Some wild-caught fish, such as Atlantic mackerel from Canada, sardines, and anchovies, are notable for their omega-3 fatty acids and their low level of contaminants. Wild salmon, an excellent source of protein, is also one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids from the krill and shrimp they eat—that's what gives salmon their beautiful color and makes them rich in antioxidants. (Here's more info on the best and worst seafood to eat.)

Whey Protein Powder
If you eat dairy, whey is an excellent source of protein. A byproduct of milk and cheese, whey protein has been promoted for its health benefits since the time of the Greek physician Hippocrates. Much of this has to do with the fact that it provides all the key amino acids for glutathione production, a key protector of your liver and entire body. Look for high-quality whey protein from grass-fed cows.

Vegetable Protein
We need to eat protein to build new cells, maintain tissue, and synthesize new proteins to perform basic bodily functions. Try these vegetarian sources of protein.

Marine-Based Protein
Microalgae contains protein, along with high levels of chlorophyll, which helps heal you by removing toxic deposits and heavy metals in your body, improving liver function, and neutralizing carcinogens.

Land-Based Protein
Cooked lentils, chickpeas, and black, kidney, and pinto beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cup. A quarter cup of sunflower seeds packs 6 grams of protein. Greens count, too. Eating a cup each of cooked spinach and broccoli equals about 9 grams of protein.

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