Foods to Keep the Liver Healthy

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Your liver is a vital organ because it converts food into nutrients and detoxifies substances that are harmful to the body. Without a healthy liver, your body is unable to function properly. The health of your liver relies heavily on your diet, and there are certain foods you should incorporate into your diet to ensure a healthy liver.

Vegetables

  • Certain foods are involved mainly in the detoxification of the liver; they help the liver rid the body of harmful chemicals and substances. Eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables, which contain chemicals that neutralize toxins. These vegetables are a strong defense mechanism against the toxins found in, for example, cigarette smoke. Cruciferous vegetables also help the liver produce the enzymes it needs to function properly. The best cruciferous vegetables to eat for liver health include: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts. These vegetables contain nutrients that stop free radicals from damaging the body's tissue. You should also add beets to your diet, as they help absorb heavy metals in the body. Artichokes, which drastically increase bile production, are another good choice.

Fruits

  • Like vegetables, certain fruits protect the liver from free radicals that are produced during detoxification. Fruits with the highest amount of antioxidants include: prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, apples and pears. Apples also contain pectin, which binds to heavy metals and helps eliminate them from the body. Berries are a great source of antioxidants, and they are quite easy to incorporate into your diet. Blend them into a fresh-fruit smoothie, add them as a topping to yogurt and ice cream, or bake them into breads and pastries. However you choose to do it, adding fresh fruits to your diet will certainly help maintain a healthy liver.

Foods To Add

  • Garlic helps the liver eliminate mercury and certain food additives that are harmful to your body's functioning. Whether you eat roasted garlic bulbs alone or add them to your favorite dishes, you should aim to incorporate garlic into your diet at least once a day.

    Among the various other health benefits they provide, whole grains are an excellent choice for the liver. Aim to eat only breads and tortillas that are whole-grain or whole-wheat. Prepare whole-grain brown rice or barley as a side dish.

    Find subtle ways to add beans, nuts or seeds to every dish you eat. For example, sprinkle walnuts or pumpkin seeds on your salad. Add peanuts to your oatmeal and black beans to your burritos.

    Green tea is also a great choice for the liver. Try to drink a few cups of green tea every day. If you don't like the taste, you can sneak it into your diet. For example, substitute green tea for water when making soups, rice or Jello.

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