The liver is a large, red organ that is situated on the right side of the stomach. An adult human liver weighs about 3 pounds. Normally you can’t feel the liver, because it’s protected by the rib cage. The liver has two large sections, called the right and left lobes. The gallbladder (a gland) sits under the liver, along with parts of the pancreas and intestines. The liver works in partnership with these organs to digest, absorb, and process the food we eat.
The liver’s main job is to filter the blood coming from the digestive tract, which is laden with what it has absorbed there, before passing it to the rest of the body. The liver detoxifies chemicals and metabolises drugs. The gallbladder secretes bile that ends up back in the intestines. The liver also makes proteins which are important for blood clotting and other functions.
There are many lifestyle factors that can put your liver under great strain and prevent it from doing its job correctly. The most well-known one is probably alcohol but there is also environmental pollution, fatty foods, refined carbohydrates and some medications. If you can identify with one of these and want to naturally cleanse your liver, here are eight foods which will improve your liver health and help it to function correctly.
Garlic is rich in allicin and selenium which are both excellent for cleansing the liver and keeping it healthy. Garlic also activates the enzymes that eliminate toxins – this will help the liver with its important toxin-elimination function. It is the food that will be of most help to your liver but it will help your body in other ways as well. Garlic is known to control cholesterol, improve circulation and strengthen your body’s defences. It’s best to eat garlic raw because it loses a great deal of its potency when it is heated (cooked). You can eat it alone (one spoonful a day) or it can be added to meals.
Turmeric has been valued for centuries for it’s health-enhancing properties and we now understand that this is because it is so beneficial for the liver. Several studies have identified that turmeric contains borneol, turmerone, eugenol and caffeic acid. They cleanse and detoxify the liver, keeping it in good health. They also help fat digestion and can even speed up the slow digestion caused by a bad diet. Try turmeric if you are suffering from for jaundice or cirrhosis after making sure it’s OK with your doctor first.
Olive oil is thought to protect your liver tissue from oxidative damage in a similar way to linseed and hemp. Their lipid base absorbs toxins so that the liver can function better. They help cleanse it naturally and decrease the likelihood that it will become diseased. Consuming olive oil is also good for your health in other ways. It reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and prevents some kinds of cancer. It is a versatile kitchen cupboard ingredient and can be added to just about any meal.
Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C – nature’s own antioxidant. Taken in small quantities it can cleanse your liver and prevents it from becoming diseased. Citrus fruits are delicious and lemons, limes, and oranges are very versatile ingredients for many dishes.
Almonds are packed with arginine. This is an amino acid that helps detoxify the liver. They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and glutathione which play a further role in naturally cleansing the liver.
Whole rice, wheat and other grains are very beneficial for your liver. They contain high levels of complex B vitamins. This vitamin is vital for metabolising fats and also helps to decongest the liver. Simply replace refined products with the wholegrain alternative.
Leafy green vegetables
Vegetables such as lettuce, cabbage and spinach have the ability to neutralise the heavy metals, pesticides, and other chemical products in our modern diet. This saves the liver from having to do it and so has a cleansing effect.
Green tea and its components help reduce fat accumulation in the liver. It contains catechins and antioxidants that keep liver diseases at bay and offer a protective effect. Studies show that green tea helps keep away the negative effects of toxic substances like alcohol and prevents inflammation in the liver.