7 Foods that Support Liver Function
The liver is an extremely important organ in the body. It's the only organ in the body that can regenerate itself. I see this is the body's way of showing us how vital this organ truly for our overall health. The liver's main function is to filter blood from the digestive tract before it passes the blood to circulate to the rest of the body. This is only one of the numerous jobs the livers performs.
In Ayurveda, it is considered the seat of pitta dosha. Remember, pitta is made up of 90% fire and 10% water. When we let the fire get out of hand, by eating foods or living a life that creates excess heat, this can create a forest within causing imbalances such as inflammation, fever, burning sensations, heated emotions. To focus the fire within and use it to benefit the body, mind, overall well being of others let's choose foods that support overall liver function. All of the foods listed below can easily be incorporated into everyday meals.
Curciferous Vegetables: broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts, arugala, bok choy, cauliflower, turnips, cabbage, radish, rutabaga, watercress, mustard greens, and collard greens. (6)
They contain the consistent glucosinolate, which supports enzyme production in the liver and assists with flushing out carcinogens and other toxins from the body. There have been hundreds of studies that confirm the healing powers of this veggie category. Through the studies I read, broccoli is the shining star of them all because it has been found to have the highest amount of antioxidants. (5)
There are a number of ways to incorporate any of these veggies during lunch or dinner. Make a soup, roast them, add them in smoothies, make a broccoli pesto with it's florets, or kale/collard greens pesto. Have fun! Look up recipes online to spark inspiration.
Medium chain fatty acids contain anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties that assist with liver detox. The liver and gallbladder are responsible for breaking down fat in the body, so the medium chain fatty acids get directly sent to the liver to use as energy, thus supporting the liver.
Cook with coconut oil, add it into smoothies, add it into warm cereals, hot drinks, homemade energy bars. The list goes on, get creative!
This super food helps the helps the liver produce the molecule glutathione which is a key compound in flushing toxins out the liver.
Make an avocado salad with cilantro, lime, and salt to taste, make a creamy salad dressing, avocado chocolate pudding, simply add it on as a side to any meal, or mix it into hummus.
Beets & Carrots:
The beautiful colors of carrots and beets are translated into the body as cartonoids that contain beta-carotine. This compound supports healthy liver function.
Roast em, steam em, add them into soups! Make beet chips in the oven, eat carrots with hummus, shred them and add into a salad.
One of Ayurvedic Medicines, go to herbs, for maintaining the body and combating many different imbalances. There have been numerous of studies done of the healing effects of turmeric. Researches have found that turmeric boosts enzymes in the liver that flush out toxins.
Make golden milk, add this spice into any dish you are cooking up (soups, rice, eggs, greens, roasted veggies), make a yellow curry, add it into smoothies, for non-vegitarians, marinate your meat, chicken or fish before grilling to reduce the carcinogenic effects from the smoke.
These ancient seeds contain the constituent sesamin. Studies have shown that sesamin protects the liver from alcohol and drug use. (4)
Make sesame seed crackers, mix into hummus, into a smoothie, rice, mix into any dish you want.
All of these foods create, a Happy Liver!
-Increased energy/steady energy levels
-Strong immune system
Please keep in mind it is best to purchase organic whole fresh foods because inorganic foods are sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals add on more stress to the liver, which defeats the overall purpose of supporting the liver in detoxification. Here are other foods to avoid that counteract love and support for your dear liver:
Overconsumption of alcohol and caffeine
Packaged foods: Most processed and packaged foods are loaded with sugar, unrefined oils, and artifical ingredients and colors.
These 3 foods listed above are highly acidic and are taxing to the liver making it work harder to cleanse the body. When the liver works hard it starts to create heat, the heat needs released which can translated as:
-Pain in the center or upper right better
-Right shoulder pain
Aside from consuming foods that will support the liver, it's important to look at lifestyle. Are we living a life that manages stress or creating more stress? Ayurvedic knowledge teaches that managing stress is an important aspect of maintaining our overall health. All the organs in the body work together, so we have create an environment for our overall well being to thrive in! Check out 5 Ways to Enhance your Life for ideas on how to simply create more peace and combat stress within your everyday life.
1. Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM. “14 Foods That Cleanse the Liver.” Dr. Group's Healthy Living Articles, Global Healing Center, Inc, 13 Mar. 2017, www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/liver-cleanse-foods/.
2. Babcock, Jillian. “How to Improve Liver Function in 6 Steps.” Dr. Axe, 9 Oct. 2017, draxe.com/liver-function/.
3. “Surprising Things That Can Damage Your Liver.” WebMD, 11 Jan. 2018, www.webmd.com/hepatitis/ss/slideshow-surprising-liver-damage.
4. Namiki, M. “Nutraceutical Functions of Sesame: a Review.” Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17943496.
5.“Top 10 Reasons to Eat Your Cruciferous Veggies.” GreenMedInfo | Blog, 2 July 2015, www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/top-10-reasons-eat-your-cruciferous-veggies.
6. Rachael Link, MS, RD, Racheal. “Cruciferous Vegetables.” Dr. Axe, draxe.com/cruciferous-vegetables-cancer-thyroid/.