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Healthy Foods that Cleanse the Liver

Updated on October 6, 2017

A Line of Defense

As humans, we could be compared to a virus. For the most part, we simply do not know what moderation means in any capacity. The Liver is the largest organ in the human body and is one of our lines of defense to fend off sickness or even disease. The Liver is on the job 24 hours a day to process everything we eat, drink, breath in or even the things we rub onto our skin. So it’s imperative to keep the liver in optimum working condition.

Too much of anything is bad for you and can damage the liver making it vulnerable to a slew of diseases that could be detrimental to your health, in some cases terminal. We all have our own vices that we deal with, whether it’s of the drinking variety, you’re a binge eater or routinely bombard your skin with sun screens at the beach and in the tanning salons, your liver attempts to have your back through all of it. Although the liver is capable of regenerating itself, this list of foods can assist in keeping your liver clean, efficient and running at an optimal level.

The Human Liver

Turmeric

If you do not know what turmeric is, it’s actually an orange, peppery spice that is not only known for the flavor, but also for it's ability to treat numerous health afflictions. A few tablespoons can give parts of your daily requirements of iron, manganese, potassium and fiber. Research has shown that the active ingredient curcumin in the spice displays the ability to avert liver cirrhosis and aids in the restoration of damaged tissue.

This incredible spice has also been associated with guarding against diseases such as Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and even some forms of cancer. It’s an anti-inflammatory that lowers cholesterol, blood pressure and supports heart health. Sprinkle some of this orange spice onto your salad or food and reap all the major health benefits.

Spinach

Back when we were little kids, we all thought Popeye was on drugs or something with all that talk about eating spinach. Turns out the Sailor man knew a few things that we didn’t. Not only is Spinach versatile in the way it can be prepared, it's cooked, eaten raw, sautéed, added to salads, eggs or casseroles. The various phytonutrients in this super food have anti-cancer properties that assist in the impediment of cancers such as liver, prostate and bladder.

Spinach also has the ability to diminish inflammation, preserve the skin from the toxic UV rays of the sun, improve your metabolism and digestion systems and hampers osteoporosis and strokes. It’s not too late to take Pop eye’s advice and eat a can a day to beat that bully, Bluto, or in this case, the diseases that try and attack your body.

The Path to Detoxification

The Avocado

When you’re in the grocery store, you will find the avocado next to the vegetables however it’s actually a fruit. The fruit has a high rich fat content (good fat) and since all the major organs in the human body require fat to function properly and efficiently, this is a very good thing. The fat content simplifies the body’s absorption of the fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. The fiber content is imperative to the digestive tract and keeps things moving briskly throughout the body and hinders issues like constipation or diarrhea.The omega 3’s are brain food, the monounsaturated fats supports the lowering of bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Other added bonuses of eating avocado besides participating in the maintenance of the liver are helping in weight loss and management. The fiber makes you feel fuller, longer as the body digests it slowly. Fatty acids are used as a slow burning energy and not stored as fat. The phytochemicals in the fruit inhibit the growth of precancerous cells. Avocados are good for more things than just guacamole.

Avocado

Beets

I should add a disclaimer that these are the best liver cleansers but not necessarily the best tasting foods. My liver would have to be really abused and battered in order for me to eat beets, as I just can’t get past the taste. This crimson colored beet root contains carotenoids, lutein and betaine that reap major health benefits. One of the best cleansing foods there is. The detoxification properties in beets negates toxins making them more water soluble and easily expelled through the urine.Beet’s supports the liver and it has the same effect on another part of the body’s defense system, the kidneys. Beets promote the regeneration of cells by protecting proteins, enzymes and cells from environmental stressors like pollution, smoke and chemically laden water. Bad taste is a small price to pay for the health benefits that beets bring to the table.

Beets

Carrots

As a kid, I watched cartoons because they were funny and entertaining, know I’m thinking they were actually sending me subliminal messages the whole time. Bugs Bunny was another character that told us to eat our vegetables. He always had a carrot in his mouth and for good reason. Like Spinach, carrots can pretty much be prepared in every way imaginable and are easy on the taste buds.

With an abundance of vitamin A and Beta carotene, makes consuming carrots advantageous for the skin, the eyes, anti-aging and lowering the risk of some forms of cancer. The liver converts beta carotene into vitamin A which aids in defense of macular degeneration and senile cataracts. If you want to be able to see that rascally wabbit, eat your carrots on a regular basis.

Garlic

If you’re proactive and carry mouthwash or breath mints to stop the halitosis and you’re not a great descendant of any vampires, garlic has major health benefits including cleaning your liver. A spice that adds flavor, similar to Turmeric, obviously you wouldn’t eat it by itself. When added to your favorite dishes on a regular basis studies have shown garlic strengthens bones and the immune system, reduces blood pressure and bad cholesterol and when taken as a supplement in higher doses, garlic has displayed conserved cognitive function by limiting brain oxidation. As we start to get up there in age, supplemental garlic is essential for maintaining a sound mind.

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Lemon Juice

Like many of the superfoods on this list, lemon juice has a multitude of uses ranging from adding flavor to various dishes, curing ailments such as sore throats, insect bites and kidney stones with its anti-inflammatory and anesthetic effects, reducing fever and assisting in weight loss and digestion.

Lemon juice is a good source of alkaline that can balance pH levels. It almost has as much potassium content as that of the banana, vitalizes the digestive tract and has soluble fiber that supports weight loss. Unlike the green tea, there is no caffeine in it, but it does have citrus liminoids with anticancer properties to combat the formation of cancer cells.

Lemon Juice

Green Tea

Behind water, tea is the most consumed drink in the world today. All kinds of teas are made from the dried leaves, but green tea is one of the less processed teas which is why it contains a plethora of antioxidants and polyphenols. Green tea is a natural diuretic, meaning it raises the production of urine and facilitating the removal of unwanted substances out of the body. Lower urinary tract infections (UTI’s) can be alleviated by drinking green tea. Green tea consists of compounds that thwart cell receptors that provoke allergic and asthmatic responses. The caffeine in tea decreases the blood vessel under the skin diminishing the puffiness and dark circle around the eyes. You’re beginning to see a pattern in these top liver cleansers. They all contain cancer fighting antioxidants.

© 2017 Kevin W

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    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      10 months ago

      I am happy to say I consume the food items listed to help cleanse the liver. I am going to have to drink more green tea now that you mentioned it helps fight those dark circles under the eyes.

    • Alphadogg16 profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin W 

      10 months ago from Texas

      @Peggy Woods - I applaud your courage to eat beets lol

      @thebiologyofleah I can't even force myself to eat them

      @Dora Isaac Weithers - Thank you Mrs Dora

      @James C Moore - some are considered "superfoods" and are healthy all the way around. I try to but more of a variety in the articles I write with food items.

      @Rachel L Alba - As we get older, its more important to keep it clean

      @Eric Dierker - Thank Mr Dierker Sir!

    • profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      10 months ago

      I must be one of a few who actually likes beets. My husband does not however so it is not a vegetable often used in our home. We do enjoy tumeric, garlic, avocados, lemons and spinach on a regular basis.

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      Leah Kennedy-Jangraw 

      11 months ago from Massachusetts

      I am with you on the beets, I know that are good for me and I am always willing to try them in new recipes but so far they are just not for me. Luckily I like most of the others on your list. Thanks for sharing, I like your style of writing. Drawing in references from off-beat things, like cartoons, makes an informative article more fun to read.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      11 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for the information. My doctor told me to avoid perfumed lotions because they give the liver extra work to do; you also hinted that. Very useful article!

    • justthemessenger profile image

      James C Moore 

      11 months ago from The Great Midwest

      I notice that certain foods such as garlic, spinach and lemons (in this case lemon juice) tend to show up on all of the best foods for .... (fill in the blank) list regardless of the list subject. Good info to know.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      11 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      Hi Kevin. Thanks for this information on the liver. I have a friend that went through a liver transplant and would really like to keep mine healthy. I was happy to read that turmeric is good for the liver; I take two turmeric pills a day. Blessing to you. I will pin this information.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      11 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Cool. You did a great job here. I love my Turmeric, Spinach and carrots.

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