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Liver Detox: Vegetables and Other Plant Based Detoxifier Foods For Fatty Liver

Updated on July 31, 2012

Today we live in an environment unlike most other centuries through history. The air that we breath, the food that we eat, and many things that come into contact with our skin contain toxins which compromise health leading to various diseases and health conditions. The liver filters the blood of toxins but it can get overloaded if we do not take preventative measures to keep it healthy.

If the liver can know longer do it's job properly the rest of the body is in danger of sickness and disease. We understand that if we don't give our car an oil and filter change regularily we are going to eventually have engine trouble. The same is true of the liver. It is a filter that must be cleansed in order to do it's job properly and keep the body healthy. Unfortunately, many people are not maintaining their bodies as well as they do their cars. If you talk to radiologist and gastroenterologists they will tell you that there is a condition that affects more than 50% of people over the age of 50 known as "Fatty Liver."

What Causes Fatty Liver?

Common causes of fatty liver disease include; incorrect diet, excessive alcohol intake, adverse reactions to drugs and toxic chemicals, and viral hepatitis. Some experts believe it is because traditional medicine today has become focused on treating the symptoms of diseases and not the cause. A fatty liver(a liver that is being invaded with fat) causes liver dysfunction. Excess weight is a symptom of liver dysfunction and not solely due to the number of calories you consume.

We are bombarded daily with ads telling us that the key to weight loss is diet, high impact aerobics, stomach stapling and toxic drugs such as appetite suppressants, laxatives and diuretics. What has not been considered is the underlying cause of liver dysfunction.

Our foods are not free of toxic chemicals. Most countries set a Maximum Residue Limit (MRL), This is the amount of pesticide residue, heavy metals, hormone residues and natural toxins that the food (meat, eggs, or milk) are allowed to have and still be sold to the public for consumption. Different countries have different ideas about what amounts are considered to be safe. There is also the problem of growers and farmers not properly complying with these laws.

Thousands of chemicals have been added to food and over 700 have been found in drinking water. Animals are injected with potent hormones, plants are sprayed with toxic chemicals and antibiotics and a large amount of our food is processed, genetically engineered, refined, cooked and frozen. All this can lead to the destruction of nutrients, which are needed for the detoxification of the liver. Not only must the liver try to cope with all the toxic chemicals in our environment, it needs to deal with damaged fats that are present in processed and fried foods.

The Liver is a Filter

One of the liver's primary functions is filtering the blood. Almost 2 quarts of blood pass through the liver every minute for detoxification. Filtration of toxins is critical because the blood from the intestines contains high levels of bacteria, bacterial toxins, and various other toxic substances. When working properly, the liver clears 99% of the bacteria and other toxins during the first pass, but when it is damaged,( an example would be an alcoholic) the passage of toxins increases by over a factor of 10.

The liver filter, like any filter, needs to be cleansed regularly. Eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables. Thirty to forty percent of the diet should consist of raw fruits and vegetables. 

Raw fruits or vegetables should be eaten with every other meal in order to benefit from the living enzymes, vitamin C, natural antibiotic substances and anti-cancer phyto-nutrients. Stay away from white refined sweeteners. Use natural sugars from fresh fruits and juices. The herb Stevia is the most healthy sweetener you can use. It is much sweeter than sugar so you only need a small amount. Drink lots of healthy fluids throughout the day such as purified water, raw, fresh juices and herb teas. If you drink 2 liters of fluid per day this will prevent constipation problems and help the kidneys to eliminate toxins that the liver has broken down. A combination of the above practices will keep you constipation free, which is important for liver detox. Eat organic foods as much as possible. Look for foods certified as organic that are grown on farms that are inspected and fully certified according to a stringent set of standards.

Foods that Improve Liver Function

  • Vitamin K - green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts.
  • Arginine - this helps the liver to detoxify ammonia, which is a toxic waste product of protein metabolism. Arginine is found in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), carob, oats, walnuts, wheatgerm and seeds.
  • Antioxidants - found in fresh raw juices such as carrot, celery, beetroot, dandelion, apple, pear and green drinks like wheat grass and barley-grass juice, and fresh fruits, particularly citrus and kiwi fruit.
  • Selenium - Is found in Brazil nuts, brewer's yeast, designer yeast powders, kelp, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheatgerm, whole-grains, garlic and onions.
  • Methionine - Is found in legumes, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, seeds and meat.
  • Essential fatty acids - Seafood, cod liver oil, and fish oil. Seafood may be fresh, canned or frozen such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, mullet, blue mussels, calamari, tailor, herring, blue eye cod, gem fish. Fresh avocado, fresh raw nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), whole grains, wheatgerm, green vegetables such as spinach, green peas and green beans, eggplant, cold pressed fresh vegetable and seed oils, freshly ground seeds, especially flaxseed's, evening primrose oil, black-currant seed oil, star flower oil.
  • Essential fatty acids are required for healthy membranes in every cell of the body and plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. This is why strict low fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function.
  • Natural sulfur compounds - are found in eggs (preferably free range), garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

It is impossible to avoid the daily bombardment of toxins against the body and we don't always eat the right foods so it is wise to do a natural source liver detox at least four times a year. Before doing such a cleanse you should consult with your health care professional.

Keep the liver clean by eating the right foods, avoiding foods that overwork the liver and clog it up, Practicing a short term liver detox program 3 or 4 times a year will maintain a healthy and efficient liver and greatly contribute to a long and healthy life.


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    • profile image

      susan 6 years ago

      i really find these information very helpful,am suffering from a badly broken femur bone,and just had an ultrasound that show fatty liver and couple gallstones so ever since i have been combing the web for answers

    • Joanna Verdan profile image

      Joanna Slodownik 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Very good information. I have read "the liver cleansing diet" when I learned that I have hcv infection, and try to take good care of my liver.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      I juts went through caring for a family member with end stage cancer and i think the etiology of cancer is Non Alcoholic Ftty Liver disease and the preventative model I can up with is a diet which includes milk thistle.

      Great Artilce and I agree more work needs to focus on liver health within the body and as you already tell I believ fatty liver disease is a culprit of many diseases. I think there is a link between aternal liver disease and autism. I haven't done the study to prove it but I think it is a definite possibility.

      What is your feeling on Milk Thistle?

      All My Best,



      I am a fan and a follower now.

    • profile image

      Joseph 6 years ago

      Well explained and informative. I liked the way you explained the function and the importance of having a healthy liver. Thank you.

    • HikeGuy profile image

      Bryce 7 years ago from Northern California Coast

      Thank you for the high-quality and informative article. I feel best eating primarily whole, organic food, with plenty of raw food throughout the day.

    • profile image

      amina 7 years ago

      thank u so much for the tips, just found out i had fatty liver and gallstones..i'm also suffering from obesity.i just want to turn my life around for myself and my family..thank u ones again..this has been really helpful.

    • profile image

      Msipho2001 7 years ago

      Very informative. Thanks. I find it very interesting though that most of the comments come from women. Does this mean men do not read these things?

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 8 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      I am doing a full body cleanse now. Thanks for some of the tips on how to eat healthy.

    • lelanew55 profile image

      lelanew55 8 years ago

      Interesting hub. I agree we should eat a lot of leafy greens, legumes, nuts such as almonds, flax seeds etc. I agree. I eat those things regularly and they are usually organic. And I feel great.

    • trimar7 profile image

      trimar7 9 years ago from New York

      I read a lot about weight loss. I never knew these facts about the liver. Thank you!

    • profile image

      goldenapple951 9 years ago

      Thanks for the grea info on fat in the liver. The liver is a filter and a lot of junk gets trap there....Great hub

    • cynthiaj21 profile image

      cynthiaj21 9 years ago from Antioch, CA

      Wow, interesting and insightful. Thank you for all the wonderful information.

    • meteoboy profile image

      meteoboy 9 years ago from GREECE


    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you Stevemark for another excellent hub. Due to a severe back injury, I have to take medication for the pain. I am sure that my liver is not what it should be. I think a liver detox could help a lot in keeping that extra stubborn 20 pounds at bay. Thank you

    • MasonsMom profile image

      MasonsMom 9 years ago from U.S.A.

      I used an herbal liver cleanser once in the past & found it very effective. Thanks for the info on this.