The liver is one of the biggest organs in our body. It executes some of the toughest jobs too. It stores important substances, and converts nutrients into units the cells can use to do their job. It receives all the toxins we ingest and converts them into harmless material, and makes sure they are expelled from the body. The fat we digest is also sent to the liver. There it is transformed into energy and transferred to all other organs through the blood. It also maintains the sugar levels to a normal range, storing the excess and releasing stored sugar when the levels are low. But over time and with great devotion to fast food, fatty foods, processed foods and toxic exposure, its function may be impaired or slowed down. That’s why we need liver cleansing foods and drinks, so we can help this organ out to do its job properly.
Liver Cleansing Foods and Drinks
You should do a liver cleanse at least once a year. Twice or trice if you eat processed foods, fried foods and expose yourself to toxins. Still, a coffee enema or a liver cleanse recipe won’t make much of a difference if you constantly drain your liver. Plus, coffee enemas and liver cleanses may be dangerous, in case you have an underlying condition you don’t know about. Be careful with all the promising liver and gallbladder cleanses, because most include starvation and extreme malnutrition practices. Our bodies are designed to clean and maintain themselves, but choosing the right foods can get you a long way. Instead of liver cleanses implement these foods in your daily menus.
To get to the root of the problem, you need root vegetables. All root vegetables are kind of a safe liver detox home remedy. They are packed with minerals like potassium and magnesium, and vitamins A and C, among others. And the best thing is, almost all of them can be eaten raw. Not a fan of raw veggies?! No problem. You can always juice them and add fruits to your liking. There are many root vegetables to choose from. Celery, regular and sweet potatoes, yams, ginger, radish, artichoke, parsley root, carrot, parsnip and etc. There are those you can use as spices, like turmeric (the almightily liver cleanser). If you’re not a fan of neither raw, nor juiced veggies, you can turn most of them into healthy homemade chips.
Garlic and Onion
Among these liver cleansing foods, these two act like fuel for the powerhouse of your body. As abundant sources of sulfur, selenium and allicin, onions and garlic will clean your body as well as liver of toxic chemicals that come with processed foods as well as non organic veggies and fruits. Other than regular onions, you can try leeks, chives or shallots, for their high sulfur content. If your dynamic social life prevents you from eating these pungent produce, you can supplement your body with sulfur through grapes, legumes, beans or dried fruits.
If it’s green, you know it’ll clean…your body. Green leafy vegetables are full of antioxidants, which will decrease inflammation anywhere in the body, starting in the liver. Almost all contain high amounts of vitamin K, which is the exact vitamin the liver needs in order to clean the blood of extra fats. One of the most abundant sources of vitamin K is fresh parsley. Which, coincidently, you can eat after onions and garlic to suspend the bad breath afterwards.
If you were interested in how to do a liver cleanse, almost all liver detox recipes will be based on citric fruits. High in vitamin C and antioxidants, these refreshing fruits will help you lose weight and stay healthy by cleaning the liver and the entire body of fats, toxins and carcinogens. They are best taken half an hour before or after a meal. That way, the liver can detect the incoming nutrients and release enough bile to meet the requirements of a healthy metabolic process.
Apples, pears, plums, gooseberries, apricots, oranges, cherries and citrus peels are all great sources of pectin. Pectin is a type of fiber that helps the digestive tract and cleans the food of toxins before it even reaches the liver. Dried fruits are even more abundant sources of this fiber. Enjoy them as snacks when you get tired of smoothies and munching raw fruits. It’s also used as thickening agent when baking and making jams and jelly. So use the powder form whenever you get the chance.
Omega Fatty Acid Foods
Most fish and especially liver. Chicken and beef liver may not be the type of meat you prefer. But when it comes to omega 6 fatty acids and vitamins B, this meat by product scores at the top of the list. Flaxseed and flaxseed oil, canola oil and eggs are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids. And try implementing nuts, whole wheat products and sesame seeds for the high amounts of omega 6.
Liver Cleansing Teas
Milk Thistle, Dandelion Root, Peppermint, Chanca Piedra, Greater Celandine, and Borotutu Bark among others, have all been used for centuries in holistic medicine. Some are good for the liver, others for the bladder, kidneys and digestive system. Not all will be readily available and we are not used to the taste of some of them. After all, most are used as medicine, and medicine is never tasty. If you don’t want to experiment (and you shouldn’t on your own), play it safe and drink peppermint or milk thistle tea. Dandelion root tastes like coffee, so you can try it in small amounts. It’s still very powerful and may do more damage than good, when taken in large amounts. A good rule of thumb is to drink two cups of water to one cup of tea.
Liver Cleansing Tips
Dedicate a week every few months to these liver cleansing foods. You do not need to starve your body like so many liver detox recipes suggest. With the list of detoxifying foods we mentioned in here, you can make a full breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plan for a whole week. During this liver detoxification week, avoid fatty foods, fast food, red meat and fried foods. Add more colors to your plate and eat the suggested liver cleaning vegetables, fruits and drinks. Avoid eating meat and heavy foods in the evening. Instead, try healthy substitutes and variations, and drink 2 -3 glasses of water more than regularly. If you really don’t like the taste of raw vegetables, you can always add them to soups and other meals, in grated form.