If you’ve been slugging through your day extremely exhausted, struggling with digestive and gut issues or have become extra sensitive to perfumes and smells, this could be a sign that your liver is on overload.
As your main detoxifying organ, your liver is impacted by everything you come in contact with and works hard to detoxify many chemicals and carcinogens.
Detox is an important part of our health and most of us are doing it wrong.
Heading out to your local health food store and buying a 10-day detox kit just ain’t gonna cut it! As much as those kits can be effective in “cleaning you out,” they really don’t address the biggest and most important issue, which is food!
So how do you cleanse your liver? When it comes to detoxification, it’s all about the food, or more specifically, the nutrients needed to support detoxification on a daily basis.
It’s true, we detoxify daily, which is why only 10 days won’t cut it. From the toxins in the food we eat, to environmental toxins, to household cleaning products and our contaminated drinking water, our bodies are in a toxic overloaded state.
There are numerous ways to gently and safely detoxify our bodies, from herbs, to supplements and of course, choosing clean, organic whole foods.
Before we dive into what to eat, let’s first understand what detoxification is all about.
What is detoxification?
Detoxification is about resting, cleaning and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, and then feeding your body healthy nutrients, detoxification can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimal health.
That’s right, we’ve got to eliminate toxins and feed our bodies well. In fact, the foods you choose to eat play a vital role in eliminating toxins from your body, as well as supporting different organ systems.
As your main detoxifying organ, your liver has over 500 functions in the body. From ridding your body of waste, metabolizing hormones and assisting in digestion, your liver has a lot of work to do.
B vitamins, vitamin A and C, and minerals such as zinc, magnesium, calcium and selenium are all important for supporting detoxification and the liver. Several amino aids are also important for improving detoxification and eliminating chemicals from your body. Cysteine and methionine in particular help to prevent oxidation and bind to heavy metals such as mercury to help flush them from your system.
An incredibly powerful and important antioxidant needed for detoxification is glutathione. This antioxidant works to decrease toxins accumulated from smoke, radiation, auto exhaust, chemicals, drugs and many other carcinogens.
Since your liver is your main detoxifying powerhouse, it is important to eat foods that optimize the health of the liver and supply you with many of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above.
Here are 7 foods that cleanse your liver naturally:
Contains sulfur compounds that are essential for supporting the liver and activating liver enzymes that are responsible for flushing out toxins and waste from the body. Garlic also contains selenium, an important mineral and nutrient that assists in detoxification and supports the thyroid gland.
2. Citrus Fruits
Lemons, limes and grapefruits are all natural sources of vitamin C and contain many potent antioxidants. Like garlic, citrus fruits have the ability to boost the production of liver detoxification enzymes.
Along with other brassica vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli contains sulfur compounds, just like garlic, that help to support the detoxification process and the health of the liver. In fact, these fibrous veggies can help flush out toxins from your gut, and they contain compounds that help support the liver in metabolizing hormones.
This incredible fruit contains glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the liver from incoming waste and toxins. It also assists the liver in eliminating these chemicals from your body and protects against cellular damage.
5. Leafy Vegetables
The bitterer, the better! Your liver loves bitter, so load up on dandelion, rapini, arugula, mustard greens and chicory. These leafy greens contain numerous cleansing compounds that neutralize heavy metals, which can slow down the liver’s ability to detoxify. Plus, they help to stimulate bile flow.
This incredible herb contains a boatload of antioxidants that help to repair the liver cells, protect against cellular damage and assist in detoxification. Turmeric is particularly good at helping the liver detox from heavy metals and assist in hormone metabolism. Turmeric also boosts the production of bile and improves the health of the gallbladder.
These oddly-shaped nuts contain high levels of l-arginine, glutathione, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which help to detoxify the liver and support toxin elimination. Plus, they are great for fighting inflammation and supporting the health of the brain.
A simple and delicious way to include many of the above liver-loving foods is to juice them. If you don’t have a juicer, you can make the recipe below using a blender.
Here is a potent detoxifying juice you can make at home to cleanse your liver and overall health.
Mean Green Detox Juice
- 4 large dandelion leaves
- 4 cups arugula
- 3 celery stalks
- 2 large broccoli stalks
- 2 carrots
- 1 lemon (with peel on)
- ½ a grapefruit
How To Make It:
Process all ingredients through a juicer. Alternatively, if you have a high-speed blender, you can make this into a smoothie.
Be sure to add enough water to blend your ingredients, and feel free to pour the mix through a sieve to strain out the fiber.