The liver acts as a fine sieve, filtering toxins and waste products out of the bloodstream. When there are too many toxins and impurities to filter (or – if the sieve is clogged), the waste starts to back up which can lead to a variety of health problems.
This is especially important if you follow a high fat or high animal protein diet. The long term effects of these diets wreak havoc with the body and your health. Best is to always take action now, because prevention is always better than cure!
Here are 11 signs and symptoms that could possibly indicate your liver is struggling and needs some help with a cleans.
FatigueMood Swings or DepressionWeight Gain or Inability to Lose WeightHigh CholesterolNutrient DeficienciesDigestive Problems (acid re flux, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation etc)Sugar CrashesHormonal Imbalances (which leads to many more problems)Immune ProblemsExcessive Sweating or Body OdorSleep Apnea or Snoring
If you found yourself relating to more than a few of these symptoms, I highly recommend you have your liver checked out and consider doing a liver detox.
In the meantime, here are 14 incredible plant-based foods that assist the liver with detoxification and support the health and function of this amazing organ…try to start incorporate these foods into your diet to assist your liver and improve your health!
1. Beets and Carrots
Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating beets and carrots can stimulate and support overall liver function.
2. Green Tea
This liver-loving beverage is full of plant-based antioxidants known as catechins—compounds known to assist liver function. Green tea is a delicious, healthy addition to any diet. Just remember that green tea offers the benefits, not green tea extract. Some research suggests green tea extract may actually have a negative effect on liver health. Keep it simple and stick to the beverage to enjoy the benefits of green tea.
3. Leafy Green Vegetables
One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in chlorophyll, greens soak up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.
Incorporate leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory into your diet. This will increase creation and flow of bile—the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.
Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage stimulates liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup, and sauerkraut are great cabbage-foods to add to your diet.
High in Vitamin C and glutathione, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. More specifically, one grapefruit contains over 70 mg of glutathione, a protein that boosts the production of liver detox enzymes. In addition, grapefruit contains a special kind of pectin that appears to lower cholesterol – a notorious liver sieve clogging fat. *Make sure to check the insert on any medications you take because grapefruit interferes with certain drugs.
6. Broccoli and/or Cauliflower
These cruciferous vegetables increase the amount of glucosinolate in the body, organic sulfur compounds that work with chemicals such as folate, flavonoids, and Vitamin C to cleanse the body of free radicals and other toxins. By amplifying detox enzyme production in the liver, glucosinolates help flush carcinogens and other toxins out of the body, aiding the liver with detoxification and lowering the risk of cancer.
These nuts have high amounts of arginine, an amino acid that helps the liver detoxify ammonia – a toxic waste product of protein metabolism. In addition, walnuts are high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which support detoxification.
Sea vegetables contain sodium alginate (algin), which absorbs toxins from the digestive tract. Kelp is a type of seaweed that is particularly rich in algin and green seaweed is rich in chlorophyll, a green pigment containing special fibers that bind to and remove toxins from the body.
Apples contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and many beneficial phytochemicals such as D-Glucarate, flavonoids and terpenoids – all of which are used in the detox process. One apple flavonoid, Phlorizidin (phlorizin), aids the stimulation of bile production, which helps the liver get rid of some toxins through the bile. In addition, apples are a good source of the soluble fiber pectin, which helps eliminate metals and food additives from the bloodstream. Because conventionally grown apples contain a great deal of pesticide residue, experts suggest consuming only organic apples.
Avocados help the body produce the antioxidant glutathione, an extremely valuable compound needed for the liver to filter out harmful materials. Glutathione is the primary antioxidant your liver needs during both phases of detoxification. Avocados are also a good source of monounsaturated fats and have been shown to lower liver-clogging cholesterol levels when eaten regularly.
This yellow, citrus fruit stimulates the release of enzymes and helps convert toxins into a water-soluble form that can be easily excreted from the body. Lemons are also rich sources of Vitamin C, which helps to thin and decongest bile, enabling the liver to more effectively break down fats. Many detox diet plans begin by squeezing fresh lemon into a glass of water and consuming it first thing in the morning.
Raw garlic has many health benefits; one is its assistance to liver detoxification. Garlic is loaded with allicin and selenium, two compounds that help liver cleansing. It also contains sulfur, a mineral that helps rid the body of toxins. Additionally, garlic helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which contribute to unclogging the liver’s sieve.
13. Olive Oil
Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp, and flaxseed are great for the liver when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can absorb harmful toxins in the body. In this way, they take some of the burden off the liver.
Turmeric is the liver’s favorite spice. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detoxification by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary toxins.
This golden spice tastes great in all kinds of dishes, but you can further boost your intake with a turmeric supplement. A word of warning; turmeric supplements are somewhat notorious for low-quality ingredients and even outright dangerous contamination. Only buy the highest quality turmeric from the most reputable sources
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A very popular statement made by the so-called father of western medicine Hippocrates, and even though this is nothing new to what we have learned over the past few 100 years, there is still many people out there who have a hard time grasping how much of an impact the food we eat has on our bodies. Many still choose a chemical pill over the natural medicine of food which often comes with debilitating side effects. On top of that, those with a toxic, sedentary, fat-filled or chemical-laden lifestyle are likely to have some level of difficulty with detoxification, a problem that can be turned around by changing to a plant based way of eating and living.
Plant based living is the way to go when you are looking not just as short term results but long term benefits as well. There is no point have a size 2 dress size when your body is feeling sick, fatigued and unwell. There is that perfect balance you can reach and you can do so with plants!
Have a look at my digital recipe book FRESH: the Vegetarian and Vegan Inspired E-cookbook
It is packed with 50 amazing plant based recipes along with a well structured healthy meal plan to help guide you on how to make smart food choices during the day so that you can start living a healthier lifestyle.
Go to https://gumroad.com/l/rTwRPto find out more and sign up to my mailing list and get a 10% discount The FRESH E-cookbook!
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Jody C does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Jody C are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician