The liver is the primary organ of detoxification and is responsible for filtering the blood and removing harmful bacteria, viruses, toxins and yeast from the blood while also conjugating and eliminating hormones, metabolic waste products, toxins and so much more. The best foods to cleanse the liver are nutrient dense whole foods that are brimming with vitamins which are required for the liver to function optimally and perform upwards of over 500 functions.
Congested liver symptoms
So many symptoms can be related to the liver struggling from fatigue to abdominal bloating, nausea, abdominal fat and weight gain, indigestion and intolerance to fatty foods, reflux and heartburn, hemorrhoids, body odor, bad breath and coated tongue, acne, rosacea, gallbladder problems and many more.
This precious organ needs some serious support as the liver is so often overwhelmed with too many jobs to do and not enough nutrients and energy to do so. Consuming processed, refined high sugar foods depleted of nutrients along with alcohol further burdens the liver inhibiting its ability to keep you healthy.
Thankfully the liver has amazing regenerative properties, an ability to multitask and 6 elimination pathways in the phase 2 detox, but the liver needs nutrients for these detoxification pathways to function optimally.
Foods to cleanse the liver
The livers detoxification pathways are run on nutrients and the best foods to cleanse the liver are found in real whole foods especially in vegetables and fruits. These lighter, hydrating foods when consumed in whole food form or fresh pressed juices are brimming with nutrients and antioxidants to help the liver detoxify.
Foods good for liver regeneration and liver detox include foods that are high in sulphur which provides nutrients needed for the sulfation detox pathway in the liver which helps to break down harmful substances. Vegetables high in sulfur include broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, garlic, chives, leeks, radishes and onions.
Some more foods for cleansing the liver, include alfalfa, barley leaf, wheat grass, kale, spinach and any dark leafy greens. These liver cleansing greens are rich in chlorophyll and is an excellent source of magnesium and folate which are important nutrients for the methylation detox pathway.
Eating fresh, raw whole fruits, especially tart tasting fruits with lots of pigment such as berries, raspberries, kiwis, cherries are excellent foods for cleansing the liver. Eating any fruits and vegetables with deep and bright pigments including all colours of the rainbow from orange, yellow, red, purple, green will give the liver a variety of powerful healing antioxidants to help cleanse the liver.
While fruits and vegetables are very cleansing for the liver getting in more nourishing and sustaining foods such as healthy fats, eggs, legumes, free range chicken, wild caught fish, nuts and seeds will also provide the liver with important nutrients that are found in these whole foods. The key to support your liver is to remove all the processed foods from the diet and only eat nutrient dense whole foods that provide the nutrients and nourishment that the liver needs to effectively detox
One of the primary jobs of the liver is to produce bile to breakdown fats. By practicing intermittent fasting or utilizing a vegetable juice in the morning that is filled with nutrients and no fats will allow the liver to have the time and nutrients to focus on detoxification without the extra burden of having to breakdown fats. Instead save the healthy fats and quality protein to have with the lunch and dinner meals.
Gallbladder nutrients is an amazing supplement to help the liver with the production of bile and bile flow support for fat digestion along with elimination of toxins via the bile and bowels. Beets, artichoke, dandelion greens and dandelion root tea are also great for promoting bile flow from the gallbladder while helping to cleanse the liver.
Eggs are another great food for the liver as they are high in sulfur, protein to help stabilize blood sugar balance and are an excellent source of choline. Choline is critical for the production of phosphatidylcholine which is also required for healthy bile flow and prevention of fatty liver.
How to cleanse your liver with fresh vegetable juices
Liver cleansing juice recipes made with fresh vegetables and only a little bit of fruit are full of live enzymes and provide a synergistic blend of a variety vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant pigments that most likely contain additional liver cleansing nutritional compounds yet to be discovered.
The antioxidants in these vegetable juices help to prevent, repair, reverse liver damage and help to scavenge free radicals that can cause tissue damage.
Some of the best liver cleansing juice recipes include juicing greens of all variety including parsley, cilantro, celery. Beets, carrot, cabbage, turmeric, green apple, citrus, ginger and radish are also great for using in liver cleansing juice recipes and for cleansing a congested liver
In order to save time I personally like to make several juices at one time then pour the juice into 300 ml jars and drink one juice per day in the morning. I place enough juice in the fridge for up to 2 days then freeze the rest of the juices which will preserve the nutrients and live enzymes. Pull a juice out of the freezer a day in advance prior to consuming to allow the juice to thaw.
While juicing is a great way to concentrate nutrients needed by the liver it will also concentrate the sugar, so I only like to consume a 300 ml vegetable juice in the morning. Drinking an excessive amount of juices can concentrate too much sugar and easy to consume calories so as with anything it is all about finding the perfect balance and what feels right for you.
Eating too much fruit which contains a lot of sugar and fructose especially when juiced can contribute to insulin resistance, weight gain and fatty liver so use these amazing foods in moderation and aim to juice with the ratio of 80% vegetable and 20% juice while consuming a couple of servings of fruit per day.
For additional liver support I like to supplement with a multivitamin or optimal detox shake as the liver’s detoxification pathways require a wide variety of nutrients as co-factors for all the enzymatic reactions that must take place.
Gallbladder Nutrients is key for stimulating both bile production and flow from the gallbladder for elimination of the toxins out of the liver.
Liver Nutrients contains milk thistle which is a powerful flavonoid complex that helps to support healthy liver function and bile flow. It also contains NAC which is a precursor to glutathione, one of the bodies primary antioxidants involved in detoxification. Taurine helps with the binding of toxins and excess fat soluble compounds.
Liposomal Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to prevent tissue damage is needed for the production of bile and contains phosphatidylcholine to help metabolize fats and promote bile flow for further detoxification.
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Hey! I'm Amber, a nutritional therapy consultant helping people to improve digestion, beat the bloat and lose weight. Sharing weight loss tips, gut health tips and whole food recipes that are gluten free. Grab your freebie below:)
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