Liver is the largest endocrine gland located in the right side of the upper abdomen. It has the most important function in the body that includes sorting out:
- Which nutrient or medicine should be processed, like proteins into urea
- Which nutrient should be converted for storage like vitamins and minerals, sugars into glycogen
- Which nutrient should go to the blood and which ones need to be eliminated through stool.
- Improving a person’s immunity
Though the liver can regenerate itself, there are many foods which one can consume to keep it healthy and safe. Any damage to the liver can cause metabolic disorder and death. So let’s look at some foods which can help you with liver repair!
Foods That Help Liver Repair
- Coffee: Studies prove that coffee drinkers are at less risk of developing liver disease. Caffeine in coffee slows down scarring and helps fight liver cancer especially alcohol related cirrhosis. The acids in coffee can also help fight against the Hepatitis virus.
- Green Tea: is high in antioxidants. Hence, it improves liver enzymes and prevents oxidative damage and fat deposition in the liver. Studies prove that green and black tea extracts reverse the negative effect of a high fat diet but the studies also involve large quantities (5-10 cups) of tea so being cautious and consulting a doctor or dietician before deciding on the number of cups per day is a good option.
- Berries: Dark coloured berries like blueberries and cranberries contain anthocyanins which give them the dark, deep colour. They help in improving immunity and reduce formation of scar tissues and lesions in the liver. Consuming berries 3-4 times a week also inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the liver.
- Grapefruit: contains antioxidants known as Naringenin and Naringin. Studies have shown that antioxidants Naringenin can reduce development of hepatic fibrosis which is build-up of excessive connective tissue leading to chronic inflammation. These antioxidants decrease the amount of fat build up in liver tissues and increase the amount of fat burning enzymes which prevent excess fat build up in the liver, thereby, reducing inflammation. Antioxidant Naringin improves the liver’s ability to metabolise alcohol and reduce negative effects of alcohol to some extent.
- Beetroot: is an excellent food for liver health as it helps breakdown toxic waste which can be excreted but acts well when taken in juice form. It contains nitrates and antioxidants which reduce oxidative damage and inflammation by increasing detoxification enzymes and improving bile. Betaine and Pectin present in beetroot helps in removing toxins from the body and prevent their re-entry.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale have glutathione which triggers enzymes of the liver that help eliminate toxins from the body. They also help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as they help reduce fat in the organ and inflammation as well. These vegetables have high levels of indole which helps lower inflammation, which is generally present in obese people.
- Nuts: are nutrient dense snacks which contain unsaturated fats, vitamin E and antioxidants and micronutrients (selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and many others) which help dilate blood vessels, reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Eating a handful of nuts regularly helps keep your liver healthy!
- Fatty Fish: like salmon, tuna, and sardine are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation and prevent build-up of excess fat and maintain enzyme levels in the liver. Try including fatty fish like salmon and herring 2-3 times a week in your diet.
- Olive Oil: contains omega 6 fatty acid which helps reduce inflammation. Studies show that olive oil is a good source of triglycerides which are processed outside the liver and hence help reduce deposition of fat cells in the liver. Having 1-3 tsp of olive oil daily in the diet helps clean the liver and supports weight loss. Be sure to balance this oil with other healthy fats.
- Garlic: contains selenium which helps detoxify the liver and activate enzymes that help the body remove toxins. Garlic contains Allicin, which gets activated when crushed. It is a powerful antioxidant, antibiotic and antifungal in nature. The antioxidant compounds in garlic act as a barrier between liver and toxins and keep toxic substances away.
- Grapes: especially the red and purple ones contain resveratrol, an antioxidant which helps reduce inflammation and remove toxins, as they contain vitamin C. They also increase antioxidant levels in the body.
We hope this article helps you with your liver repair. Do leave your thoughts in the comments below. For more information on this subject, check out Healthy Reads or tune in to LIVE sessions by experts on GOQii Play.