You may not give your liver much thought. After all, a healthy liver helps you digest food, absorb nutrients, and filter toxins from your body without any effort on your part.
However, you shouldn’t take liver health for granted. Chronic liver disease, which is the “gradual destruction of liver tissue,” is one of the most prominent health issues affecting Latinos.
Cirrhosis, jaundice, and hemochromatosis are all liver health complications and can be seriously debilitating. You may inherit liver problems or see them develop as a result of overtaxing that organ.
A healthy liver depends on a number of factors, including avoiding tobacco and alcohol, maintaining a reasonable weight, and eating right.
Nutrition for a healthy liver
To help your liver do its job of flushing out toxins and protecting your immune system, include some of the following foods in your diet.
Your liver produces a number of enzymes in order to rid your body of toxins. If you put too much stress on your liver, however, by eating too many high-fat or high-sugar foods, the organ may have trouble “keeping up” with enzyme production.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, eat sulfurous foods like garlic, onions, or egg yolks. These contain several compounds that stimulate enzyme production, helping your liver flush out toxins.
Garlic also contains an amino acid called methionine that protects the liver from damage and increases the organ’s efficiency.
Cruciferous Vegetables and Leafy Greens
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that eating your veggies is one step toward a healthy liver.
In addition to general nutrition benefits, cruciferous vegetables also support your liver’s production of digestive enzymes. Some cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts.
Leafy greens are also a good bet for liver health. Natural News reports that vegetables such as arugula, spinach, mustard greens, or chicory neutralize heavy metals, keeping those toxins from getting into your liver.
Bitter greens like endive or dandelions also increase bile production in the liver, which aids digestion.
Antioxidants and Vitamin C
You can also improve liver health by eating grapefruits, lemons, and green tea, all of which are high in antioxidants.
Turmeric protects against oxidative damage to the liver. (Shutterstock)
According to the report in a Huffington Post, grapefruit is excellent at ridding your liver of toxins and carcinogens, and its high concentration of vitamin C supports immune health.
A report in the Daily Mail also showed that the flavonoid “naringenin,” found in grapefruit, may stimulate your liver to burn fat instead of storing it. While naringenin is found in all bitter citrus fruits, it’s especially pronounced in grapefruit.
Add a few pieces of this fruit to your breakfast or lunch salad to maintain a healthy liver!
Another antioxidant, glutathione, also supports the liver’s ability to filter out toxins. Both avocados and walnuts contain this, so adding a few nuts or slices of avocado to a meal can boost your liver health.
Finally, you should spice up your meals a bit.
According to the Global Healing Center, turmeric protects against oxidative damage to the liver as well as promoting weight maintenance. Its active component, curcumin, helps your body shed fat rather than storing it in liver cells, and it can even lower your LDL level (“bad” cholesterol).
With so many options for maintaining a healthy liver, there’s no reason to put yourself in danger of chronic disease.
Include some of these foods in your regular diet to keep your liver functioning effectively.
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