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Eat plentiful amounts of raw fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables and orange, yellow, purple and red colored fruits and vegetables. Thirty to forty percent of the liver diet should consist of raw fruits and vegetables. Try to eat some raw fruits or vegetables with EVERY meal, as they contain living enzymes, vitamin C, natural antibiotic substances and anti-cancer phyto-nutrients. Great recipes can be found in my famous book “The Liver Cleansing Diet”
Oil but don’t grease your body
Avoid the fats that present a high workload for the liver and gall bladder. These are full-cream dairy products, margarines, processed vegetable oils (hydrogenated fats), deep fried foods, foods that are not fresh and contain rancid fats, preserved meats, animal skins and fatty meats. In those with a dysfunctional liver, I recommend avoiding all animal milks and substituting them with oat, rice, almond or soy milks. Eat the good fats which contain essential fatty acids in their natural unprocessed form.
These are found in cold pressed vegetable and seed oils, avocados, fish (especially oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, herring, sablefish, flounder, trout, bass and mackerel), shrimp, prawns and crayfish, raw fresh nuts, raw fresh seeds such as flaxseeds (linseeds), sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, alfalfa seeds, pumpkin seeds and legumes (beans, peas and lentils). Seeds such as flaxseeds can be ground freshly everyday (in a regular coffee grinder or food processor) and can be added to cereals, smoothies, fruit salads and vegetables. Spirulina, evening primrose oil, black currant seed oil, borage oil and lecithin also contain healthy oils to help the liver. Do not use butter and/or margarine on your breads and crackers. Replace them with tahini, hummus, pesto, tomato paste or relish, freshly minced garlic and cold pressed oil (chilli or other natural spices can be added if enjoyed), nut-spreads, fresh avocado or cold pressed olive oil. The good fats are essential to build healthy cell membranes around the liver cells. As we get older we need to oil our bodies and not grease our bodies.
Avoid artificial chemicals and toxins such as insecticides, pesticides, and artificial sweeteners and colorings, (especially aspartame), flavorings and preservatives. Excess alcohol, particularly spirits, should be avoided.
Consume a diverse range of proteins from grains, raw nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, seafood, and if desired, free range chicken (without the skin), and lean fresh red meats. If you do not want to eat red meat or poultry this is quite acceptable as there are many other sources of protein. It is safe to be a strict vegetarian, however you may need to take supplements of vitamin B 12, iron, taurine and carnitine to avoid poor metabolism and fatigue. To obtain first class protein, strict vegetarians need to combine 3 of the following 4 food classes at one meal – grains, nuts, seeds and legumes; otherwise valuable essential amino acids may be deficient. If your body is lacking amino acids you will be fatigued and you may suffer with mood changes, reduced cognitive function, hypoglycaemia, poor immune and liver function and hair loss. I have met many strict vegans who felt unwell because they were lacking amino acids, iron and vitamin B 12, and after supplementing with these nutrients and modifying their diets they quickly regained excellent health.
Let food be your medicine
Many diseases can be overcome by eating healing foods that contain powerful medicinal properties. Optimal health and the prevention of disease is only possible by including these healing foods regularly in the liver diet. The healing substances found in certain foods or therapeutically active chemicals are known as phyto-chemicals. The culinary habits of different cultures have been recognised for decades as being influential in the incidence of diseases. Mediterranean countries have a lower prevalence of cardiovascular diseases because of the protective effect of traditional Mediterranean foods, such as olive oil, tomatoes and legumes. Broccoli and other vegetables in the cruciferous family are known to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, but it is only recently that scientists have isolated the phyto-chemicals which confer this protection. Broccoli has been found to contain a phyto-chemical called sulphoraphane, which enhances the phase two-detoxification pathway in the liver. Sulphoraphane has also been found to block mammary tumor formation in rats.
Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which according to a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1997:66:116-22), is the most powerful of all the dietary carotenoids. The researchers found that the dietary intake of lycopene was linked to a lower risk of prostate problems. They also found that higher levels of lycopene in the blood lowered the risk of cell proliferation, which would theoretically exert a powerful anti-cancer effect. Cooking or chopping tomatoes increases the absorption of lycopene into the body. Eating tomatoes with oil increases the availability of the lycopene to the body, which is another reason that Mediterranean cuisine confers health benefits.
Beetroot is a beautiful deep purple colour because it contains the antioxidant anthocyanidin. Constituents of beetroot have been shown to exert anti-viral and anti-tumour effects in animal studies. Other foods, which also exert these properties, although to a lesser degree, are red and green peppers, red onion, paprika and cranberry. These foods contain healing phytonutrients such as carotenoids, capsanthin and anthocyanins.
Certain foods have high concentrations of plant hormones, which are known as phyto-estrogens. Examples of these are the isoflavones genistein and daidzein (found in soya beans and red clover), and lignans (found in flaxseed). Asian communities consume a high intake of soy, and have a significantly lower incidence of hormone dependent cancers of the prostate, uterus and breast. All legumes such as beans, peas and lentils contain beneficial phyto-estrogens.
A study published in the British Medical Journal in 1990, looked at a group of postmenopausal women who were given 1.5 oz of soy flour for 2 weeks, followed by half that of flaxseed meal for 2 weeks, and then half again of red clover sprouts. This produced improvements in various blood hormone levels and menopausal symptoms.
Asian and Mediterranean cuisines are now integrating themselves into the old fashioned Western diet consisting of meat, bread and 4 vegetables. This culinary multiculturalism has enormous and proven benefits for our health and also for our enjoyment. We all know that variety is the spice of life, and Asian and Mediterranean foods can add spice to our often bland ways of eating. A wide range of Asian foods is now available from supermarkets and greengrocers as well as Chinese grocery stores. Typical Asian foods and vegetables such as ginger, chilli, garlic, Chinese water spinach, bok choy, lemongrass, coconut, tumeric, curry, Chinese mushrooms and many others can be experimented with, and gradually introduced into the liver diet if you want to expand the horizons of your taste buds.
Watch that sweet tooth
Use natural sugars from fresh fruits and juices, dried fruits, honey, molasses, fruit sorbets, fruit cakes, fruit jams, carob, date sugar, maple syrup or rice syrup. Avoid refined white sugar and candies, fizzy drinks, cakes and biscuits made with refined sugars. If you find you crave these foods on a regular basis you may have the very common metabolic imbalance known as Syndrome X. By following the eating principles and taking nutrients to rebalance the metabolism you can get cravings under control making weight loss and maintenance of energy much easier. See “Syndrome X”
Rehydrate your body
Drink large amounts of fluids such as water, raw juices and teas (green tea, herbal and regular weak tea is fine). Aim for 2 liters of fluid daily and this will prevent constipation problems and help your kidneys to eliminate the toxins that the liver has broken down. Use a household water filter. Water filters with sub-micron, solid carbon block filters are able to remove parasites and many toxic chemicals. Shop around and take a look at different types of filters before you buy and get professional advice as technology is improving rapidly.
The liver is the major organ involved in detoxification, however it is still important to support the other body organs of elimination. The skin and the kidneys eliminate toxins through sweating and urine and this is why saunas and a high intake of filtered water can reduce symptoms of toxic overload.
ALTHOUGH IT IS IDEAL TO BE ABLE TO PURCHASE AND CONSUME ORGANIC PRODUCTS, THIS MAY NOT ALWAYS BE FEASIBLE OR POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF FINANCIAL OR LOGISTICAL REASONS. PLEASE DO NOT BECOME TOO STRESSED BY THIS, AS EVEN IF THE FOOD YOU CONSUME IS NOT ORGANIC, THE TYPES OF FOODS YOU EAT ARE EVEN MORE IMPORTANT !!!
Not many people want to eat fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed repeatedly with insecticides and fungicides, ripened with ethylene gas and perhaps waxed with an insect secretion. It is a little off putting while biting into your lovely red juicy steak to think that this animal may have been fed antibiotics and the ground-up remains of thousands of dead animals, and had potent sex hormones implanted into it to accelerate its growth. The healthy reputation of meat was tarnished by the epidemic of mad cow disease (BSE) that has been troubling England and other parts of Europe for some years now. In 1996, the British government conceded that BSE could possibly pass to humans and cause a fatal type of dementia called Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD). The British government has banned farmers from feeding livestock the remains of dead cattle, and the use of meat and bone meal as an agricultural fertiliser. Dr. Carleton Gadjusek, noted for his Noble Prize winning research, believes that a form of BSE could manifest in chickens and pigs fed the melted down remains of many animals found in meat and bone meal. The disease may not be obvious because the animals are slaughtered before the disease has time to develop.
There are differing opinions regarding the causes and transmission of BSE and CJD, as it is difficult to detect in infected animals. For these important reasons it would be prudent to implement a worldwide total ban on feeding any animal tissue to livestock, as the WHO has called for.
Organic food is sometimes called biodynamic food and is produced without synthetic herbicides, insecticides, fertilisers, post-harvest fungicides, antibiotic growth-promoters, or size enhancing hormones. It relies upon Mother Nature’s forces, recycling of nutrients and sustainable methods of production. Foods certified as organic must be grown on farms that are inspected and fully certified according to a stringent set of standards. Packaged and/or processed organic foods are free from artificial preservatives, colorings, flavorings or additives, and should not contain irradiated or genetically modified ingredients.
Organic food sources and control
Growers who are inspected regularly by one of the Independent Certification Bodies produce the foods that are certified as organic.
International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM)
Suite 15/118, 1st Avenue South, Jamestown ND USA 58401
The Organic Trade Association
PO Box 1078, Greenfield, MA 01302
Phone: (413) 774 5484 Fax: (413) 774 6432
Sustain, The Environmental Information Group
920 N. Franklin, Suite 206, Chicago, IL 60610
Phone: (312) 951 8999 Fax: (312) 951 5696
Keep your bowels moving
Avoid constipation by having plenty of fiber, found in unprocessed food and raw fruits and vegetables. One really good trick to keep your bowels moving is to grind flaxseed (linseed), sunflower seeds and almonds (LSA), in a blender or coffee grinder to produce a fine powder, and eat 2 to 3 tablespoons of this powder daily. You can add other ground up seeds, that are high in fiber such as psyllium, pumpkin, sesame and alfalfa seeds to increase the fiber content of the powder. Add this powder to smoothies, vegetables, soups, cereals and fruit salads. Other good sources of fiber are brans made from wheat, oats, soy or rice. Sweet corn either raw or freshly and lightly cooked, is an excellent source of bowel cleansing fiber. Fiber acts like a broom in your bowels and sweeps their walls clean of accumulated layers of waste products, which can then be eliminated in the bowel actions (faeces).
Be a gourmet not a gourmand
Be selective and aim for food taste and quality, instead of quantity. Chew slowly so that you can tune into the subtle tastes of natural foods, oils, spices and herbs. Do not overeat, and listen to the messages from your body. When you feel full and satisfied stop eating. Consistently overeating greatly increases the workload of the liver, and this may reduce its capacity to detoxify harmful substances efficiently. Overworking the liver also reduces its ability to burn fat so that you will be more likely to develop a fatty liver. Many people unwittingly dig their grave with their teeth.
Pamper your liver
Eat foods to increase nutrients beneficial to liver function.These are:
- Vitamin K – green leafy vegetables and alfalfa sprouts.
- Arginine – this helps the liver to detoxify ammonia, which is a toxic waste product of protein metabolism. Arginine is found in legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), carob, oats, walnuts, wheatgerm and seeds.
- Antioxidants – found in fresh raw juices such as carrot, celery, beetroot, dandelion, apple, pear and green drinks like wheatgrass and barley-grass juice, and fresh fruits, particularly citrus and kiwi fruit.
- Selenium – sources of the antioxidant selenium are Brazil nuts, designer yeast powders (very good source), kelp, brown rice, molasses, seafood, wheatgerm, whole-grains, garlic and onions.
- Methionine – is essential for detoxification. Is found in legumes, eggs, fish, garlic, onions, seeds and meat.
- Essential fatty acids – Seafood, cod liver oil, and fish oil. Seafood may be fresh, canned or frozen such as sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, trout, mullet, blue mussels, calamari, tailor, herring, blue eye cod, gemfish. Fresh avocado, fresh raw nuts and seeds, legumes (beans, peas, lentils), whole grains, wheatgerm, green vegetables such as spinach, green peas and green beans, eggplant, cold pressed fresh vegetable and seed oils, freshly ground seeds, especially flaxseeds (linseed), evening primrose oil, black-currant seed oil, star flower oil. Essential fatty acids are required for healthy membranes in every cell of the body and plentiful amounts are required for healthy liver function. This is why strict low fat diets are not beneficial for general health, weight control or liver function.
- Natural sulphur compounds – are found in eggs (preferably free range), garlic, onions, leeks, shallots and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.
Practice good hygiene
The liver filter removes micro-organisms from the blood stream, which prevents them from getting deeper into the body where they may cause serious infections. To avoid overloading the liver filter it is important to avoid eating foods that are contaminated with high loads of unfriendly or dangerous (pathogenic) micro-organisms.
Although standards of living and sanitation have improved, cases of food poisoning from parasites, bacteria and viruses have been gradually increasing. This is often due to poor hygiene, such as inadequate cleansing of areas where food is prepared and stored, and lack of hand washing before preparing and eating food. This is more common today because people have a false sense of security brought about from antibiotic drugs, however many new viruses and pathogenic bacteria resistant to antibiotics are emerging.
The excessive practise of feeding antibiotics to animals is contributing to the rising incidence of antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria such as E.coli, Staphylococcus and Salmonella. Other micro-organisms that can cause food poisoning are Campylobacter, Listeria, Yersinia, Clostridium Botulinum and Shigella. Food poisoning can also occur from the toxins produced by some bacteria, algae and moulds. Shellfish grown in waters polluted with toxic algae bloom can accumulate their toxins, which can cause severe neurological dysfunction. Foods contaminated by certain moulds or fungi, which produce their own mycotoxins, can make you sick. The fungus Aspergillus flavus produces the dangerous mycotoxin called aflotoxin. This can grow on damp maize, wheat, corn, peanuts and some other crops.
People are eating out more and there is less cooking done in the home so it is difficult to control standards of food preparation for your family. People purchase foods from supermarkets where food may have travelled long distances and be stored or refrigerated for long periods, picking up microorganisms along the way. Many processed foods contain preservatives, which do not eradicate microorganisms, but merely keep them in a dormant state. When this food gets into your intestines the preservatives are diluted and the bugs start to multiply. This is why it is important to purchase only fresh high quality foods. The risk of food contamination is increased by long storage times, the number of people who handle and package food, and inadequate cooling and re-heating temperatures.
The intensive mass production of animal meats has helped to spread infections in food supplies. Chickens fed stock-feed infected with the bacteria Salmonella (sometimes from the remains of other chickens), allow bacteria to recycle and multiply in the same way that cow cannibalism caused the epidemic of mad cow disease (BSE). Chickens infected with Salmonella or viruses, and other animals reared in crowded conditions, can easily cross-infect each other while alive or at the abattoir. John Pattison, chairman of Britain’s BSE Advisory Committee believes that mad cow disease (BSE) spread in England from infected hamburger meat made with every part of an animal.
Tips for good hygiene
Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before preparing and eating food, and after handling any raw meat or seafood. Brushing under the nails with a nailbrush can remove inaccessible bacteria. Wash kitchen utensils such as cutting boards, grinders, juicers, and blenders and can openers thoroughly after each use. Replace cloths, bottlebrushes, pot scratchers and wettexes used to wash dishes frequently.
- Only purchase fresh foods and avoid foods that are mouldy or look too old. Avoid processed or preserved meats such as hamburger meat, ham, smoked and pickled meats and fish, beef jerky, bacon, sausages, fritz, cabanossi, pizza meats, corned beef, meat loaf, rolled meats as found in delicatessens, and seafood that has been mishandled or poorly stored.
- Do not let food stand in warm temperatures for more than two hours.
- Hot foods should be cooled quickly at room temperature and then refrigerated, because gradual cooling allows microorganisms to grow. For the same reasons, do not eat food that has been cooked, cooled and reheated more than once. It is times like these that pet dogs and cats are great for recycling food.
- Refrigerate raw meat, seafood or chicken as soon as possible to reduce bacterial multiplication.
- Defrost poultry, seafood or meat in a microwave oven or overnight in the refrigerator and not on a counter.
- Cook all poultry, seafood and meat thoroughly because the center of the food must reach 70şC (158şF) to kill bacteria.
- Store raw meat and poultry at a lower level in the refrigerator to avoid their juices contaminating other foods.
- Always refrigerate eggs and foods containing eggs, and discard eggs with cracks.
- Avoid nuts with mould on their shell or kernel, or those with a bitter taste.
- Boil for 5 minutes all tap water used for drinking, food preparation and cooking.
- Use antiseptics when cleaning the toilet, bath and shower recess. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil have useful antiseptic properties. Avoid sharing toothbrushes and razor blades, as serious blood borne infections can be transmitted this way.
Diet for a healthy liver
“The Liver Cleansing Diet” is an 8-week eating plan that gives you plenty of variety and well balanced, nutritional meals. The liver-cleansing diet is not a trendy weight loss diet for the 1990s (although it is extremely effective for obesity); in contrast it will become established as a household name for a long long time because people who have used it, sing its praises far and wide.
Many fad diets come and go and indeed may be dangerous or make you miserable because they are far too restrictive and difficult to follow. In contrast the Liver Cleansing Diet is easy and safe and is really a form of awareness or consciousness, which will give you the key to a strong immune system and healthy blood vessels.
Furthermore the Liver Cleansing Diet is not a ” kill joy” diet which only goodie goodies can follow. After the 8-week cleansing, you may continue to enjoy nice wines and spirits and if you desire lean fresh red meats in moderation.
If you don’t want to follow the 8-week plan, then that’s O.K. too, simply follow the vital principles for a healthy liver (see chapter 5 of the Liver Cleansing Diet book or page 20-27 of “The Healthy Liver and Bowel Book” and pick and choose recipes and foods that you enjoy.
There are hundreds of delicious and easy recipes for soups, salads, dressings, sauces, dips, main courses and desserts and much more. There is so much variety you will never be bored or hungry!
Dr. Cabot has put over 5000 patients on the LCD and has followed them up for 2 years, she says ” all these patients have lost weight easily and their general health has greatly improved. ”
If you follow the LCD your metabolism will improve in leaps and bounds. The Liver Cleansing Diet gives you a NEW method of combining food for efficient metabolism, weight control and repair of the liver.
By following the principles of the LCD and using nutritional supplements and liver tonics, it is possible to reverse many types of liver disease. This is even more so if these strategies are followed in the early to medium stages of disease.
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any diseases.