By Jessah Shaw, Adv Dip (Nut Med)

Today, the large majority of individuals have overworked livers due to toxin exposure from environmental toxins, beauty and personal care products, chronic stress, overconsumption of processed foods, and drinking unfiltered water. These toxins can build up in our system contributing to a number of physical and mental health issues such as chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, headaches, sleep issues and weight gain. Our liver is the master detoxifier and fat-burning organ and needs to be working optimally to properly detoxify our body. An overloaded and fatty liver will make it much harder to control your weight and your cholesterol levels. Many diabetic people cannot get good blood sugar control if they have a fatty liver.

Here are some foods that are particularly good at promoting better liver function:

  1. Leafy green vegetables
    Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts are powerful liver healing foods that are full of antioxidants and high in chlorophyll to maximize liver function. They can be consumed raw, cooked or juiced, and are capable of counteracting heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides. They also help to increase the production and flow of bile, which is essential for breaking down and removing waste from the blood and organs. Consume these vegetables regularly to protect your liver.
  2. Garlic
    Not only is this amazing spice a powerful antioxidant, antimicrobial and antibiotic, but garlic also activates liver enzymes that help to flush harmful toxins out of the body. It also contains high amounts of allicin, which helps to optimize liver function and reduce the build-up of toxins in the liver.
  3. Tomato
    Tomatoes are rich in a powerful antioxidant called lycopene, which studies have found can lower the risk of cell proliferation resulting in a powerful anti-cancer effect. Cooking or chopping tomatoes helps to increase the absorption of lycopene into the body. Tomatoes are also high in vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and many other antioxidants to further detoxify the liver.
  4. Avocados
    Not only do avocados taste great on toast, as guacamole or in smoothies, but they also help the body to produce glutathione; the body’s most potent antioxidant and detoxifier. Glutathione helps your body to rid itself of unwanted toxins. Avocados are also rich in many nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin B5, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, potassium, magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids.
  5. Green tea
    While not technically a food, this liver-friendly beverage is loaded with catechins, plant-based antioxidants that promote efficient liver function. Green tea is an excellent addition to any diet, and also helps to hydrate the body.
  6. Citrus fruits
    This encompasses lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges which are extremely high in vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that aids in the conversion of toxins into a water-soluble form that can be eliminated from the body. Drinking a large glass of water with fresh lime or lemon is an excellent way to stimulate your liver and kickstart your metabolism for the day.
  7. Beetroot
    These deep purple vegetables contain a combination of phytochemicals and minerals, making them powerful blood purifiers and liver cleansers. Use shredded beetroot in your salads. Being high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene they also help to strengthen and stimulate the liver.
  8. Carrots
    If you are planning on detoxing your liver, you need to include carrots in your diet as they are high in glutathione, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and other nutrients that are essential for your liver. If you don’t like raw carrots, try roasting them or juicing them and you can also shred them in a vegetable processor/cutter to add to salads. There are plenty of juicing recipes in Dr Cabot’s book ‘Raw Juices Can Save Your Life’.
  9. Onions
    These pungent vegetables are rich in sulfur, hence the strong odour. Sulfur is a powerful detoxing element that aids the body in ridding itself of toxins from the liver. Like garlic, onions are also antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory.
  10. Dr Cabot’s Ultimate Superfood
    Dr Cabot’s Ultimate Superfood powder contains 60% high quality vegetarian pea protein, vitamins and minerals, and 28 superfoods and greens. It boosts energy levels, optimizes fat burning in the liver and enhances the liver’s removal of toxins. Just have one or two scoops a day added to water, juice and/or smoothies to maintain protein intake and better liver and immune function.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.