The liver performs many essential tasks such as secreting bile juice to help in digestion,
breaking down toxins resulting from alcohol, medications and metabolism. A healthy liver is essential for our overall well-being. Let us have a look at what to take and what to avoid to keep our liver in optimal health:
- Green Leafy Vegetables: Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, Spinach, Dandelion and a host
of other greens contain sulphur, which helps the liver in detoxifying the body. A
component known as Taraxacin which is found in dandelions is helps in stimulating
bile juice secretion, which boosts digestion.
- Coffee: Coffee-lovers have a reason to cheer! Studies have shown that drinking
coffee in moderation can protect the liver by preventing the build-up of fat and
collagen and reduce the risk of liver cancer.
- Grapes: Red and purple grapes contain many beneficial plant compounds, a notable
example being resveratrol which boosts the level of antioxidants and lowers
- Almonds: Nuts in general and almonds in particular, are rich in Vitamin E and
unsaturated fats. These help the liver in eliminating bad cholesterol from the body
and lowering the blood pressure, besides protecting against fatty liver disease.
- Eggs: These are some of the healthiest foods found in nature. Eggs are rich in all the
eight essential amino acids and choline, which is also a vital nutrient. The amino acids and choline help the liver in detoxification process and improve the metabolism rate.
- Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, you name it; any kind of
berry is a superfood. Berries contain phytochemicals which help your liver from the
free radicals. Anthocyanin and polyphenols have been shown to reduce the risk of liver cancer.
- Green Tea: It is full of antioxidant compounds called Catechins, which when taken in
moderation, assist liver function and protect the liver from the damaging effects of
toxins such as alcohol. Regular consumption of green tea blocks the amount of fat
stored in liver thereby reducing the risk of fatty liver disease.
The worst foods for the liver are as follows:
- Alcohol: This ranks first in the list of foods harmful for liver. When the liver breaks
down alcohol, the resulting chemical reaction can damage its cells leading to
inflammation and scarring. Chronic alcoholism blocks proper absorption of nutrients,
forcing the liver to become toxic.
- Fatty Foods: Burgers, French fries, pizzas etc. are high in saturated fats which can lead to inflammation over time, cause cirrhosis and make it harder for the liver to do its job. They also elevate bad cholesterol and reduce the levels of good cholesterol.
- Sugary foods: The liver converts sugar into fat. Excessive fat storage in liver cancause fatty liver disease.
- Soda and White bread: This is a deadly combination of refined carbohydrates and
sugar overdose that isn’t doing your liver any favours. These also increase the risk of
fatty liver disease.
- Salty items: Canned soups and packaged foods are loaded with sodium and lead to
retention of excess fluid in the liver and inhibit its functioning.
- Red Meat: This may be rich in protein, but it is also taxing on the liver as it cannot
break down this protein easily. The excess protein build-up becomes toxic and adversely affects the liver and the brain.
- Excess fruits: This may be hard to believe, but consuming large amounts of fructose-
rich fruits like raisins, dry fruits can result in inflammation and fatty liver. This is because the sugar present in fruits, known as fructose, can cause abnormal amounts of fat in the blood when consumed in large amounts.
Your liver does a lot for you, like filtering your blood and breaking down food.By monitoring your diet, you can return the favour and live life with a healthy, properly-functioning liver.