8 foods to help the liver deal with toxins
Every day, our liver is forced to process a huge amount of toxins that come to us with food additives, pesticides, alcohol, etc.
Most toxins are fat soluble, meaning they are easily absorbed by fatty tissues and stored there. The work of the liver is to convert toxins into a water-soluble form – due to this they are excreted from the body with urine, stool and sweat.
Detoxification occurs in two phases. In the first phase, toxins are broken into small parts by enzymes and in the process of chemical reactions. In the second phase, the resulting substances bind in a completely water-soluble form so that they can be eliminated.
In some cases, exposure to toxins is beyond our control. However, we can support the liver by balancing both stages of detoxification and protecting it from toxic overload. Many factors affect our liver function, including our diet. And these foods will help strengthen the liver.
White cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous cabbage are not only rich in vitamin B, but also contain important phytonutrients, including sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that increases the effectiveness of liver detoxification at both stages.
Oranges, lemons and tangerines
The peel of oranges, lemons and tangerines contains the antioxidant D ‑ limonene, which is known for its strong stimulating effect on liver enzymes in both phases of detoxification. Two glasses of drinking water with the juice of one lemon in the morning on an empty stomach will bring a lot of benefits to your liver.
Garlic contains a sulfur compound called alliin, which is converted to the active and liver friendly ingredient allicin when we chop, cut or crush garlic. Allicin is a powerful antioxidant that inhibits the penetration of toxic substances processed by the liver into other organs. Garlic also contains selenium, a mineral that enhances the action of antioxidants. Add 1―2 cloves of garlic to your favorite dishes every day.
High quality protein
Protein is key to cell growth, repair, and detoxification. For effective liver detoxification, especially in the second phase, the body needs the right amino acids. The most important of these are cysteine, methionine, taurine, glutamine and glycine. Good sources of these amino acids are nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, and fish.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet should be present in abundance, because they are responsible for the intake of important antioxidants. Bioflavonoids and anthocyanins (purple pigment in plant products), chlorophyll (green pigment), carotenoids (yellow and orange pigments) are powerful liver protectors. Try to eat 5 fruits and vegetables of different colors every day to get the full range of health benefits.
In modern herbal medicine, milk thistle is one of the key plants for maintaining liver function. Its active ingredients belong to the group of bioflavonoids with the general name silymarin. Studies show that they protect against liver disease. Silymarin activates the production of glutathione by the liver, which is one of the key agents in detoxification. In addition, milk thistle enhances the ability of liver cells to regenerate.
Curcumin, present in turmeric, enhances detoxification enzymes in the second stage, which increases bile secretion. This helps break down toxins and digest fats. Turmeric also exhibits strong antioxidant activity against a number of liver toxic chemicals and drugs. Just one teaspoon of turmeric powder per day provides all of these effects. Here is the turmeric “tea” recipe.
Green tea has powerful antioxidant properties and protects the liver. Green tea bioflavonoids enhance liver detoxification at both stages.