Did you know that your liver is responsible for carrying out the many metabolic activities that keep your body functioning normally, along with getting rid of toxic chemicals and wastes?
To keep your liver healthy, you need to regularly consume a plentiful supply of nutrients. Fortunately, fruits and vegetables contain many of the essential nutrients known to boost liver function.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about your liver’s health, it is important to consume organically grown foods and reduce your exposure to agricultural chemicals - because it’s your liver’s job to detoxify chemicals, even if it is damaged itself in the process.
Similarly, consuming no more than moderate amounts of alcohol is also important to keep your liver healthy, because alcohol metabolism interferes with other important liver functions.
Fried foods and other high-fat processed foods that contain hydrogenated oils are also tough on your liver. Just as with alcohol, there is a limit to how much fat your liver can metabolize while keeping up its regular activities.
On the plus side, these food groups boost your liver's ability to detoxify chemicals:
- Foods rich in sulfur. Foods with sulfur-containing compounds - such as onions, garlic, and egg yolks - help the liver detoxify prescription medications, pesticides and other environmental toxins. Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale and Brussels sprouts also contain unique sulfur compounds that are beneficial for liver detoxification.
- Culinary spices. There is extensive research to show that spices including turmeric, cinnamon and licorice play a critical role in supporting liver function.
On the other hand, these are the foods you need to cut down on, to avoid overburdening your liver:
- Deep-fried and fatty foods that contain high levels of fat and cholesterol.
- Smoked, cured and salted foods.
- Rich desserts, snacks and drinks high in calories because of the amount of sweetening and fat they contain.
According to the American Liver Foundation, eating a well-balanced, nutritionally adequate diet that contains plenty of high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, rice and cereals is an effective way to keep your liver healthy, naturally.
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