We expect a lot from our livers. This organ filters all of the holiday evils you enjoyed over the past week—including holiday cocktails, sweets, processed snacks, fried appetizers…not to mention holiday stress. All of these factors take a toll on our livers, making them fatigued and inefficient when it comes to toxin removal.
You probably already know that beets are high in iron. However, this hearty, root vegetable (one that’s just as prominent in winter as other seasons) is rich in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene—two nutrients that naturally stimulate and encourage healthy liver function.
Not only does turmeric get props as the liver’s most favored spice (it contains nutrients that help optimize liver function by cleansing the body of carcinogens); this spice is a welcome addition to any winter soup or stew for its nutty, earthy flavor. Add a few dashes to a bean chili or lentil dish.
Not only does garlic protect you from vampires (and unsavory dinner dates), a small clove has the power to encourage liver enzyme activity to flush the body of harmful toxins. Garlic’s power comes from allicin and selenium, natural ingredients that keep the liver healthy.
Green tea is a superfood (well, super beverage). This detoxifying brew is loaded with helpful antioxidants called catechins, which support healthy liver function and flush out bad toxins that can contribute to weight gain.
It turns out this fruit high in vitamin C is equally rich in antioxidants, known for their natural cleansing prowess. The liver can reap the benefit of just a daily cup of fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice or a small half a fresh grapefruit to eradicate evil carcinogens and other bodily toxins.
The Greeks are the healthiest people in the world thanks to their Mediterranean style of eating. And it’s cold-pressed olive oil, the central fixture of the diet, which boosts healthy liver function when eaten in moderation. However, you can mix your oils up by using extra virgin olive oil for salads, hemp oil for baking, and flaxseed oil for cooking. All three support liver detoxification.
It makes sense that leafy greens—including baby spinach, kale, arugula, dandelion greens, mustard greens, and lettuces diet would contribute to body detox as they have the ability to filter and control the flow of bile, the actual filtering substance, inside our bodies. However, leafy greens are also rich in plant chlorophylls, which neutralize heavy metals and banish environmental toxins, chemicals, and pesticides.
Lemons and Limes
You probably put lemon in your tea for the extra vitamin C, but did you know that citrus fruits, like lemons and limes, are also able to flush toxic materials out of the body as well? Try adding fresh squeezed lemon to water or tea to kick start healthy liver function each morning.
Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy fats, but they also have the ability to deliver a good dose of glutathione, a nutrient compound needed for liver detoxification. So eating avocados (in moderation) will actually contribute to the elimination of harmful toxins.
Among all healthy nuts, the walnut gets the most credit for liver support. This detoxifying MVP is loaded with an amino acid called arginine, as well as glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which make normal liver cleansing behavior more efficient and less taxing on the body overall.