Did you know? Many people have liver diseases like hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus. From infections, genetics, weak immune system, alcohol and accumulating fat, there are many things that lead to liver diseases. The liver is a vitally important organ which does a variety of essential tasks, from producing proteins, storing vitamins to breaking down harmful toxins.
Therefore, it is essential to take care of your liver. Some of the ways to do that is by consuming healthy foods for the liver.
Here is a roundup of such foods that detoxifies, removes fat accumulation and improves the performance of your liver.
Coffee may be good for your liver. Over the years, many studies have proven that the beverage can protect your liver from disease. In fact, some of them have concluded that coffee can help those living with liver disease. According to one study published in PubMed, having a coffee can minimize the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in patients who have chronic liver disease.
The University of Naples Federico II found that coffee can lower the risk of a common type of liver cancer, and can be useful in liver disease and inflammation. Moreover, coffee can help prevent the buildup of fat and collagen on the liver.
Like coffee, tea can also benefit the health of your liver. Green and black tea improves the quality of enzymes in the liver. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that work to protect the body from the free radicals causing damage and inflammation. The same antioxidants have also been found to support liver function and protect the liver from the effects of toxic substances like alcohol.
According to a Japanese study conducted on 1371 men aged over 40 years, the researchers found that intake of green tea may “act protectively against cardiovascular disease and disorders of the liver.”
The Kurume University School of Medicine found that intake of green tea can minimize oxidative stress and fat deposits in the liver. Besides, people who consume green tea are less likely to have liver cancer, according to a Chinese study. A mice study established that black tea extract may treat the negative effects of a high-fat diet on the liver.
However, people with liver problems should be careful before taking green tea as a supplement rather than drinking it. Some reports have confirmed that a supplement containing green tea extract can cause liver damage.
3. Medical Marijuana
Over the years, many studies have proved that it can be a potential remedy for several health woes including liver diseases.
Marijuana contains several components known as cannabinoids including THC and CBD. Both bind with the human body’s endocannabinoid system which influences memory, appetite, and immune function, according to a study by the Hebrew University Medical School. A 2011 study conducted on mice found that CBD can treat liver disease.
However, it is important to understand that there are two varieties of CBD in the market—one is obtained from marijuana and while other is from hemp. Marijuana is harvested for its buds that can get your high. Hemp, on the other hand, is harvested for the stalks and seeds which are less psychoactive. It is better to consult your doctor to get a right CBD form for your liver disease.
[Editor’s Note: Please discuss whether you can benefit from CBD with a qualified medical professional. Our sponsor, Barlean’s has two varieties of hemp-derived CBD, one is extra strength and one is organic. You can visit Barleans.com for more information.]
4. Fatty Fish
Eating fish provides your liver with healthy fat. According to an article published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, fatty fish helps maintain enzyme levels, eases inflammation and reduces fat build up. Taking omega 3 fatty fish can benefit your liver.
However, you should be careful about your omega intake as it can increase the risk of liver disease. This is because most Americans exceed the prescribed amount of omega-6 fats, which are found in many plant oils like canola. Simply put, you need to be careful about your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Choose a supplement that has a proven ratio like those from Barlean’s and try to avoid processed foods that contain oils.
5. Olive Oil
Researches show that olive oil consumption reduces the levels of fat in the liver, promotes blood flow and maintains enzyme levels.
This is because olive oil is packed with healthy fat, which is beneficial for heart, metabolism and the liver. One study (conducted on 11 people) found that taking one tbsp. of olive oil per day improved liver enzyme and fat levels. Besides, the oil boosts the levels of a protein related to positive metabolic effects.
Several more studies have testified the similar effects of the intake of olive oil, including less fat buildup, improved insulin sensitivity and improved blood levels of liver enzymes.
[Editor’s Note: One of our favorite brands of Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil is made by our sponsor, Ellyndale.]
An observational study in 106 people having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that eating nuts is related to improved levels of liver enzymes.
Moreover, another study found that men who consumed small amounts of nuts and seeds are more vulnerable to the non-alcoholic fatty liver than those who had a large intake of nuts and seeds. While more studies are required to learn the association between the nuts and the liver health, available data establishes nuts as an important food for liver health.
7. Cruciferous Vegetables
Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mustard greens contain high fiber content and useful plant compounds. Several animal studies have proven that the extract of these veggies could increase detoxification enzymes and protect the liver. Moreover, these benefits even remain intact when Brussels sprouts are cooked.
According to one study, broccoli sprout extract can improve liver enzyme levels and reduce oxidative stress. The study also concluded that broccoli sprout can protect the liver from the damage.
However, red and purple grapes are more beneficial than other varieties. Animal studies conducted in the past found that grapes and grape juice can be useful for the liver.
9. Warm Water with Lemon
A well-hydrated body is a wonderful aid to liver function. To see more benefit, consider warm water with lemon in the morning. It flushes out the toxins from the digestive tract. Moreover, it creates an alkaline environment in the body to remove the acidity from toxins. Antioxidants in lemon water stimulate the liver. It is easy to make. Just squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water. Mix together and sip slowly.
Author Bio: Romit is a Marketing Manager at Phytoplant Research S.L., a Medicinal plants research and development company in Spain.