Foods That Cleanse Your Liver

Overview

It's possible to cleanse the liver, which is a filtering system for the body, with specific foods. The liver is the body's largest organ, next to the skin. By eating specific foods and drinking lots of water, the liver can expunge types of debris and free radicals from the blood system. By cleansing through diet, you can help maintain liver health to ensure cleansing of chemicals, pollutants and harmful byproducts from the blood.

Vegetables That Cleanse

Colorful vegetables are loaded with nutrients that can help rebuild liver cells. The liver can regenerate new, healthy cells quite rapidly. Colorful vegetables such as carrots, beets, tomatoes and asparagus have antioxidants. When the cells use oxygen, they produce "free radicals," which can cause cell damage. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers," preventing and repairing damage done to cells by these free radicals. Dark green, leafy vegetables also help the liver purge itself of toxins. Onions, though not colorful, have sulfur compounds that cleanse liver cells.

Exotic Foods Help Detoxify

If you're tempted to skip buying watermelon, papaya and avocados since they can be pricey, think again. These foods contain liver-cleansing glutathione, which is an antioxidant. Investing in them will help you stay healthy. If you're a smoker, your liver will likely contain more undesirable chemicals and pollutants than the liver of a non-smoker. Eating watermelon, papayas and avocados helps remove toxins (caused by inhaling chemical-laden tobacco) from your liver cells. This removal of toxins helps protect you from cancer.

Green Tea and Herbal Products

Health food stores sell liver-cleansing products containing herbs and natural plants. St. John's Wort is the best-known herbal product for boosting liver health. Green tea is often part of a liver cleanse capsule or drink because it contains antioxidants. Green tea boosts the immune system, too. Improving the immune system helps take a strain off the liver in filtering the blood.

Walnuts Help the Liver

Walnuts are a wonderful food for the liver. They are a good source of arginine, which helps cleanse the liver since arginine detoxifies ammonia in the liver. Walnuts contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and glutathione as well. A handful of walnuts should be eaten every day.

Lemons Cleanse Well

Lemons, mixed in a cocktail with green apples, make a great liver cleanse you can create a home. This drink calls for two green apples, 2 tsp. of fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. of fresh lime juice, 1 tsp. of maple syrup, and two cups of filtered water placed in a blender and mixed until smooth. Studies show that cleansing the liver will remove carcinogens, pesticides and other harmful molecules from the liver. The astringent action of lemons helps flush the liver especially well.

Keywords: cleansing the liver, foods that clean the liver, liver cleanse diet

About this Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.

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