Top 10 Liver Cleansing Foods
Committing yourself to a healthier lifestyle is a huge and commendable step. We all have different reasons for choosing to create a better, healthier version of ourselves. So, where do you start? Which changes to your daily diet should you make? What goals should you set for yourself? What do you want to improve most about your overall health? And how will you set out a course that you are sure to follow? After all, you want to make a lifestyle change, not set out on another short-lived diet, right? Let’s start with a cleanse that will help you rid your body of old habits and harmful toxins, so you can start fresh.
Where it Begins
How do you choose the best starting point? Between cleanses, detox diets, and bone broth fasting, you may be a little overwhelmed with information. We’ll begin with the basics of how to cleanse your body the right way.
Cleanse vs. Detox
Now some of you are probably scratching your head and wondering what the real difference is. While most people tend to use the two words interchangeably, and there are indeed several similarities, there are also several differences worth noting.
A detox and cleanse both aim to rid your body of impurities. They’re beneficial to your health and help your body function at its fullest potential. In a nutshell, a cleanse focuses in on ridding toxins from your digestive tract. A detox helps support your body’s natural detoxification process.
That leads us to our next biology tidbit: What is a toxin? To put it simply, a toxin is any particle that stays inside your body and causes harm. Harmful effects include inflammation, irritating your cells, and causing disruption to the normal, healthy functions of your body. Without the help of a cleanse or regular cleansing foods in your diet, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Joint pain
- Digestive issues
What Can the Body Do Naturally?
Your body can do many miraculous things, but it can’t run the show solo forever! Your body does have a set of systems in place to help get rid of toxins naturally. It works hard to protect your cells from damage, while the cells themselves work to keep themselves cleansed. It's an impressive setup, but you do need to do your part in helping your body stay healthy and supporting its efforts.
And Without This Natural Superpower?
The cells in your body are naturally generating free radicals all the time. For you to function at your best and look healthy and rested, your body needs to cleanse to get rid of the waste. A steady diet of healthy cleansing foods is one way to support its needs to cleanse and detox. Without proper elimination of toxins from your body, you could put yourself at risk for several health issues, including:
- Various disease and illness
- Certain cancers, such as breast cancer
- Impaired cognitive function
- Loss of memory
- Extreme fatigue
- Fine lines and wrinkles
- Pain and inflammation
- Stubborn belly fat (yep…toxins store themselves in your body fat)
The Trouble with the Fat-Soluble Toxin
Let's take a moment to explore the trouble with fat-soluble toxins. Did you know that when you start to lose weight, these toxins can be released into your system? Scary thought, right? In fact, it’s highly likely to happen during extreme and rapid weight loss. This is only one of many reasons why a quick-fix diet is not a healthy way to go.
Why is it Important to Cleanse the Liver?
Your liver plays an enormous role in the overall health of your body. It is ultimately responsible for filtering, processing, and breaking down the matter that passes through your body. It has a tremendous amount of responsibility, including:
- Filtering your blood
- Helping your blood clot
- Breaking down various chemicals and substances, such as alcohol and drugs you put into your body
- Produces glucose and bile; substances your body needs to remain strong and healthy
Why boost liver cleansing efforts? If your liver becomes overloaded with toxins and pollutants, its natural ability to cleanse will slow and become less effective. Want to support your liver and help it take care of your body? Lifestyle changes such as adding a periodic cleanse, adding cleansing foods to your daily routine, and setting goals to work towards a healthier you will help boost liver cleansing. Make a conscious decision to avoid filling your body with:
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
Avoid Those Toxins!
Toxins, unfortunately, are a part of our daily lives. Although avoiding all of them just isn’t practical, limiting your exposure to them is at least doable. Be aware of your surroundings; the air quality in your home or work environment. The skincare regimen you choose. It all adds up. In addition to doing your best to reduce your daily exposure to harmful toxins, you can also change your eating habits to boost liver cleansing.
The Ten Best Cleansing Foods and Beverages
What are the best cleansing foods and beverages to help boost liver cleansing? I’m glad you asked because I have some delicious suggestions for you to try. If these yummy cleansing foods aren’t already a part of your regular diet, get that shopping list out and start adding to it!
Let’s start with some top cleansing foods and beverages that are considered superfoods in their ability to boost liver cleansing.
- Turmeric - A fragrant cooking spice, powerful anti-inflammatory, and long-time healing agent, turmeric has the natural ability to boost liver cleansing. This cleansing superfood contains antioxidants and supports enzymes that are responsible for cleansing your liver of toxins. Did I mention it’s crushing this task, all while helping to repair the cells in your liver? Impressive, isn’t it?
- Cruciferous Vegetables - These super veggies include favorites like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and kale. They make up a significant source of glutathione; responsible for triggering toxin cleansing enzymes which boost liver cleansing abilities. Choosing to add a variety of cruciferous vegetables to your diet will help increase glucosinolate in your body. This increase can help flush out harmful carcinogens and toxins before they cause or increase damage.
- Beetroot - If you haven’t heard this from me before, beetroot is a must on your list of cleansing foods. Where do I even begin? Full of incredible antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and nitrates, beetroot is a superfood you’ve got to get on board with for your cleanse. It contains natural cleansers like fiber and vitamin C, which support a healthy digestive system. They also work hard to cleanse your blood by increasing your oxygen. If that wasn’t impressive enough, beetroots are also credited with:
- Stimulating the flow of bile in your liver
- Boosting enzyme activity
- Breaking down toxic waste to speed up its excretion
- Tea - Tea has been used for so many health reasons for centuries. Sleep. Mental health. General health. And now there are studies which have shown tea’s ability to boost liver cleansing. A study conducted in Japan showed impressive results from those who drank five to ten cups of green tea daily. Results showed improved blood markers of improved liver health. Catechin, a plant antioxidant found in green tea, is believed to be the reason for this remarkable outcome.
- Garlic - Who doesn’t love a little (or a lot) of garlic in their diet? Loaded with sulphur, it activates the liver enzymes that are responsible for helping your body rid itself of toxins. Garlic also contains high levels of selenium; an essential micronutrient that has shown to help boost the natural antioxidant enzyme levels in your liver. Selenium gives your liver the power to fight off damage caused by oxidative stress. Adding garlic is a simple way to boost liver cleansing efforts.
- Citrus Fruits - Citrus fruits are loaded with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for stimulating your liver while aiding in turning toxic substances into those that can be more easily absorbed by water. Grapefruit is one citrus fruit that is particularly beneficial because it contains two primary antioxidants that help protect your liver from damage.
Along with these top superfoods, there are other cleansing foods I want you to add to your list as you work on your efforts to boost liver cleansing.
- Carrots - Carrots are a great addition to your list of liver cleansing foods. These tasty little guys are incredibly high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene. These two are responsible for stimulating and supporting your liver's overall function and performance. Carrots also contain vitamin A, which is known to help prevent liver disease.
- Avocados - Avocados are always a win in my book. Not only are they perfect for helping to cleanse your arteries, but they also help your body naturally produce glutathione. You’ll recall that glutathione is the compound that supports your liver by helping it get rid of toxins. Stock up! There isn’t much that avocados don’t taste great with.
- Apples - You’ll never escape that old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Not only are they the perfect low-calorie snack, but they are also a great cleansing food to help you boost liver cleansing efforts. They contain high levels of pectin; a chemical that helps your body naturally cleanse itself by releasing toxins from your digestive tract. By reducing the number of toxins in your digestive tract, your liver can function at an optimal level. It can manage the toxin load, cleanse your liver, and ultimately be able to cleanse your entire body better. Who knew those little guys could do so much?
- Coffee - Yes, coffee. I know there are many of you out there wondering how in the world coffee made it so high onto a liver cleansing food list. Can you believe that your morning pick-me-up is not only great for keeping you awake, but for being able to play a role in helping to boost liver cleansing?
What if I told you that studies have shown your cup of coffee is helping protect your liver from disease? And if your liver has already encountered some damage, coffee is still working to protect it from further health issues. Here’s what we’ve learned:
- In people with chronic liver disease, studies have shown that drinking coffee can lower your risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage
- Drinking coffee is associated with lowering your risk of death if you already suffer from chronic liver disease
- Your daily coffee drinking habit may also be reducing your risk of developing a prevalent type of liver cancer
- Coffee may have a positive effect on health issues such as inflammation and liver disease
- Coffee may have the ability to prevent collagen and fat build-up, which are two primary markers seen in liver disease
- Drinking coffee reduces inflammation throughout your body while increasing levels of glutathione
- These results were seen when three or more cups a day were consumed.
Now I know this was a top ten liver cleansing list, but what’s a list without my delicious bone broth? So, as an added bonus, I’m sneaking in #11 Bone Broth! Aside from the delicious taste and variety of recipes you'll find to incorporate it into your diet; it's always going to be my favorite way to cleanse. Packed full of collagen, my bone broth will provide your body with an array of amazing benefits. You'll free yourself from inflammation and leaky gut, and rid your liver of toxins. Bone broth will help you fight off that stubborn belly fat, and provide you with oh-so-many beauty bonuses. You'll see a healthier, more youthful glow, less fine lines and wrinkles, and have that shiny hair you've always wanted. Sound good? I bet you're glad I snuck in an eleventh cleansing food, huh?
Ready to stock your fridge with these ten fantastic liver cleansing foods? You’re armed with the knowledge you need to start that journey to a healthier you! In need of healthier recipe inspiration to get your new lifestyle off to a winning start? Head over to my recipe section and find your new favorite meal now!