The liver is the body’s largest gland. Weighing about 3 pounds in healthy adults. Liver is the only part of our body that works as an organ and a gland. Liver supports nearly every other organ in the body in some facet.
Functions of Liver
- It is responsible for many important functions related to digestion, metabolism, immunity and the storage of nutrients that the body needs to survive.
- It regulates the composition of blood, removes harmful toxins from the blood.
- It processes and converts nutrients absorbed by the intestines during digestion into forms that the body can use.
- It is the store house of glycogen. The liver breaks down this stored glycogen between meals, releasing sugar into the blood for quick energy to prevent low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia).
- It maintains the body’s protein and nitrogen metabolism. Certain proteins are converted into ammonia, a toxic metabolic product, by bacteria in the intestine or during the breakdown of body protein. The ammonia is detoxified by the liver and converted into urea which is then excreted by the kidneys.
- It produces bile which makes it possible for dietary fat to be absorbed. In addition, Vitamins A, D, E and K, which are fat soluble vitamins, are dependent on bile from the liver for absorption.
- It is responsible for breaking down insulin, hemoglobin and other hormones.
- It destroys old red blood cells and produces chemicals needed for blood to clot properly.
Because the liver performs so many vital functions, it is important to keep it healthy. An unhealthy diet and poor lifestyle can overwork and overload the liver, leaving it unable to process toxins and fat efficiently.
Overloading the liver can raise the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, chronic fatigue, headaches, digestive problems, allergies and many other health problems. Therefore it is very essential to keep your liver fit and healthy.
How To Detoxify the Liver?
Below are some easily available food remedies that can help cleanse, rejuvenate and detoxify your liver. These food will help keep the liver healthy, fit and functioning.
- Garlic, is great for cleansing your liver. It helps activate enzymes in the liver that help clear out toxins. It also contains two natural compounds called allicin and selenium, which aid in the liver-cleansing process and protect the liver from toxic damage.
Moreover, garlic reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which can overload the liver and hamper its functioning.
- Grapefruit, being a good source of vitamin C, pectin and antioxidants, grapefruit also aids the natural cleansing process of the liver. It also contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals and detoxifies the liver. Glutathione also helps in the detoxification of heavy metals. Moreover, the flavonoid naringenin in grapefruit helps break down fat. Grapefruit contains just over 70 milligrams of liver cleansing glutathione. Grapefruits also contain a special kind of pectin that has been shown to lower cholesterol like no other pectin-containing food.
- Beetroots, are another powerful food for cleansing and supporting liver function. High in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, they help stimulate and improve overall liver function. Moreover, beetroots are natural blood purifiers.
- Lemons, help detoxify the liver mainly due to the antioxidant D-Limonene present in it, which helps activate enzymes in the liver that aid detoxification.Moreover, the high amount of vitamin C in lemons helps your liver produce more enzymes to aid digestion. Lemons also boost mineral absorption by the liver.
- Green Tea, By drinking green tea daily, you can help your body flush out toxins and fat deposits, while increasing hydration levels. A 2002 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that the catechins in tea help stimulate lipid catabolism in the liver. This in turn prevents fat accumulation in the liver. This healthy beverage also protects the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances like alcohol.
- Avocados, contain potent chemicals that may reduce liver damage, according to a 2000 study by the American Chemical Society. This fruit is rich in glutathione, a compound required by the liver to cleanse harmful toxins and to function properly. The high amount of monounsaturated fat in avocados helps reduce low-density lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol and increase high-density lipoproteins or “good” cholesterol. The liver easily processes good cholesterol. Moreover, avocados contain many minerals, vitamins and plant nutrients that support overall liver health and help break down fats.
- Broccoli, support the natural liver-cleansing process by including broccoli in your diet. Being rich in glucosinolates, it helps flush carcinogens and other harmful toxins out of the body. The high fiber content in broccoli also improves the digestion process. Moreover, it contains fat-soluble vitamin E, an important antioxidant for the liver to carry out its functions. Eat 1 cup of broccoli 3 times a week to keep your liver healthy. Also, to keep your liver healthy, health experts recommend eliminating or reducing animal foods as well as alcohol, refined sugar, excess caffeine and processed foods from your diet. In addition, stop smoking as it causes significant damage to different organs of the body, including the liver.
- Spinach, Popeye’s favorite, spinach, contains a whopping 166 milligrams of glutathione per serving when eaten raw. Cook it, and it all goes away. Spinach also contains twice as much energy-boosting iron as other leafy greens. Spinach has also gained a lot of attention as a cancer-fighter, too. Try a spinach salad today with a little olive oil and sea salt drizzled on top.
- Olive Oil, cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. In this way, it takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of the toxic overload many of us suffer from.
- Apples, An apple a day is the secret behind a healthy liver. Apples are a good source of pectin, a soluble fiber that helps remove toxins from the digestive tract and cholesterol from the blood, in turn preventing the liver from being overworked. Moreover, apples contain malic acid, a naturally cleansing nutrient that removes carcinogens and other toxins from the blood. All types of apples are good for your liver, however, for fast liver cleansing choose organic apples.