Foods That (Might) “Help” Your Liver Cleanse


 Liver
Disclaimer:
I am not a doctor and I have no medical qualifications
This post is not to be read and taken as a substitute for medical treatment
This post was designed to be be read by adults, it may or may not contain swear words.

In my opinion your liver is an incredible organ that is complicated in design and usually needs very little help in order to do its job efficiently. Some people are under the impression that this is not the case and that detoxification measures need to be taken in order to rid the body of environmental toxins. While I personally do not think that any measures more drastic than a good old balanced diet are called for,  I utterly agree that there are fat too many toxins present in the environment that most of us reside in and there are foods that you can eat to help your liver to cleanse. But first, I thought that this was an interesting illustration of the detoxification-steps with reference to understanding the two main stages of liver enzyme activity and detoxification in the last post. But basically, your what happens when you detoxify fat soluble toxins is multi-staged and involves an array of different enzymes. 

Quite honestly, the whole point of me explaining the detoxification process of the liver in such detail was to give an understanding that not eating food is probably not going to help your liver detoxify. In fact, it might hinder it! But this is good news! It means that you do not have to subject yourself to a juice fast! Hooray for eating! There are foods you can eat to help those liver enzymes in stage one and stage two of the detoxification process to do their jobs! Here are some to consider:

  • Garlic- it contains the minerals selenium and allicin – both of these are antioxidants. Free radicals are produced in the metabolic activity that detoxification is, so antioxidants are always a good idea.Cleansing foods
  • Eggs, whole grains, broccoli and spinach– all contain B vitamins that are useful to help stage one detoxification. Plus they have that wonderful glutathione in which is fabulous for helping the detoxification process. 
  • Beets, carrots and vegetables that contain flavonoids and powerful antioxidants.
  • Walnutsglutathione, plus omega 3 fatty acids. 
  • Oranges and tangerines contain limionene which is a phytochemical that protects against cancer and stimulates both stages of liver detoxification- however citrus fruits can be allergenic- see below
  • Eggs again- they contain sulfur Sulfur is needed for the P450 detox enzymes and it also is helpful in binding toxic metals so that they can be removed. Egg yolks contain protein bound sulfur – don’t cook the yolk too much to get the most out of it. Soft boiled eggs retain the most nutrients.
  • Green Tea– antioxidants again. Shame I hate the taste of it. Maybe you like it- good for you!
  • The Brassica Family– Brussels spouts, cabbage etc stimulate both stage one and two of the detoxification process. They also contain non- protein bound sulfur. 
  • Avocados- they contain an antioxidant called glutathione. They also have some great fat in them, lots of vitamins. Avocados come from heaven, or at least they would if I believed in heaven 
  • Protein– because look at all the amino acids that you need!
  • Fat– you need fat soluble vitamins! I have to say I get most of mine from organic dairy and eggs, I am a big fan of cheese. I eat quite a lot of saturated fat personally, so it always makes me chickle when people tell me it will make me fat…it has not. 
  • Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) contains flavonoids that are protective to the liver.
Robot STOP!

HOLD IT!

But wait, before you run out and buy yourself a ton of new groceries. Consider this; We are not all the same.

Dammit!

That means, that when it comes to diet – one cannot generalize, if humans were robots, nutrition would be easy, computable, standard. But, alas, we are not robots, and for this reason, there is utterly no way for one persons diet to work perfectly for another person. Everyone is different. Your diet is specific to you. So……. Another couple of other things that you should know;.

  • Grapefruit might not be a good  idea see here for more information
  • Nightshades are good for some and not for others; Potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and sweet peppers are part of the nightshade family- anthocyanin phytonutrients in the skin of eggplants, called nasunin, is a potent antioxidant. Please note; Eggplants are part of the nightshade family and for this reason are not a great idea for any person who is sensitive to the nightshade family of foods. Nightshades can also cause GERD
  • Citrus fruits– highly allergenic for some people. Fine to eat in moderation with a balanced diet. However if you have GERD I would avoid as acid present in citrus fruits will trigger reflux symptoms because they relax the lower esophageal sphincter
  • Cucurmin is interesting too…
  • Some people are intolerant to dairy, in that case the milk and cheese that supplies me with all those wonderful amino acids and fat soluble vitamins is not going to suit you. 
  • Some of you will have a nut allergy, in that case, do not eat walnuts. 

I know its tough, most people just love to be given a rule and told; Eat this, Don’t eat this. This is good, this is bad. It totally sucks that I have not done that!

Trouble is, its not true, not only is your body different than mine, but your body in ten years, five years, one year, tomorrow is going to be different than your body today. Nutrition and your approach to it needs to be agile.  

One thing that I can tell you is that you need to find some good quality sources of fat which will supply your liver with all the fat soluble vitamins. You also need protein so that you will be in a good place as far as amino acids are concerned. I can also tell you that chewing food is (contrary to popular belief) highly underrated and advisable. One cannot go wrong with veggies, but it cannot be all you eat.

Hell, we are back to that balanced diet thing again…….

  • More Resources:

On plasma levels of animo acids in patients with fatty liver disease

On Milk Thistle

Please follow and like me :):

About Tabitha Farrar

I work as Head of Marketing for a software startup in Boulder. As a recovered Anorexia sufferer, I advocate for proper understanding of eating disorders in my spare time. On that note, I wrote a book about my own journey into eating again called Love Fat.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.