Here are the important foods to eat and avoid for the best liver detox diet.
In this article:
Food Guide for a Liver Detox Diet
The Importance of Liver Detoxification
It’s essential to go on a natural liver detox diet at least twice a year. That’s because the liver is the body’s processing plant.
A healthy liver can filter the environmental toxins and impurities that enter the body. Too much alcohol and fatty foods may lead this organ to malfunction, causing all kinds of problems with your metabolic digestion.
A problematic liver may cause inflammation in the digestive tract and issues with blood content. Some symptoms of a poorly functioning liver include:
- Jaundiced skin
- Bloating or swelling
- Production of gallstones
- Diarrhea or constipation
Detox the liver to keep it in tip-top shape by eating liver-friendly foods and avoiding those that may harm it. But, what’s the best liver detox guide to follow?
Here is a list of the food items you should add to your diet and those you should eliminate for your liver detox plan to work.
What to Eat
1. Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts aren’t just tasty vegetables. They’re also rich in sulforaphane.
What Is Sulforaphane? This is a sulfur-rich compound naturally found in cruciferous vegetables. It is believed to have heart health and digestive benefits.
Brussels sprouts can increase the liver’s natural enzymes responsible for detoxification.
Another cruciferous vegetable you should add to your diet for your liver detoxification program is cabbage.
Cabbage can detox the liver and reduce side effects like headaches and dehydration. The fiber content of cabbages also promotes good digestion and detoxes the colon.
Cauliflower supports healthy detoxification. It’s rich in beta-carotene, protein, fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, B6, and K.
These nutrients are needed during a liver flush.
Leeks are rich in selenium and allium, which help the liver detox and get rid of excess fats. Other allium-rich foods like garlic and onion can also boost the immune system.
You can add leeks into soups, quiches, omelets, or stews. You can even eat them raw!
Shallots are effective food for liver detox and boost the body’s circulation and overall detoxification. They help the digestive tract get rid of toxins and carcinogens.
They’re loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and is considered an important plant in Ayurvedic healing processes, along with garlic.
Green leafy vegetables help tremendously in detoxing your liver. That’s why kale should be added to your liver detox diet plan.
Kale is very rich in sulfur compounds that are important in helping the liver detox. It’s also rich in nutrients like protein and vitamins A, C, and K.
Radishes can stimulate the liver’s bile synthesis to help with detoxification and digestion. They are also a great source of potassium which helps maintain the body’s fluid balance.
You can consume them pickled or as on their own as a salad.
Beets are rich in antioxidants that help get rid of toxins and free radicals. Their betaine content aids the liver cells in releasing toxins.
You can add beets to your liver flush recipe to give it a touch of color and some added antioxidants.
Broccoli has compounds that can help neutralize toxins. It can also increase the liver’s enzyme production because of its glucosinolates content.
It is also a cruciferous vegetable, which means it also contains sulforaphane for better liver health.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are rich in immunity-boosting and cleansing nutrients that help detox the liver. They are also rich in fiber and vitamin C.
Lemon juice helps the liver flush out toxins to avoid the body from absorbing them. Mixing lemon juice with water lessens its acidity without decreasing its nutrients.
You can drink lemon juice cold or make it hot and enjoy it as tea.
Lentils are a natural source of protein and fiber. They contain enough protein for the liver and aid digestion for better nutrient absorption.
Plus, lentils are easy to cook, compared to other legumes. They’re great for breakfast recipes, too!
Apples have fiber content that helps digest foods with heavy metals. It binds to them and removes the heavy metals before they enter the bloodstream.
You can consume the fruit itself raw. You can turn it into juice, or cook it into a dessert.
Garlic can cleanse and nourish the entire body. It helps the liver by protecting the immune system, relieving the liver of stress and toxins.
Include at least a bulb of garlic in a liver detox diet.
Onions help flush out both the liver and digestive tract. They are rich in flavonoids, phytonutrients, fiber, and potassium.
16. Leafy Greens
Leafy greens such as kale, mustard, and dandelion are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The chlorophyll in these vegetables counteracts toxins during digestion and increases bile production.
Try to include many leafy green vegetables into your daily diet to improve your digestion.
Avocados increase the body’s glutathione production. Glutathione is a compound that aids the liver in removing stress-related toxins, environmental pollutants, and heavy metals.
Walnuts are rich in arginine which helps the liver get rid of ammonia. These nuts are also rich in glutathione and healthy fats.
What to Avoid
1. Food High in Trans-Fat
Trans-fat has no nutritional benefits but are found in a lot of different foods like:
- Non-Dairy Creamer
- Baked Goods
- Fried Food
- Refrigerator Dough
- Pie Crust
2. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are chemically manufactured and create toxins in the body. Avoid foods that contain sweeteners like Aspartame, NutraSweet, and Equal.
To add sweetness to your food, use raw honey, fruits, or natural sweeteners instead.
3. Chemical Preservatives
Avoid packaged foods that contain artificial ingredients and refined vegetable oils. This also includes fruits and vegetables that have been sprayed with chemical pesticides and herbicides.
Wash fruits with baking soda to make sure you get rid of the chemicals brought by pesticides.
4. Sugary Food and Drinks
Too much sugary food and drinks cause a fatty buildup which can turn into liver disease. Limit foods and drinks with refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.
5. Dairy Products
Dairy products like cheese and milk can cause poor cell function and increase acidity in the body. They can also slow down the detoxification process in the liver.
Alcohol is one of the worst drinks for the liver. Avoid drinking alcohol during a liver detox diet.
Drink it as rarely as possible.
How to Do a Liver Cleanse
There are a lot of liver detox plan options online, including juice fasting and taking supplements to boost liver function.
What’s clear is that you can cleanse the liver by eliminating toxic substances like alcohol from your diet as well as adding the liver-friendly foods mentioned above into it.
Download this infographic now and reference it later.
The liver is an important part of the body which helps detoxify alcohol and filter out toxins and wastes. An occasional liver detox diet will help the organ replenish and stay healthy.
What other foods boost a liver detox diet and need to be avoided? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on August 10, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.