The liver is a potential organ. It performs a wide variety of essential tasks, from the production of protein, cholesterol and bile to the storage of vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrates. It also breaks down toxins such as alcohol, medications and natural by-products of metabolism. Keeping the liver in good shape is important to maintain health. This article lists the 11 best food consumptions to keep the liver healthy.
Coffee is one of the best drinks that can be drunk to promote liver health. Studies have shown that coffee consumption protects the liver from diseases, even in those people who already have problems with this organ. For example, studies have repeatedly shown that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in people with chronic liver disease. Drinking coffee can also reduce the risk of developing a common type of cancer, which is liver cancer, and coffee has positive effects on liver disease and inflammation. Even if it is associated with a lower risk of death in people with chronic liver disease, greater benefits have been observed in those who drink coffee at least three cups a day. These benefits appear to be derived from their ability to prevent the accumulation of fat and collagen, two of the main indicators of liver disease. Coffee also decreases inflammation and increases the levels of an antioxidant molecule called glutathione. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, which occur naturally in the body and can cause damage to cells. While coffee has many health benefits, the liver, in particular, will thank you for that cup of coffee in the morning.
Summary: Coffee increases antioxidant levels in the liver, while decreasing inflammation. It also reduces the risk of developing liver disease, cancer and fatty liver.
Tea is considered to be widely beneficial for health, but evidence has shown that it can have particular advantages for the liver. A large Japanese study found that drinking 5-10 cups of green tea per day was associated with better blood indicators of liver health. A smaller study in patients with non – alcoholic fatty liver disease (N on- A lcoholic F atty L iver D isease , NAFLD by its acronym in English) found that drinking green tea rich in antioxidants for 12 weeks improved liver enzyme levels and It also reduced oxidative stress and fat deposits in the liver. In addition, another review found that people who drank green tea were less likely to develop liver cancer. This minimum risk was observed in people who drank four or more cups a day. Several studies in mice and rats have also demonstrated the beneficial effects of black and green tea extracts. For example, a study in mice found that black tea extract reversed many of the negative effects on the liver due to a high-fat diet, as well as improvements in blood indicators regarding liver health. However, some people, especially those who have liver problems, should be careful before consuming green tea as a supplement. This is because there have been several reports of liver damage that have been caused by the use of supplements containing green tea extract.
Summary: Black tea and green tea can improve enzyme and fat levels in the liver. However, be careful if you are taking a green tea extract, as it can cause adverse damage.
Grapefruit contains antioxidants that naturally protect the liver. The two main antioxidants found in grapefruit are naringenin and naringin. Several animal studies have found that both help protect the liver from damage. It is known that the protective effects of grapefruit occur in two ways: reducing inflammation and protecting cells. Studies have also shown that these antioxidants can reduce the development of liver fibrosis, a harmful condition in which excessive connective tissue accumulates in the liver. This typically results from chronic inflammation. On the other hand, in mice that were fed a high-fat diet, naringenin decreased the amount of fat in the liver and increased the number of enzymes needed to burn fat, which can help prevent excess fat accumulation. Finally, in rats, naringin has been shown to improve the ability to metabolize alcohol and counteract some of the negative effects of alcohol. So far, the effects of grapefruit or grapefruit juice have not been studied, instead, only the effects of its components have been studied. In addition, almost all studies on the effects of grapefruit antioxidants have been performed on animals.
“However, current evidence indicates that grapefruit is a good way to keep the liver healthy by fighting damage and inflammation”.
Summary: Grapefruit antioxidants protect the liver by reducing inflammation and increasing its protective mechanisms. However, studies in humans, as well as those of grapefruit or grapefruit juice itself, are deficient.
4. Blue and Red Cranberries:
Blue or red cranberries contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that give berries their particular colors. They have also been linked to many health benefits. Several animal studies have shown that whole blueberries, as well as extracts or juices, can help keep the liver healthy. The consumption of these fruits for 3-4 weeks have protected the liver from damage. In addition, blueberries helped increase the response of immune cells and antioxidant enzymes. Another experiment found that the types of antioxidants commonly found in berries slowed the development of both lesions and fibrosis and scar tissue in the livers of mice. In addition, in vitro studies in humans have shown that cranberry extract inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the liver. However, more studies are needed to determine if this effect can be replicated in the human body. Integrating these berries into the regular diet is a good way to ensure that the liver is supplied with the antioxidants it needs to stay healthy.
Summary: Berries are rich in antioxidants, which help protect the liver from damage. They can even improve your immune and enzymatic responses. However, human studies are necessary to confirm these results.
Grapes, especially red and purple grapes, contain a variety of beneficial plant compounds. The most famous is resveratrol, which has a number of health benefits. Many animal studies have shown that grapes and grape juice can benefit liver health. Studies have found that they can have several benefits, including reducing inflammation, preventing damage and increasing antioxidant levels. A small study in humans with NAFLD showed that supplementation with grape seed extract for three months improved liver function. However, since grape seed extract is a concentrated form of grape, you may not get the same effects of consuming whole grapes. More studies are needed before recommending choosing to consume grape seed extract for the liver. However, the wide range of animal tests and some human studies suggest that grapes are a very liver-friendly food.
Summary: Studies in animals and some humans show that grapes, grapefruit juice and grape seed extract protect the liver from damage, increase antioxidant levels and fight inflammation. However, it is not advisable to choose to consume grape seed extract, since more studies are required
6. Prickly Pear Cactus:
The cactus is a fruit that is obtained from the cactus called Opuntia, known scientifically as Opuntia ficus-indica, is a type of popular edible. Both cactus juice and opuntia cactus juice are the most commonly consumed. It has been used for a long time in traditional medicine as a treatment for ulcers, wounds, fatigue and liver disease. A 2004 study in 55 people found that the extract of this plant reduced the symptoms of a hangover. Participants experienced lower levels of nausea, dry mouth and lack of appetite. They were also half as likely to experience a severe hangover if they consumed opuntia extract before drinking alcohol, which is detoxified by the liver. The study concluded that these effects were due to a reduction in inflammation, which often occurs after drinking alcohol. Another study in mice found that the consumption of nopal extract helped to normalize the levels of enzyme and cholesterol, when at the same time a pesticide was consumed that is harmful to the liver. Later studies found similar results. A more recent study in rats tried to determine the effectiveness of prickly pear juice, rather than its extract, in the fight against the negative effects of alcohol. This study found that the juice decreased the amount of oxidative damage and liver damage after consuming alcohol and helped keep antioxidant levels and inflammation stable. More human studies are needed, especially using both the fruit and the prickly pear juice, instead of the extract. However, studies so far have shown that prickly pear cactus has positive effects on the liver.
Summary: Prickly pear fruit and juice can help fight hangover symptoms by reducing inflammation. They can also protect the liver from damage caused by alcohol consumption.
7. Beet Juice:
Beet juice is a source of nitrates and antioxidants called betalains, which can produce health effects such as improving cardiovascular health, reducing oxidative damage and inflammation. It is reasonable to assume that eating beets properly would have similar health effects. However, most studies use beet juice. You can buy beet juice at the store or do it at home. Several studies in mice have shown that beet juice reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the liver, as well as increases natural detoxification enzymes. Although animal studies seem promising, no similar studies have been conducted in humans. Other beneficial effects of beet juice for health that have been observed in animal studies and have been replicated in studies with humans. However, more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of beet juice for liver health in humans.
Summary: Beet juice protects the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation, while increasing the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes. However, more studies in humans are necessary.
8. Cruciferous Vegetables:
Cruciferous vegetables such as brussel sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens are known for their high fiber content and distinctive flavor. They are also high in plant nutrients beneficial to health. Animal studies have shown that Brussels sprouts and broccoli sprouts increase enzymatic levels of detoxification and protect the liver from frequent damage. A study in human liver cells found that this effect was maintained even with cooked brussel sprouts. A recent study in men with fatty liver found that broccoli sprout extract, which is rich in beneficial plant nutrients, improves liver enzyme levels and decreases oxidative stress. The same study found that broccoli sprout extract prevents liver failure in mice. Human studies are limited. But so far, cruciferous vegetables seem promising acting as a beneficial food for liver health. You can try roasting vegetables lightly with garlic and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to turn them into a tasty and healthy dish.
Summary: Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts can increase the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes, help protect it from damage and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
Walnuts are rich in fats, nutrients – including antioxidant vitamin E – and beneficial plant nutrients. This composition is linked to several health benefits, especially for heart health, but also potentially for the liver. A six-month observational study of 106 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that eating nuts was associated with improved levels of liver enzymes. Moreover, a second observational study found that men who ate small amounts of nuts and seeds had a higher risk of developing NAFLD. Although more high-quality studies are needed, preliminary data indicates that nuts are an important group of foods for liver health.
Summary: Nut intake has been associated with improved liver enzyme levels in patients with NAFLD. In contrast, low nut intake has been associated with an increased risk of suffering from the disease.
10. Fatty Fish:
Fatty fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats which reduce inflammation and have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease. The fats found in fatty fish are also beneficial for the liver. In fact, studies have shown that they help prevent fat accumulation, maintain normal enzyme levels, fight inflammation and improve insulin resistance. While consuming omega-3-rich fatty fish seems to be beneficial for the liver, the addition of more omega-3 fats to the regular diet is not the only thing to consider. Also important is the ratio between omega-3 fats and omega-6 fats. Most Americans consume much more omega-6 fats than recommended, which are found in many vegetable oils. If the ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 is too high it can promote the development of liver disease. Therefore, it is a good idea to also reduce the intake of omega-6 fats.
Summary: Eating fatty fish rich in omega-3 has many benefits for the liver. However, it is as important as keeping the relationship between omega-6 and omega-3 under control.
11. Olive Oil:
Olive oil is considered a healthy fat because of its many health benefits, including positive effects on the heart and metabolic health. However, it also has positive effects for the liver. A small study in 11 people with NAFLD found that consuming one teaspoon (6.5 ml) of olive oil per day improves liver and fat enzyme levels. It also increased the levels of a protein associated with positive metabolic effects. Participants also had less fat accumulation and better blood flow in the liver. Several more recent studies have found similar effects of olive oil consumption in humans, including reduced accumulation of fat in the liver, improved insulin sensitivity and improved blood levels of liver enzymes. The accumulation of fat in the liver is part of the first stage of liver disease. Therefore, the positive effects of olive oil on liver fat, as well as other aspects of health, make it a valuable part of a healthy diet.
Summary: Studies show that the consumption of olive oil lowers fat levels in the liver, increases blood flow and improves liver enzyme levels.
The liver is an important organ with many essential functions. Therefore, it makes sense to do everything within reach to protect it, and the foods mentioned above have shown beneficial effects for the liver. Such effects include reducing the risk of liver disease and cancer, raising levels of antioxidants and detoxification enzymes and protection against harmful toxins. The incorporation of these foods in the diet is a natural and healthy way to maintain the functioning of the liver in its best performance.