While we are running the race of our lives, we often tend to ignore what we eat and drink. This can tough to deal with for your liver which is largely a detox station for our body. To keep a check on our liver, it is important that we detoxify and cleanse our liver from time to time. Those who drink alcohol are always at a greater risk of liver diseases.1 Even if you are a teetotaler, the chemicals in your food, from both plant and animal sources, can harm your liver in the long run. So, follow a few easy, liver-cleansing steps from time to time and stay healthy and happy.
Common Signs Of An Unhealthy Liver
It is important to know if your liver is in its best state. Watch out for these common signs that tell you if your liver is in need of a detox.
- Abdominal bloating
- Trouble digesting fatty foods
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Acne problems or itchy skin
- Overheating of the body and excessive sweating
- Unexplained weight gain
- Inability to lose weight even after making healthy changes in diet
- Excessive abdominal fat, a pot belly, or a roll around the upper abdomen
- Had your gallbladder removed
- Dark spots on the skin commonly referred to as liver spots
- Pain or discomfort in the liver (right upper abdominal area under the rib cage)
Other signs that indicate the need for a liver detox include fatigue, mood swings and depression, sleep apnea or snoring, fatty yellowish lumps around your eyes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol and triglycerides.
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above on a regular basis, it’s time you need to get your liver checked. But do not worry yet; you are probably not suffering from a liver disease already. Consuming liver-detoxifying or liver-healing foods and making healthy changes in your lifestyle can help keep your liver healthy.
Read on to find out what you can do to eliminate the toxins in your liver and feel healthier.
1. Eliminate Toxic Foods
Those who are in the habit of eating processed foods are always at a higher risk of suffering from liver issues. Processed foods such as refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, processed meats, convenience foods, etc. are very harmful to our bodies due to their toxicity. These foods contain a high amount of saturated fat and sugar, which are both harmful to the liver.
How To Replace Common Processed Foods?
- Replace white bread and pasta with rice, especially brown rice.
- Nuts, fruit bowls, vegetable smoothies, and cereals are healthy breakfast options.
- Replace lunch meats with homemade chicken or baked turkey.
- Munch on nuts and raisins if you want to have quick bites.
2. Get Enough Potassium
Most of us never get our recommended 4,700 milligrams of potassium in a day. To ensure that you get some potassium on a daily basis, include potassium-rich foods in your diet. Look at the list below to find out some of the best sources of potassium.
- Sweet potatoes
- Beet greens and leafy greens such as spinach and kale
- Soybeans, lima beans, white beans, and kidney beans
- Blackstrap molasses
When you choose to have fruits and vegetables to meet your recommended potassium intake, choose fresh and organic ones. Blackstrap molasses can be added as a sweetener instead of sugar to your foods as it contains potassium, iron, calcium, copper, and also, manganese. Just 2 teaspoons of it will fill you up with 10 percent of the daily recommended potassium. People suffering from liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis go through a depletion in the body’s potassium levels.2 This is why potassium is required in adequate quantities for maintaining liver health.
3. Have Real Liver Or Liver Tablets
The liver of young, grass-fed cattle and the liver of chickens have good quantity vitamins A and B, iron, copper, zinc, choline, chromium, and other liver-friendly nutrients. If you like the taste of liver, start including liver dishes in your diet. However, if you dislike its taste or cannot digest it well, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement that guarantees no hormonal imbalance. You may also take beef liver pills to feed your liver with essential nutrients. Always consult your doctor before you take these supplements.
4. Drink Vegetable Juice
It is not easy to include all the liver-healthy vegetables in every meal. So, choose to juice a variety of raw vegetables and enjoy fresh glasses of raw vegetable juice. If you do not like any particular vegetable, you can still disguise it in the form of vegetable juice along with other vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables have been found to contain essential compounds that suppress certain cancer-causing elements, especially in the liver.3
Vegetables That Assure You A Healthy Liver
- Cruciferous vegetables: Brussels sprouts, cabbages, and cauliflower
- Root vegetables: Beets and carrots
Lemon and ginger can be added to your vegetable juices to enhance their taste and make the combinations enjoyable.
A 24-Hour Liver Detox Drink
At any time of the year, you can give your liver a quick cleanse and boost its health by starting a quick, liver-cleansing regime. You can start doing this by making your own liver-detoxifying drink. However, before you drink this detoxifying juice, make sure you prepare your liver to detoxify itself thoroughly.
How To Prepare Your Liver For Detoxification
Just make sure that seven days prior to the cleansing of your liver, you follow these steps:
1. Avoid processed foods and eliminate refined carbohydrates and gluten from your diet.
2. Consume enough kale, cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, citrus fruits, beets, asparagus, celery, and Brussels sprouts.
3. Have organic meats such as country chicken and grass-fed beef.
After a week, make this liver detox drink on the eighth day to cleanse the liver.
- Cranberry juice
- Lemon juice
1. Take 1 part cranberry juice with 3 parts water in a jug.
2. Take a tea infuser and add ¼ teaspoon each of ginger and nutmeg and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon to it. Let them steep in simmering water for 20 minutes.
3. Allow this infusion to cool down to room temperature and mix it with the diluted cranberry juice.
4. Add the juice of 3 lemons and 3 oranges to the cranberry juice blend.
5. If the mixture is too tart in taste, use honey or any other natural sweetener to sweeten it.
6. Sip this cranberry juice blend throughout the day.
Benefits Of The Ingredients In The Liver-Cleansing Drink
Cranberries: Cranberries are rich in vitamin C, which helps in thinning and decongesting bile. This helps the liver metabolize efficiently. Vitamin C also boosts the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that your liver needs during the process of detoxification.4 This antioxidant binds with toxic drugs and metals and helps the liver eliminate them. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects the liver from free radical damage. Cranberries also inhibit the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, which is responsible for certain liver diseases.5
Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps the liver in four ways. It lowers elevated levels of liver enzymes and lowers fat levels in the blood. It also lowers high levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. Cinnamon is a spice that helps in improving insulin resistance as well. Certain animal studies have proved that in insulin-resistant subjects, cinnamon improves insulin sensitivity and enhances liver glycogen.6
Nutmeg: In the form of a tonic, nutmeg can effectively remove toxins from the liver.7 It can also prevent the formation of stones in the gallbladder and kidney.
Ginger: Ginger is extremely beneficial for fatty liver conditions.8 It protects the liver from damage and prevents liver fibrosis. It also fights against harmful parasites that can harm the liver.
Lemon and Orange: Lemons and oranges contain vitamin C, and just like in cranberries, vitamin C produces glutathione. Glutathione helps in loosening the toxic molecules and flushes them out from the liver. Glutathione is a critical factor in protecting organisms against toxicity and disease.9 Citrus fruits contain a plant pigment called cryptoxanthin that might significantly improve liver health. Animal studies have proved that cryptoxanthin prevents nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which might be caused by insulin resistance and oxidative stress from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.10
It is recommended that you drink 72 ounces of this mixture and 72 ounces of water throughout the day. After one day of drinking this juice blend, you may reintroduce the foods you had ate to prepare yourself for this liver-cleansing session in your diet.
Once your liver is cleansed, it will perform better and reduce the risk of liver diseases significantly. Follow your liver-cleansing session once in six months to lead a healthier life.
|↑1||Bellentani, Stefano, G. Saccoccio, G. Costa, C. Tiribelli, F. Manenti, M. Sodde, L. Saveria Croce et al. “Drinking habits as cofactors of risk for alcohol induced liver damage.” Gut 41, no. 6 (1997): 845-850.|
|↑2||Casey, Thomas H., William HJ Summerskill, and Alan L. Orvis. “Body and serum potassium in liver disease.” Gastroenterology 48, no. 2 (1965): 198-207.|
|↑3||Konsue, Nattaya, and Costas Ioannides. “Modulation of carcinogen-metabolising cytochromes P450 in human liver by the chemopreventive phytochemical phenethyl isothiocyanate, a constituent of cruciferous vegetables.” Toxicology 268, no. 3 (2010): 184-190.|
|↑4, ↑9||Pastore, Anna, Giorgio Federici, Enrico Bertini, and Fiorella Piemonte. “Analysis of glutathione: implication in redox and detoxification.” Clinica chimica acta 333, no. 1 (2003): 19-39.|
|↑5||Chu, Yi-Fang, and Rui Hai Liu. “Cranberries inhibit LDL oxidation and induce LDL receptor expression in hepatocytes.” Life sciences 77, no. 15 (2005): 1892-1901.|
|↑6||Couturier, Karine, Bolin Qin, Cecile Batandier, Manar Awada, Isabelle Hininger-Favier, Frederic Canini, Xavier Leverve, Anne Marie Roussel, and Richard A. Anderson. “Cinnamon increases liver glycogen in an animal model of insulin resistance.” Metabolism 60, no. 11 (2011): 1590-1597.|
|↑7||Morita, Tatsuya, Keiko Jinno, Hirokazu Kawagishi, Yasushi Arimoto, Hiroyuki Suganuma, Takahiro Inakuma, and Kimio Sugiyama. “Hepatoprotective effect of myristicin from nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) on lipopolysaccharide/d-galactosamine-induced liver injury.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 51, no. 6 (2003): 1560-1565.|
|↑8||Sahebkar, Amirhossein. “Potential efficacy of ginger as a natural supplement for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG 17, no. 2 (2011): 271.|
|↑10||Kobori, Masuko, Yinhua Ni, Yumiko Takahashi, Natsumi Watanabe, Minoru Sugiura, Kazunori Ogawa, Mayumi Nagashimada, Shuichi Kaneko, Shigehiro Naito, and Tsuguhito Ota. “β-Cryptoxanthin alleviates diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis by suppressing inflammatory gene expression in mice.” PloS one 9, no. 5 (2014): e98294.|