The liver performs the vital function of cleansing toxins from the body's blood. When high toxin levels cause the liver to overwork, the liver can slow down and become congested. Liver congestion impairs the detoxification process. Many foods promote optimal liver function.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, produce glucosinolate, a sulfur and nitrogen compound that increases the liver's enzyme production. Enzymes flush carcinogens and other toxins from the body.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables, including kale, spinach and arugula, also benefit the liver because they are high in chlorophyll, which removes chemicals, pesticides and heavy metals from the blood. Leafy greens also increase bile, a digestive fluid that removes waste from the blood and organs.
Root vegetables, particularly carrots and beets, are rich in beta carotene and flavonoids. The liver converts these compounds into vitamin A, which, in turn, helps to eliminate carcinogenic free radicals throughout the body. The nutrients in these vegetables also thin bile, which allows for more efficient waste removal.
Citrus fruits also promote efficient liver function. Grapefruit's high vitamin C and antioxidant content enhances the natural cleansing processes of the liver. Lemons and limes also aid the liver in breaking down toxins.
Apples assist liver function because their pectin reduces the concentration of cholesterol in the liver. This eases the liver's function during the cleansing process.
Whole grains are rich in B-complex vitamins, which improve liver decongestion and overall function.
The amino acids in walnuts assist the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which promote normal liver function.
Garlic has the ability to trigger the production of body cleansing enzymes. Garlic is also rich in selenium and allicin, compounds that help with liver detoxification.