10 Foods That Boost Your Liver Health

by Sumdima Rai
Think of your liver as "the Grand Central Station of your body,” says Dr G Anton Decker MD, a gastroenterologist and President of Mercy Health Physicians in Greater Cincinnati. It's a good analogy, becuase your liver processes everything you eat or drink, and either uses it for the body or sends it on its way to be eliminated.

“Because the liver stores most of our nutrients—it’s the major organ for nutrient processing—anything bad you consume will be associated with potential for damage,” says Timothy T Nostrant, MD, Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

So what can you do to give it a help this hard-working organ out? You can start by eating foods that help your liver do its job. Here are 10 types of foods, that if you eat regularly, our liver will love you for. 

1) Kimchi
You may already know kimchi as a traditional Korean side dish, but did you know that it's an extremely powerful digestive aid? Kimchi has been found to help your body break down pesticides (pervasive pollutants found in your food and drinking water). Rich in vitamins A and C, kimchi has a unique fermentation process that leads to the production of beneficial lactobacilli bacteria, which aids in digestion and detoxification. The next time you're at the grocery store, consider purchasing kimchi.

2) Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables (it's fun to say, right?) are a part of the "cabbage" family of veggies, and include foods like broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, and daikon. These SuperVeggies are rich in powerful nutrients like beta-carotene; vitamins C, E, and K; folate; and minerals. They also are a good fiber source and help your liver to neutralize toxins. 

3) Leafy Green Vegetables
Enrich your diet with dark leafy greens like kale, collards, turnip greens, and swiss chard. These foods are nutritional powerhouses that deliver vitamins and minerals to your cells. Leafy greens are naturally fiber rich too, and help keep the colon healthy and aid with the body's natural detoxification process. 

Not crazy about salads and collard greens? Try mixing veggies into a Lean Green Smoothie.

4) Coconut Oil
That's right, you can add "easily digestible" to coconut oil's infinite list of amazing benefits. No pancreatic enzymes are needed to help digest coconut oil, making it less of a strain on the liver. 

5) Organic, Pasteurized Eggs
Eggs contain all eight amino acids that your liver requires to detoxify itself. How's that for a superfood? Additionally, choline, an essential micronutrient found in egg yolk, protects your liver from toxins. 

6) Artichokes
High in antioxidants cynarin and silymarin, artichokes aid in digestion and support liver health. 

7) Mushrooms
Mushrooms are known for their potent immune supportive agents and powerful antioxidants, called L-ergothioneine, which help destroy free radicals. Don't just stick to those plain old button mushrooms and portobellos, experiment with different mushroom varietals like maitake, shiitake and reishi mushrooms, they're all great for your liver’s health.

8) Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder provides the amino acids necessary for the production of glutathione, an antioxidant that is essential for liver function and protection. Whey protein powders are widely available in nutrition stores, try a spoonful in your smoothie or yogurt.

9) Organic Grass-Fed Meat
Listen up meat lovers: by choosing organic grass-fed meat, you may avoid the pesticides, chemicals, and hormones that might overstress or possibly harm your liver. Even better, consider going meatless at least one day a week. 

10) Wild Caught Salmon
Wild caught salmon provides anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that boost the health and function of your liver. Learn more about other types of liver-supporting fish and seafood as well as a pesticatirian lifestyle with Stephanie Harris-Uyidi of The Posh Pescatarian.
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