6 Foods to Improve Liver Health
Spring is a time to start fresh and rejuvenate your body. According to Chinese medicine, spring is also when your liver does its best cleansing. Take a moment to stop and recognize the amazing role that your liver plays in your health and understand why it’s so important to nourish it.
The liver is your main detoxification organ. It is responsible for filtering toxins out of the blood stream, so that toxins don’t build up in your body. You can think of your liver as the vent or screen in your vacuum cleaner. When the screen gets clogged with too much dirt, your vacuum is not as efficient in cleaning. Similarly, when your liver gets clogged up by too many toxins, your body often feels sluggish, your immune system is overworked, your skin isn’t as healthy, and your digestion slows down.
While your liver does an excellent job at filtration, it is constantly being asked to run on over-drive because of the high toxic load that you are exposed to in modern society, including air pollution, chemicals in water, pesticides, and harmful ingredients in skin-care products. In addition, a fast-paced lifestyle can add toxins to your body from the effects of stress.
Detoxification is one of many different functions that the liver performs in the body, including:
- Protein synthesis
- Bile production and excretion
- Assisting with metabolism of sugar
- Preventing blood clotting
- Storage of iron
The good news is that the liver has an incredible capacity to heal itself. Contrary to other organs, when the liver is damaged, it’s able to regenerate tissue. Using a combination of nourishing foods and liver supporting ingredients, you can help your liver to do what it does best.
Show your liver some love and consume these six foods to help improve your liver health:
1. Warm Water with Lemon
Adequate water intake helps to flush out excess toxins from the body. When your body is well hydrated, it not only helps liver function, but it also helps all of the organs and cells in your body.
Drinking warm water with lemon in the morning is an Ayurvedic practice that helps to clear the digestive tract of toxins that have built up overnight. It also helps create a more alkaline environment in the body to balance out the acidity from toxins. Lemon water has antioxidants that help to stimulate the liver.
How to prepare it: First thing in the morning, pour 8–12 oz of warm or hot water into a mug, then squeeze the juice of half a lemon. Mix together and sip slowly.
2. Dark-Green Leafy Vegetables
Dark green vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to combat toxins in the body. They work hand-in-hand with your liver to help rid your body of toxins. Some dark green vegetables that are particularly helpful include kale, spinach, and collard greens.
How to prepare: