The liver is arguably the most important organ in the body, responsible for over 500 different functions. Unfortunately, it is also often one of the most neglected and abused organs as well.
Among the many responsibilities of the liver is to regulate the bloods chemicals, making it easier for the the body to digest fats and absorb nutrients. Te blood in the body leaves the stomach and intestinal area, flowing directly through the liver. Here, the liver breaks down nutrients, medicines, chemicals, and toxins; the goal being to make nutrients easier to absorb and filtering chemicals and toxins in an attempt to prevent harm to other areas of the body.
The liver is also responsible for
removing excess glucose from the blood, preparing it for storage for later use;
conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea
removing drugs, pesticides and other harmful substances
resisting infections filtering harmful bacteria from the bloodstream.
As you can imagine, keeping a human body healthy is no easy task. Adding to the challenge is the fact that processed foods are easily accessible, cheap, and being promoted everywhere you look; obesity is at an all-time high; and diabetes rates area growing at record speed. Considering all of this, the liver certainly has its work cut out for it. Like anything, the liver can only take so much abuse before tiring and wearing out.
Most people associate liver disease with excess alcohol consumption. While alcohol can harm the liver, it is not the main contributor to liver damage. In fact, sugar has proven to be the number one cause of liver damage.
According to the American Liver Foundation, more people suffer liver damage from calories [in sugar] than from alcohol. Fatty liver disease affects up to 25 percent of people in the United States, and the deadly disease can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.” Add the harmful effects of processed foods, toxins, pesticides and chemicals and thousands, maybe even millions, of people are at risk for significant liver damage.
Fortunately there are several steps to cleanse and detox the liver using natural foods that are easily accessible. The top 5 liver cleansing foods to include in your regular diet are:
Avocados are rich in glutathione, an antioxidant important for removing harmful toxins from the body.
Great in almost any dish, fresh ginger provides many health benefits – including supporting liver health.
Garlic is a true superfood. Garlic supports liver health by encouraging the release of enzymes that remove toxins and poisons from the liver. The natural compounds, allicin and selenium found in garlic also assist in cleansing the liver.
Another superfood, this green, leafy vegetable helps the liver filter harmful poisons and chemicals from the body. Kale is great in a salad, soup, smoothie, or juice.
Cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage are loaded with fiber and natural vitamins and minerals. These vegetables act as tiny scrubbers, cleansing the digestive system and liver as they are digested.