The liver has so many functions that are vital for keeping us healthy, from detoxing the body to helping to properly digest food, to breaking down carbohydrates and creating glucose.
As a result, it is exceptionally important to ensure that our diets include foods that contain antioxidants and other nutrients that help to encourage fantastic liver health.
Here are some of the best foods and drinks that help protect and improve liver health.
Many citrus fruits are effective antioxidants but grapefruit is one that has been specifically mentioned in gastroenterology studies as helping with liver health.
The primary reason is that grapefruit contains naringin and naringenin, two antioxidants that reduce inflammation and protect liver cells, as well as help the enzymes that burn fat.
Berries and Grapes
Dark berries, such as cranberries, raspberries and red grapes are rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect the liver from damage.
As well as this, grape seeds are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, compounding their health benefits.
Coffee has particularly potent liver health benefits and helps to protect the liver from a range of damaging conditions such as chronic liver disease, liver cancer and fatty liver disease.
There are three main reasons for this. The first is that coffee influences liver enzymes, which help to protect the liver from disease.
Along with this, coffee has the effect of reducing fat buildup, a primary cause of several chronic liver problems, and also increases the level of protective antioxidants.
Eating fish that is rich omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or herring can be good for the liver, so long as it is eaten in moderation of course. The study above recommends two or three portions of oily fish a week.
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that helps to reduce inflammation and prevent the buildup of excess fats in the liver itself.
If you can’t add fatty fish to your diet, taking a daily fish oil supplement will also provide a similar health benefit.
Nuts are an easy way to help protect your liver, as they can be added to several other meals or just eaten as a snack. They typically contain vitamin E, as well as unsaturated fatty acids that help to prevent fat buildup in the liver as well as inflammation.
Nuts, much like oily fish should be enjoyed in moderation as they are a high calorie snack.
Beetroot juice is a source of nitrates and betalains, which are antioxidants that can help to protect the liver from oxidative damage, although more studies need to confirm its effect outside of animal studies.
Cups of tea have a range of health benefits. Green tea in particular is associated with improved liver health. It can also help to reduce fatty deposits and oxidative stress in the liver.
In one study on mice, it even showed that black tea could reverse many of the effects of a high-fat diet on the liver, as well as boosting liver health blood markers.