The Right Foods to Keep Liver Healthy
Did you know liver not only detoxifies toxins but also aids in fat burn. Eat the right foods to keep your liver healthy.
In the human body, the liver is located just under your diaphragm. It is one of the busiest organs and performs more than 500 essential functions to survive. Also, liver is a gland because it releases chemicals that are used by other organs of the body.
The liver cells synthesize proteins in the body, which are used for many functions, including blood clotting factors and help maintain the fluid within the circulation system. The liver also manufactures cholesterol and triglycerides, stores glycogen (the ready fuel for workouts). Moreover, the liver also produces bile which helps with food digestion.
In addition to all these functions, your liver detoxifies thousands of toxins that you ingest every day, including environmental toxins, alcohol and is the primary fat metabolizer. Hence, your liver health largely determines the rate at which you will burn fat. Obviously, fat burn concerns both bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts alike, but more than that a healthy liver is an essential pre-requisite for good health.
Symptoms of liver dysfunction
When your liver functions sub-optimally, absorption of nutrients suffers. Your cholesterol levels behave erratically, bad cholesterol level goes up, HDL cholesterol goes down and blood fats go up.
- Poor digestion
- Excessive amounts of hormones
- Abdominal bloating or tenderness in the liver area
- Acne, skin rashes, itching, or jaundice (yellow tinge to skin)
- Fatigue (low energy)
- Loss of appetite
- Bitter or metallic taste in the mouth
- Split ends (hair)
- Brittle nails
- Mood swings (due to large swings in blood sugar)
- Hemorrhoids or varicose veins (due to liver congestion producing pressure on the veins)
- Pain in the back between the shoulder blades
- Inability to digest fats
- Water retention in the legs
Tweaking your diet plan and incorporating certain foods will help detoxify toxins from your liver. For a healthy liver eat freshly cooked foods and drink clean water. Reduce your intake of sugar and incorporate a high-quality multivitamin. Avoid foods that contain trans fats and eat unprocessed nuts to get healthy fats. Incorporate a healthy dosage of fiber in your fruits and vegetables, from apples, carrots and beets. Specifically, you should add following foods in your diet plan for a healthy liver.
Garlic is a member of the lily family and is a rich source of a number of sulfur-containing compounds. In addition, garlic boosts the antioxidant action in the body, eases blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels and lowers inflammatory response of the body. Scientific studies prove the efficacy of garlic in reducing fat accumulation in the liver and in protecting liver from toxins. The health benefits of garlic multiply if you let it sit after chopping and crushing.
The grapefruit is a large citrus fruit related to the orange and lemon. Grapefruit is a rich source of Vitamin C and especially glutathione. A grapefruit contains more than 70mg of glutathione and this protein is largely responsible for boosting the production of liver detox enzymes. Moreover, grapefruit contains a special kind of pectin and it has been found to lower cholesterol.
Turmeric is a commonly used Indian spice. The bright yellow colour of turmeric comes from the presence of a powerful phytochemical component known as curcumin. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, curcumin stimulates the production of bile by the gallbladder. The liver uses bile to eliminate toxins; bile also rejuvenates liver cells that break down harmful compounds. For this reason, turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat digestion and liver disorders.
You can even add turmeric tea to detox liver.
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons fresh turmeric
- Pinch of black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ cup organic coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon raw, organic honey
Simply heat the mixture in boiling water and add milk at the end. You can leave the ginger and turmeric pieces in your tea cup or strain them out if you prefer.
Lemons as a part of healthy diet support your liver function. They are a naturally cleansing food and provide a wealth of antioxidants to your body. The juice from one whole lemon has only 11 calories and 3 grams of carbs. It also has 19 milligrams of vitamin C, meeting more than 30 percent of the daily value. Although the juice from one lemon is not a significant source of any other nutrient, it can help you meet your daily needs for thiamine, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin B-6, magnesium and potassium. Despite being acidic, lemons are alkalizing in nature and this helps detoxify your liver.
5. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is loaded with beneficial ingredients, like acetic acid. Acetic acid reduces the amount of unhealthy cholesterol in blood and helps regulate blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar is rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes. Practitioners of liver cleansing claim that apple cider vinegar detoxifies the system and purges toxic material. Mallic acid in apple cider vinegar binds to toxins and helps the body eliminate them more effectively.
Most importantly, avoid unnecessary medicines, alcohol and do not eat 3-4 hours before bedtime, so that your liver gets enough time for performing its function without getting largely involved in digestion.
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