Do you want to improve liver health and function? You need to add these four items to your next grocery list.
The liver is a vital organ which performs over 500 functions necessary for overall health. There are several conditions that can compromise liver function including hepatitis infections, cirrhosis (permanent scarring) from chronic alcohol consumption, certain conditions which store certain elements in the liver such as Wilson’s disease (copper), Hemochromatosis (iron) and some autoimmune diseases. When the liver is inflamed or becomes damaged, it develops scarring. When that scarring becomes permanent, as in cirrhosis, the damage begins to interfere with liver function. Often this is the point where symptoms begin to show, after the damage to the liver has become permanent.
There is a high correlation between those who are overweight or obese or have type-2 diabetes and those who have impaired liver function. This is because excess sugars in the bloodstream must be converted and stored as fat by the liver. When the liver becomes overloaded and clogged, function begins to suffer.
A healthy diet high in fiber and fresh vegetables and low in high-sugar, fats and processed foods is necessary for maintaining a healthy liver. Take a look at four foods that can aid your liver in the process of detoxification by reducing inflammation, acting as antioxidants and improving bile production in order to break down fats and reduce damage to liver tissues.
4 Foods for Liver Detoxification
1. Wild Yam – Rich in phytoestrogens, wild yams are among the plant foods that have been shown to inhibit hepatitis C virus replication and have similar effects on the hepatitis B virus. The phytoestrogen genistein, which is the primary compound responsible for this action, can be found in plants of the legume family including wild yam, ginkgo, fenugreek, ginseng, kava, lentil, licorice root, saw palmetto and alfalfa.
2. Turmeric – Turmeric, or curcuma longa, has been used as a spice and medicinal plant for over 4,000 years. The primary ingredient in Indian curry, turmeric has a bright yellow color that is easily recognized. Turmeric is primarily an anti-inflammatory agent and benefits the entire body for this reason. Even those with type-2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases and even some cancers, see marked improvements in inflammation when taking turmeric. It has been used traditionally to reduce heartburn, stomach problems, as well as relieve diarrhea and gas. Turmeric is an excellent liver detoxifier because it acts as a cholagogue agent, meaning it stimulates bile production. The increase in bile production aids in breaking down fat in the liver and in the colon. Have you heard about Turmeric 95? Find out why it’s so potent and offers superior protection.
3. Coffee – Increased coffee consumption has been shown to be associated with lower risks of cirrhosis and decreased incidents of hepatocellular carcinoma (cancer) in those with liver disease. In one study, those who drank three or more cups of coffee per day had 53% lower risk of liver disease progression than non-coffee drinkers. Several components, including caffeine, diterpenes, and polyphenols have beneficial effects on the liver. While coffee may protect the liver, there are risks to consuming too much caffeine. If you don’t already drink coffee, or drink less than the three cups per day, it is not worth the risks of the additional caffeine to increase consumption – but if you are already drinking coffee, you may be enjoying these benefits! Discover more about coffee being good for your liver.
4. Avocado – A rich source of monosaturated fat, including oleic acid, avocado lowers LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) and reduces oxidative stress in the body. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, vitamins B, C and E, 708.1 mg of potassium per cup, and is about 40% fiber – or 10 grams per cup, which aids in liver detoxification by increasing bowel function. Potassium is vital for proper digestion, which is a major function of the liver and, in turn, aids in detoxifying the liver (colon function). Some studies have shown that avocado lowers insulin in the blood stream, which reduces the load on the liver as insulin is what triggers the liver to store excess sugar as fat. Overall, the avocado offers a great deal of health benefits! Learn more about the avocado being an ideal component of a liver-friendly diet.
Maintaining a healthy liver and optimal liver function is vital for overall health. Try adding these four foods to your diet to improve liver health and function!
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