Five Foods for Better Liver Health

Five Foods for Better Liver Health

It's hard to walk into a health food store without stumbling upon a book or magazine promising to heal your liver with a few “simple” steps. As with most things in life, the world of detox diets is a lot murkier than their proponents might want you to believe. This is especially true among self-styled experts who promise to help you detox your liver. The liver is a complex organ, and a short-lived change in your diet is unlikely to improve its overall health. If, though, you're looking to make a permanent lifestyle change by embracing liver-healthy foods, consider incorporating some of the following options.

1. Garlic

Clinical studies suggest that even small quantities of garlic activate liver enzymes that help your liver work more effectively. Allicin and selenium, two substances of which garlic contains high quantities, have also been shown to reduce liver toxicity.

2. Green Tea

Green tea may be something of a panacea if current research pans out. Not only does it improve immune health; it can also reduce depression and even help people afflicted with chronic pain. The secret may be behind catechins, antioxidants that are present in high quantities in this beverage. Research suggests catechins may reduce liver inflammation, steadily improving overall health.

3. Avocados

You should already be eating avocados since they can stave off Alzheimer's and depression, improve heart health, and boost levels of good cholesterol. They also aid the production of glutathione, a chemical that helps the liver remove toxic substances.

4. Dark, Leafy Greens

Leafy greens help absorb environmental toxins from your bloodstream, reducing the work your liver has to do. They also aid the production and circulation of bile, which is vital for healthy liver function.

5. Healthy Grains

The popularity of gluten-free and anti-inflammatory diets has turned grains into the most loathed product in the health food movement. But here's some evidence that a diet that eliminates an entire food group might not be good for you after all: grains such as quinoa, millet, and buckwheat can help balance out liver enzymes, particularly if you eat a lot of processed flour. Research suggests processed grains lead to abnormal liver enzymes, so if you can't give up these processed foods, balance their effects with healthy, sprouted grains.