9 Best Foods for a Healthy Liver

9 Foods for Liver Health
9 Foods for Liver Health

Did you know many people have liver diseases like hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus? From infections, genetics, weak immune system, alcohol, and accumulating fat, there are many things that lead to liver diseases. The liver is a vitally important organ that does a variety of essential tasks, from producing proteins, storing vitamins to breaking down harmful toxins.

Therefore, it is essential to take care of your liver. Some of the ways to do that are by consuming healthy foods for the liver.

Here is a roundup of such foods that detoxify, removes fat accumulation, and improves the performance of your liver.

1. Coffee

Coffee may be good for your liver. Over the years, many studies have proven that the beverage can protect your liver from disease. In fact, some of them have concluded that coffee can help those living with liver disease. According to one study published in PubMed, drinking coffee can minimize the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in patients who have chronic liver disease.

The University of Naples Federico II found that coffee can lower the risk of a common type of liver cancer, and can be useful in liver disease and inflammation. Moreover, coffee can help prevent the buildup of fat and collagen on the liver.

2. Tea

Like coffee, tea can also benefit the health of your liver. Green and black tea improves the quality of enzymes in the liver. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that work to protect the body from the free radicals causing damage and inflammation. The same antioxidants have also been found to support liver function and protect the liver from the effects of toxic substances like alcohol.

According to a Japanese study conducted on 1371 men aged over 40 years, the researchers found that intake of green tea may "act protectively against cardiovascular disease and disorders of the liver."

The Kurume University School of Medicine found that intake of green tea can minimize oxidative stress and fat deposits in the liver. Besides, people who consume green tea are less likely to have liver cancer, according to a Chinese study. A mice study established that black tea extract may treat the negative effects of a high-fat diet on the liver.

However, people with liver problems should be careful before taking green tea as a supplement rather than drinking it. Some reports have confirmed that a supplement containing green tea extract can cause liver damage.

[Editor's Note: Our sponsor, Bigelow Tea, offers green and black teas, as well as a variety of herbal teas.]

Read about the other health benefits of tea

3. CBD

Over the years, many studies have proved that it can be a potential remedy for several health woes including liver diseases.

Cannabis contains several components known as cannabinoids including THC and CBD. Both bind with the human body's endocannabinoid system which influences memory, appetite, and immune function, according to a study by the Hebrew University Medical School. A 2011 study conducted on mice found that CBD can treat liver disease.

However, it is important to understand that there are two varieties of CBD in the market—one is obtained from marijuana, and while the other is from hemp. Marijuana is harvested for its buds that can get your high. Hemp, on the other hand, is harvested for the stalks and seeds which are less psychoactive. It is better to consult your doctor to get the right CBD form for your liver disease.

[Editor's Note: Please discuss whether you can benefit from CBD with a qualified medical professional.]

4. Fatty Fish

Eating fish provides your liver with a healthy fat. According to an article published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, fatty fish helps maintain enzyme levels, eases inflammation, and reduces fat build-up. Taking omega 3 supplements can benefit your liver.

However, you should be careful about your omega intake as it can increase the risk of liver disease. This is because most Americans exceed the prescribed amount of omega-6 fats, which are found in many plant oils like canola. Simply put, you need to be careful about your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Choose a supplement that has a proven ratio and try to avoid processed foods that contain oils.

Foods to Support Your Liver

5. Olive Oil

Researches show that olive oil consumption reduces the levels of fat in the liver, promotes blood flow, and maintains enzyme levels.

This is because olive oil is packed with healthy fat, which is beneficial for the heart, metabolism, and liver. One study (conducted on 11 people) found that taking one tbsp. of olive oil per day improved liver enzyme and fat levels. Besides, the oil boosts the levels of a protein related to positive metabolic effects. 

Several more studies have testified the similar effects of the intake of olive oil, including less fat buildup, improved insulin sensitivity, and improved blood levels of liver enzymes.

Learn more about cooking oils

6. Nuts

Nuts are the powerhouse of fats, antioxidants, and healthy plant compounds. And this combination is beneficial for both the heart and the liver.

An observational study in 106 people having non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that eating nuts is related to improved levels of liver enzymes.

Moreover, another study found that men who consumed small amounts of nuts and seeds are more vulnerable to the non-alcoholic fatty liver than those who had a large intake of nuts and seeds. While more studies are required to learn the association between the nuts and the liver health, available data establishes nuts as an important food for liver health.

7. Cruciferous Vegetables

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mustard greens contain high fiber content and useful plant compounds. Several animal studies have proven that the extract of these veggies could increase detoxification enzymes and protect the liver. Moreover, these benefits even remain intact when Brussels sprouts are cooked.

According to one study, broccoli sprout extract can improve liver enzyme levels and reduce oxidative stress. The study also concluded that broccoli sprout can protect the liver from the damage.

8. Grapes

On the basis of several animal and human studies, grapes and grape seed extract prevent liver damage, maintain antioxidant levels, and ease inflammation.

However, red and purple grapes are more beneficial than other varieties. Animal studies conducted in the past found that grapes and grape juice can be useful for the liver.

9. Warm Water with Lemon

A well-hydrated body is a wonderful aid to liver function. To see more benefits, consider warm water with lemon in the morning. It flushes out the toxins from the digestive tract. Moreover, it creates an alkaline environment in the body to remove the acidity from toxins. Antioxidants in lemon water stimulate the liver. It is easy to make. Just squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of warm water. Mix together and sip slowly.

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Author Bio: Romit is a Marketing Manager at Phytoplant Research S.L., a Medicinal plants research and development company in Spain.
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Lisa Roth Collins is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and is the Marketing Manager at NaturallySavvy.com. She is passionate about health and wellness and tries her best to make healthier choices every day for herself and her family. Her journey to natural health was driven by her own struggles with digestive discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Lisa returned to school in 2014 to study nutrition at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. She threw herself into her studies so she could learn as much as she could to help herself feel better and thrive. Upon completing the program and being certified as an RHN, Lisa began her work at Naturally Savvy where she has been able to help so many people learn to make healthier choices for themselves. Through her work, she has connected with so many incredible people in the industry whether other authors, influencers, or brands. Plus, she is affectionately known as "Techie Spice" because of her ability to wrap her head around technology. Every day she gets up with a renewed sense of energy and ready to make a difference. You can read all of Lisa's content here. In her spare time, Lisa loves to try new recipes, make delicious and nourishing meals, and she is an avid reader. For more information about Lisa, check out her profile on here.