10 Superfoods That Naturally Cleanse Your Liver

Your liver is responsible for over 500 functions on a daily basis. It is important to cleanse your liver to maintain optimum health.

This incredible organ processes the nutrients you consume, packages them to be sent to your tissues, produces bile to carry away waste products, regulates blood levels of amino acids, protects your body against infections, clears toxins, and so much more[1].

This powerhouse organ works day and night to keep your body running smoothly, asking nothing in return. 

But just like an overworked employee, sometimes your liver needs a little vacation. Or, for our purposes, we can call it a little R&R time. 

Luckily, mother nature has all the nutrients that your liver needs to rejuvenate and repair itself so it can continue its labor of love — keeping you healthy. Check out the top ten superfoods that naturally cleanse your liver for optimal function. 

What You’ll Learn

  • The top ten superfoods that support liver health
  • Why it’s important to care for your liver
  • How to incorporate liver cleansing to keep your liver happy long term

10 Superfoods That Naturally Cleanse Your Liver

#1 Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts contain a nutrient that’s vital to phase two detoxification in your liver — sulforaphane. While phase one detoxification neutralizes toxins, phase two assists in eliminating them from your body. 

Sulforaphane plays a key role in phase two detoxification by converting fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble compounds that can then be removed from your body.

But that’s not all. During phase one detoxification, when your liver is neutralizing toxins, a good deal of oxidative stress can occur. Sulforaphane helps your body combat this oxidative stress by inducing antioxidant pathways[2]. 

In this way, broccoli sprouts are a powerhouse food to support both phase one and phase two detoxification. 

#2 Dandelion Root

Dandelion has been used in folk medicine for centuries as an herbal tonic for the liver and kidneys. Its main course of action is through its effect as a diuretic, increasing the production of urine. 

When your liver is overtaxed, and you’re trying to eliminate wastes, having an exit route for those built-up toxins is crucial. By supporting the elimination of wastes through your kidney, dandelion helps take the burden off your liver[3]. 

What’s more, some preliminary research suggests that dandelion contains certain compounds that support your liver against injury caused by over the counter pain medications[4]. 

#3 Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is another herb that’s been around for hundreds of years as a liver tonic. Its main active ingredient, silymarin, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that has been shown to have a number of beneficial effects on your liver, including [5]:

  • Stabilizing liver cell membranes (the outer, protective layer)
  • Fighting oxidative damage 
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Promoting liver cell regeneration
  • Inhibiting fibrogenesis in the liver

Due to its myriad of benefits to your liver, milk thistle has been shown to significantly increase the survival time of patients with alcohol-induced liver disease, and may even protect against liver cancer[5].

#4 Burdock Root

Burdock is a plant that’s brimming with potent bioactive compounds. The root, in particular, is a rich source of the antioxidant quercetin[6]. 

Quercetin is known for its liver-protective effects. As an antioxidant, it scavenges free-radicals and protects your liver from oxidative damage and inflammation[7].

In chronic liver disease, quercetin can modulate the immune response of your cells to reduce inflammation and inhibit fibrosis, which typically comes along with liver injury. When your liver is damaged, and fibrosis occurs, it can reduce the overall function of your liver.

Therefore, preventing fibrosis, and liver damage in general, is crucial if you want to keep this essential organ running smoothly[8].  

#5 Turmeric

Perhaps one of the best known anti-inflammatory spices out there, turmeric comes with a treasure trove of health benefits that can positively impact your liver function. 

In one study, researchers studied the connection between turmeric and liver health by measuring levels of ALT(alanine transaminase), along with turmeric supplementation. ALT is a liver enzyme that becomes elevated when your liver is inflamed.

For 12 weeks, participants with elevated ALT took either a placebo or a turmeric supplement and then had their ALT levels measured. At the end of the study, the researchers reported that those taking the turmeric had significantly lower ALT levels — indicating the protective effect that turmeric had on liver health[9]. 

#6 Beets

Beets are a potent source of health-promoting compounds that have a positive impact on oxidation, inflammation, and chemo-protection[10]. 

Research shows that beetroot can increase phase two detoxification enzymes, helping your liver remove toxic compounds from your body[11].  

In addition, beets contain an antioxidant compound called betalains, which has been shown in animal studies to protect against xenobiotic-induced oxidative stress[12]. Xenobiotics are compounds that are foreign to your body, like most toxic substances that can harm your liver.

#7 Schisandra Berry

Schisandra berry is an herb that’s been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to enhance qi, or life force energy. 

Much like other nutrient-rich berries out there, schisandra is a rich source of antioxidants — specifically flavonoids. 

In a study performed on mice, the antioxidants found in schisandra were able to lower both ALT and AST levels (enzymes associated with liver dysfunction). At the same time, schisandra extract elevated the activity of liver-protecting enzymes such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

In effect, the antioxidants found in schisandra were able to protect liver cells against acute toxicity[13].

#8 Parsley

Many people use parsley as a decorative finish, or to provide a burst of fresh flavor to home-cooked meals. What you may not realize, however, is that this green herb is packed with nutrients that support liver health. 

Research shows that the antioxidants in parsley are protective to your liver cells and also produce an anti-inflammatory effect[14].

In addition, parsley helps your body to eliminate the heavy metal cadmium. Cadmium can sneak into the food supply because it’s not naturally degraded in the environment and can leach into food through the soil. 

By assisting in its removal, parsley helps to relieve the burden that this heavy metal can have on your liver[15]. 

#9 Pomegranate

Pomegranates are one of the most potent antioxidant fruits out there, with three times as much antioxidant power as green tea and wine. 

It should come as no surprise that with its beautiful deep red color, anthocyanins are among the most abundant antioxidants, but you can also find tannins and ellagic acid in there as well[16].

Research shows that the antioxidant activity of pomegranates may have an affinity for your liver, protecting your liver against damage and preventing fibrosis. By inhibiting damage, these antioxidants keep your phase one detoxification pathways running smoothly[17].

#10 Moringa

Moringa is the new kid on the block when it comes to superfoods. While this plant has only hit mainstream wellness communities in the past ten years or so, it’s actually been around as a healing plant for centuries. 

Moringa boosts and protects the health of your liver in a variety of ways, including:

  • Powerful antioxidant properties that can protect your liver from damage[18].
  • Protects liver cell membranes and assists in regeneration[18].
  • Improves kidney function (an organ that the liver relies heavily on in the detoxification process)[18].
  • Restores liver health in diabetics[19]. 
  • Reduces inflammation in liver tissue[20]
  • Reduces fat accumulation in the liver[20]

Overall, moringa comes at liver health from a variety of angles — both inhibiting injury and dysfunction, while also increasing its detoxification capacities. 

Keep Your Liver Happy And Healthy

It may be tempting to believe that cleansing your liver is simply a matter of getting the correct nutrients in. While this absolutely an essential piece, it isn’t the whole picture. 

There are specific practices that need to accompany your liver detox diet to ensure that your body is eliminating toxins and assimilating nutrients properly. 

And perhaps even more importantly, it’s crucial to understand what you can do on a daily basis to continue to reap the benefits of liver health and maintain the optimal functioning of this vital and hardworking organ. 

That’s why I created the 14-Day Liver Rehab Cleanse. In this course, you’ll not only get step by step instructions for liver cleansing, but you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of what it takes to keep your liver happy and healthy long term. 

Cleanse your liver with the Liver Rehab Cleanse

And what about all of those key nutrients you just learned about in this article? When you sign up for the 14-Day Liver Rehab Cleanse, you’ll also get discounted pricing on my Daily Detox supplement which contains all ten superfoods. 

 

The Takeaway on Superfoods that Naturally Cleanse Your Liver

Liver support comes in all shapes and sizes, from common foods like parsley to lesser-known herbs like burdock root. Getting in these incredible superfoods provides your body with the fuel it needs to keep your liver humming. 

But if you really want to target liver health, you have to take it a step further and incorporate some lifestyle practices. Check out my 14-Day Liver Rehab Cleanse to turn your liver health around and pave the way to a toxin-free future. 

Click here for References+

  1. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/liver-anatomy-and-functions
  2. Mein, Jonathan R., Don R. James, and Shantala Lakkanna. “Induction of phase 2 antioxidant enzymes by broccoli sulforaphane: perspectives in maintaining the antioxidant activity of vitamins A, C, and E.” Frontiers in genetics 3 (2012): 7.
  3. Clare, Bevin A., Richard S. Conroy, and Kevin Spelman. “The diuretic effect in human subjects of an extract of Taraxacum officinale folium over a single day.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 15.8 (2009): 929-934.
  4. Cai, Liangliang, et al. “Purification, preliminary characterization and hepatoprotective effects of polysaccharides from dandelion root.” Molecules 22.9 (2017): 1409.
  5. Feher, Janos, and Gabriella Lengyel. “Silymarin in the prevention and treatment of liver diseases and primary liver cancer.” Current pharmaceutical biotechnology 13.1 (2012): 210-217.
  6. Ferracane, Rosalia, et al. “Metabolic profile of the bioactive compounds of burdock (Arctium lappa) seeds, roots and leaves.” Journal of pharmaceutical and biomedical analysis 51.2 (2010): 399-404.
  7. Chen, Xi. “Protective effects of quercetin on liver injury induced by ethanol.” Pharmacognosy magazine 6.22 (2010): 135.
  8. Li, Xi, et al. “The flavonoid quercetin ameliorates liver inflammation and fibrosis by regulating hepatic macrophages activation and polarization in mice.” Frontiers in Pharmacology 9 (2018): 72.
  9. Kim, Sang-Wook, et al. “The effectiveness of fermented turmeric powder in subjects with elevated alanine transaminase levels: a randomised controlled study.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 13.1 (2013): 58.
  10. Clifford, Tom, et al. “The potential benefits of red beetroot supplementation in health and disease.” Nutrients 7.4 (2015): 2801-2822.
  11. Szaefer, Hanna, et al. “Evaluation of the effect of beetroot juice on DMBA‐induced damage in liver and mammary gland of female sprague–dawley rats.” Phytotherapy Research 28.1 (2014): 55-61.
  12. Kujawska, Małgorzata, et al. “Protective effect of red beetroot against carbon tetrachloride-and N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced oxidative stress in rats.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57.6 (2009): 2570-2575.
  13. Cheng, Ni, et al. “Antioxidant and hepatoprotective effects of Schisandra chinensis pollen extract on CCl4-induced acute liver damage in mice.” Food and Chemical Toxicology 55 (2013): 234-240.

14.Soliman, Hanan A., et al. “Hepatoprotective effects of parsley, basil, and chicory aqueous extracts against dexamethasone-induced in experimental rats.” Journal of intercultural ethnopharmacology 5.1 (2016): 65.

  1. Maodaa, Saleh N., et al. “Effect of parsley (Petroselinum crispum, Apiaceae) juice against cadmium neurotoxicity in albino mice (Mus musculus).” Behavioral and Brain Functions 12.1 (2016): 6.
  2. Gil, Maria I., et al. “Antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice and its relationship with phenolic composition and processing.” Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry 48.10 (2000): 4581-4589.
  3. Husain, Hadiya, Uzma Latief, and Riaz Ahmad. “Pomegranate action in curbing the incidence of liver injury triggered by Diethylnitrosamine by declining oxidative stress via Nrf2 and NFκB regulation.” Scientific reports 8.1 (2018): 8606.
  4. El‐Hadary, Abdalla E., and Mohamed Fawzy Ramadan. “Antioxidant traits and protective impact of Moringa oleifera leaf extract against diclofenac sodium‐induced liver toxicity in rats.” Journal of food biochemistry 43.2 (2019): e12704.
  5. Muzumbukilwa, Willy Tambwe, Manimbulu Nlooto, and Peter Mark Oroma Owira. “Hepatoprotective effects of Moringa oleifera Lam (Moringaceae) leaf extracts in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in rats.” Journal of Functional Foods 57 (2019): 75-82.
  6. Almatrafi, Manal, et al. “Moringa leaves prevent hepatic lipid accumulation and inflammation in guinea pigs by reducing the expression of genes involved in lipid metabolism.” International journal of molecular sciences 18.7 (2017): 1330.

 

 

in Articles/Detox/Health Conditions/Liver Health

Wendy Myers, FDN-P, is a heavy metals detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist and founder of Myersdetox.com. Discover her Myers Detox Protocol and enjoy freedom from fatigue and brain fog with heavy metal detox. Wendy is also the creator of the Mitochondria Detox , the only supplement kit on the market that helps you to remove toxic metals that cause fatigue.