Fall and spring seasons are the most common time of the year for a ‘detox’. The term detox takes on a variety of meanings depending on who you ask. There are ways to enhance the body’s ability to detoxify including use of diet, exercise and supplements. While a medically supervised detox is helpful - through the use of herbs, vitamins and minerals, diet and exercise - let’s talk about how to support our liver’s natural ability to detoxify EVERY DAY!
The liver is an organ that is most well-known for it’s ability to detoxify and rid the body of toxins. It has many other important roles in the body including production of bile (necessary for breakdown of fats), synthesis of proteins and cholesterol, and storage of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin K, iron and copper.
Now that we know how awesome the liver is, let’s talk about how we can support it!
1. Cruciferous Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, and Brussels sprout are among the most common vegetables eaten in this family. These vegetables increase function of liver enzymes, contain a compound called glucosinolates (which is currently being researched for possible anti-cancer properties), and are high in vitamin C and soluble fiber.
2. Garlic: High in two liver-boosting compounds, allicin and selenium, these compounds are powerful antioxidants, helping the liver to keep toxic waste from reaching other areas of the body.
3. Leafy Greens: Spinach, mustard greens, arugula are helpful at increasing production and output of bile.
4. Turmeric: This may be the healthiest spice out there! Curcumin, an active compound from turmeric, can help the enzymes that are responsible for clearing out known dietary carcinogens, preventing liver damage and helping to regenerate weakened liver cells.
5. Citrus Fruits: High in vitamin C and antioxidants, these fruits will not only boost the liver, but also help support healthy immune function. Drinking a glass of lemon water in the morning can stimulate digestive juices before eating.
Keep in mind that it is equally as important to avoid foods that obstruct the liver, such as alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, and processed foods.
Head over to the ‘Recipes’ tab and check out the recipe for Curried Chicken Salad - which contains ALL FIVE of these liver-loving foods!