The Liver is the largest gland of the human body (larger than the brain too!). It is our body’s detox centre and we must make an effort to keep it healthy to remain healthy ourselves (this case is true for every part of our body). It weighs close to a kilo and a half when fully grown. It does a myriad number of jobs in our body (close to 500). Some of them are given below:
It makes glucose from the food we eat and digest. It stores some of that glucose in the form of glycogen to be used in times of need. It cleans and purifies our blood by using what our body can use and sending the rest to the kidneys for removal. It makes bile that is used in the digestive system for breaking down foods such as fats. It breaks down proteins into amino –acids. It stores many vitamins and minerals. It produces cholesterol. It also helps in clotting of blood. Some fruits, vegetables, and spices which have been proven to be natural Liver tonics are listed below.
It’s the favorite spice of the Immune System of Human Body and especially the Liver. It helps the liver by actively flushing out the ayurvedic carcinogens (cancer causing elements). It has been used over the ages for treating various ailments of the body from fever to battle wounds. It can be used as a capsule or mixed with milk and taken.
Leafy Green Vegetables
They are highly prized as allies of the Liver for their cleansing and defensive properties. They can be eaten raw, cooked or in the form of juices. Since they are an extremely potent source of chlorophylls, they can absorb the environmental toxins from the blood stream. And they are also capable of neutralizing heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides and other industrial chemicals, thus acting as a defense mechanism for the liver and body in general. Leafy greens promote production of bile which is useful for digestion and cleansing of the intestines and blood.
Beets and Carrots
Rich sources of Glutathione, a protein that helps in detoxifying the Liver, Beets and Carrots are also rich in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene. Overall Liver function is stimulated and improved by eating these two vegetables.
Glutathione is also abundantly present in grapefruits. Besides this, they are also a rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which are required for the proper function of the liver’s cleansing properties. They can be eaten directly or consumed in the form of juices.
Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc)
They are a rich source of Glucosinolate, an enzyme which helps flush out carcinogens by rendering them useless and impotent, and other harmful toxins from the body.
Walnuts and Avocado
They both are a rich source of glutathione. Walnut is especially effective as it contains Omega-3 Fatty acids and the amino acid Arginine, both of which support the Liver’s normal cleansing functions and specifically in the cleansing of ammonia.
A rich source of Sulfur, garlic is used as a flavoring agent in foods (especially as an ingredient of the famous “Tadka” in Indian recepies). Sulfur stimulates the Liver enzymes to remove the toxins from the body. They are also a rich source of Allicin and Selenium, two natural chemicals that help in Liver Cleansing.
Dandelion has been known to have medicinal properties sincethe Roman Empire. It has featured in medicines for treating Bile and Liver dysfunctions across Europe and Asia. Its roots when dried, ground and roasted can used to make caffeine-free coffee. Its leaves can be blanched or sautéed like spinach and consumed directly, in salads or sandwiches.
Rich source of pectin, a compound necessary for reduction of cholesterol; apples are a healthy, nutritious and delicious choice of liver detoxification foods. The pectin binds with the cholesterol and allows them to move with the blood instead of sticking to the blood vessels and thus makes them easy to remove.
Lemon and Lime
These fruits are a great source of Vitamin C which helps convert toxins into substances that are easily absorbed by water. Drinking freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice in warm water helps stimulate the liver. There are many other methods and foods besides the ones mentioned above, but these are the most potent by far. Do consult your dietician before embarking on the use of any one of them. You can try any one of them as they are the natural products and doesn’t have any side-effects upon its use.