Wellness: Eight superfoods to cleanse and enhance your liver health
Now that we have been at home for a few weeks, quarantined with little access to unhealthy meals, this is perhaps the best period for your body to detoxify naturally. With otherwise regular social engagements that include alcohol, late-nights at work and unhealthy eating habits, the body, particularly the liver, works overtime to clear out toxins, and to reduce the side effects of junk.
The liver is involved in the many metabolic activities that take place in our body. The main function of the liver is detoxification. It filters the blood from the digestive tract, before circulating it throughout the body, plus it cleans out the chemicals and helps our body metabolise a drug or medicine. Bile is produced by the liver, which is important for digestion and absorption of fat in the small intestine. The liver also produces a protein that helps in blood clotting while helping in RBC production. Given that the liver looks after a myriad of complex activities, we must take extra care of this special organ.
Few superfoods particularly cleanse and enhance the functions of our liver. During the lockdown, try and source a few of the foods listed below to help protect your liver from damage:
Carrots and beetroots: The orange antioxidant pigment found in these vegetables reduces the load from the liver and improves its function. Additionally, they have glutathione, the master antioxidant that helps in the detoxification of the liver.
Lemon: One of the best sources of Vitamin C, it boosts the production of enzymes that help in the natural detoxification of the liver. It is suggested that one should drink a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning, as well as before drinking — as it helps maintain alkaline levels, and reduce the pressure on the liver.
Green leafy vegetables: The most powerful superfoods are the leafy veggies that contain chlorophyll, which helps in cleansing not only the liver but also the colon and lungs, while aiding the detoxification of your blood. Green leafy veggies eliminate heavy metal from the body, thus protecting the liver.
Ginger: The therapeutic and detoxifying properties of ginger are imparted from its high concentration of gingerol (phytochemical). This helps in improving the digestive enzymes in the body, and cleansing the liver.
Garlic: A superfood loaded with nutrients like sulphur, allicin, phosphorous, Vitamin B6, manganese and selenium that help in activating the liver enzymes that are essential for flushing out the toxins from the body.
Cruciferous vegetables: Intake of these veggies increases the production of glucosinolate in the body, which helps to eliminate toxins through the liver and improves its functions.
Sugarcane: Its alkaline nature helps in maintaining the pH balance in the body and liver. Plus, the antioxidants in this fruit protect the liver from damage and also helps in curing jaundice. It also prevents alcohol and other toxic items from getting converted into harmful compounds in the liver.
Deepika Rathod is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.