15 Foods to Support Optimal Liver Function

15 Foods to Support Optimal Liver Function

A great way to feel good about ourselves, especially when health is concerned, is visiting vegan restaurants. Since vegan meals are considered to be healthier, people go vegan when they start feeling anxious about their diet.

Liver Health and Diet

The liver is one of the major organs of the body and it has numerous important functions. It goes without saying that ensuring a healthy and properly functional liver should be everyone’s priority. Below are the top 15 foods you should consider eating if you want a properly functioning liver.

  • Drink your coffee

It seems that daily coffee offers some benefits to the liver. It protects the liver from diseases like fatty liver disease. In fact, coffee might even protect your liver from liver cancer. So the next time you are at vegan restaurants, you might want to order a cup of joe together with your plant-based meal.

  • Get oatmeal even at vegan restaurants

Oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber and we all know fiber is necessary for good digestion. The fiber in oats is especially great for the liver. It is high in beta-glucans which help to modulate the immune system to make it more effective at combatting inflammation.

  • Sip some green tea

Everyone’s favorite drink at vegan restaurants is usually some sort of tea, mostly green tea, and for good reasons. A review published in the journal Nutrition in 2016 suggested that green tea can help reduce liver cancer for females of Asian ancestry. The review concluded that further research is needed to ascertain these findings.

  • Berries aren’t just great for snacks

Dark berries contain an antioxidant called polyphenols which help protect the liver from damage. Example of such berries include:

  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • raspberries

A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology recommends regular intake of berries to help boost the immune system to fight off infection.

  • Garlic is your friend

Garlic is everyone’s favorite spice, even in vegan restaurants. We can never have too much of it and it might be the key to a healthy liver. Including garlic in recipes can help reduce body weight as well as fat content for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. A contributing factor to NAFLD is obesity.

  • Daily grapefruit

According to a study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, grapefruit contains antioxidants naringenin and naringin both of which help protect the liver against injury and damage by reducing inflammation. Both compounds also help reduce the build-up of fat in the liver while at the same time increase the enzymes responsible for burning fat.

  • Cruciferous vegetables

Examples of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts are known for their fiber content as well as their distinct taste, which is why it is a popular meal choice at vegan restaurants. Studies have shown that extracts from these vegetables can help increase the levels of enzymes that help detoxify the liver.

  • Plant-based foods in general

Vegan restaurants were right, plant-based food is the best. To back this claim up, a study done in 2015 that was published in the journal Evidence-based complementary and Alternative Medicine shows that plant-based foods are very beneficial for the liver. Examples of these foods include:

  • banana
  • barley
  • beets and beet juice
  • broccoli
  • brown rice
  • carrots
  • lemon
  • Prickly pear for health

Eating prickly pears and drinking its juice offers a lot of benefits to the liver. A study suggests that important compounds in prickly pears protect the liver against cell tissue damage. Further research that focuses on the juice and meat of the fruit is needed to corroborate the previous findings.

  • No guilt over avocado toasts

Others might smirk at your morning avocado toasts but the fruit has many benefits including healthy functioning of the liver. Avocados contain compounds that slow liver damage. It is also rich in fiber which helps with weight control.

  • Fatty fish

You might not find fish in the menu of vegan restaurants but the fact remains that if you want healthy functioning liver, you need some fish oil in your diet. Fatty fish or fish oil supplements can help with NAFLD. The omega-3 fatty acids present in fish oil help reduce inflammation and prevent the build-up of fats in the liver.

  • Olive oil is preferable

Too much fat is never a good idea if you want a healthy liver. However, there are some fats that are good. Adding a bit of olive oil into your diet can help to reduce what is known as oxidative stress to improve the functioning of the liver.

  • Order tofu at vegan restaurants

According to a study done at the University of Illinois which involved lab rats found that the protein in soy can help to reduce the build-up of fats in the liver. Also, tofu, which is a product of soy, is low in fat and high in protein.

  • Go nuts

Nuts are rich in nutrients like vitamin E and high in fats – the good kind of fats. These facts point to many health benefits for the heart and for the liver. A study done in 2019 found out that a diet that includes nuts is associated with a lower risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Further, those who eat only a small amount of seeds and nuts have an increased risk of developing NAFLD than those who consume them in large amounts of seeds and nuts.

  • Go grab some grapes

Grapes, grape seeds, and grape juice are high in antioxidants that aid the liver in fighting inflammation and liver damage. Eating seeded grapes on the regular is an excellent way to boost immunity and liver function. Likewise, consuming grape seed supplements may also provide the same kind of antioxidant properties.

Final Thoughts

All these recommendations and tips won’t amount to anything if you don’t try avoiding food and drinks that are harmful to the liver such as salty, sugary, starchy, and fatty foods. And let’s not forget just how harmful excessive alcohol intake is to the liver. Try to avoid too much alcohol in your regular diet.

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