Over 10 Natural Foods That Cleanse Your Liver
How To Protect Your Liver Health?
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Those who care about their health should consider doing a liver cleanse. Like most remedies, it’s best to opt for a natural cleanse for the improved liver support. How do you do a proper liver cleanse? How can I detox my liver naturally? What foods are good for liver repair? Are there any risks when it comes to liver detox? If you’re interested in how to cleanse out your liver naturally, then you’re in a perfect place. We’ll be introducing everything you need to know about how to detox your liver, liver cleanse side effects, and general liver health.
What is the Liver?
As you already know, the liver is a crucial part of our body. It’s located on the right side of your body, tucked behind the rib cage. Without this beautiful, reddish-brown blob of rubbery meat, you would die - so you have every incentive to keep it in the best shape possible! Obviously, this is not to scare you. Your liver is important and valuable for your overall health. There is more to it than meets the eye, so let’s dive deeper.
How Liver Works ?
The liver works with your gallbladder, intestines and pancreas to assist digestion, food processing, and absorption of nutrients. By working in conjunction with these other organs, the liver has a big effect on how the body works. While this organ plays a big part in a lot of vital body functions (over 500!), it has two main functions to handle all alone.
The Main Role of the Liver
Your liver is in charge of filtering blood coming from the digestive tract to purify it before releasing it to the rest of your body. This filtration process detoxifies chemicals as well as metabolises drugs & medicine. Nutrients are broken down into a usable form so the body can absorb it properly.
A Closer Look Into the Liver Functions
There are a lot of functions the liver is responsible for, but we’ll share with you some of the most important and commonly known functions:
Because the liver is essentially a filtration system for the body, it collects a lot of toxins naturally. The production of bile helps carry this waste away from the liver as well as breaks down fats in the intestines.
- Protein production for blood plasma.
- Good cholesterol production and proteins to distribute fats throughout the body.
- The transformation of glucose into glycogen for storing.
- Balancing glucose and regulating amino acids.
- Storage and distribution of iron.
- Blood clot regulation.
- Removing certain bacteria from the blood to prevent infections and improve immunity.
About the Liver: Myths vs Facts
Myth #1 - One of the biggest myths about liver health is that if a parent has liver problems, their offspring will too. That would mean health conditions are predetermined and left up to genes. Some think there is nothing they can do to improve or eliminate a certain condition they may have.
Fact #1 - Genes are definitely an important role in a person’s health and wellbeing, but they don't determine the health of your liver. Your body and liver react directly to what is put into it, so pay careful attention to what you are eating & consuming and how you react. If you realize you have a bad habit that is negatively affecting your health, then make sure to address and change that habit into something beneficial instead.
Myth #2 - Another harmful myth you may have heard about the liver is that once the liver is unhealthy or diagnosed with a disease, there is no turning back.
Fact #2 - The liver’s cells were made to regenerate quickly since it is a high-priority, hard-working organ. Your liver is capable of working in both a healthy and unhealthy state. They even say that if cut in half, it would only take 2 weeks for the liver to be anywhere from 80-90% regenerated - now that’s insane! Even better, the liver is the only major organ that is capable of regeneration.
Consider a Liver Cleanse
We just mentioned how you shouldn’t be worried about an unhealthy liver. One of the best ways to help heal and rejuvenate an unhealthy liver is by performing a liver cleanse! This is something that can be easily done on your own time and without relying on repeat medical visits & procedures. This is not to say that you should ignore what your doctor has to say, because you shouldn’t. Sometimes you need to take matters into your own hands, and detoxing the liver can be the perfect way to do that. If you want to learn more about how to detox liver, keep reading!
What is a Liver Cleanse?
A liver cleanse is meant to help detoxify the liver from built-up toxins to improve its functions.
That means your liver will be able to filtrate your blood more effectively, process more nutrients for your body, and more.
Since there are many functions that rely on your organ to play a part, from protein production to blood sugar regulation, a healthy liver can help improve the functions across the map.
Liver detoxes commonly involve the consumption of herbs, teas, certain foods, and supplements to help promote toxin release. By cleansing the liver, you can gain many benefits aside from improved liver functions. What foods cleanse your liver? How long does it take to cleanse your liver? All of those answers will come shortly.
Symptoms Showing You May Need a Liver Cleanse
There are many problems that arise when your liver is in dire need of a cleanse. Pay attention to yourself for a few days and see if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Jaundice (yellowish skin & eyes)
- Abdominal pain or swelling
- Leg & ankle swelling
- Skin irritation
- Dark urine
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Skin sensitive to bruising
If you experience these health issues, you may need to detox your liver. If you’re experiencing abdominal pains that are severe, it is best to seek out medical help as soon as possible.
Is There Scientific Proof of the Effectiveness of Liver Detox?
Since liver detox often involves the subject using homeopathic methods to help cleanse the liver, it is worth mentioning that herbal treatments are referred to as the mother of modern medicine. These herbs are naturally compatible with the human body and have been scientifically shown to have potentially healing applications for a wide range of liver conditions.
While there is no definite proof of the effectiveness of liver detoxes, there is evidence showing it’s potential.
Ancient medicines haven’t made their way through hundreds of years of use for nothing.
They have obvious medicinal benefits that are often practiced alongside modern day medicine. Milk thistle, a popular liver cleansing herb, has been shown to have a positive effect on the liver, helping treat diseases in a safe & effective way.
That being said, it is also of utmost importance to approach a liver detox with caution. The liver is what filters the stuff going into your body, making it prone to injury if overworked or exposed to harmful chemicals. It is important to emphasize that herbs can have a potentially negative effect when consumed improperly. It is also worth mentioning that the effectiveness of a liver detox will be greatly improved if a healthy lifestyle is followed.
Liver Disease vs Liver Cleanse
Unfortunately, liver disease is noted as the 5th most common cause of death in the UK. There are many conditions someone with an unhealthy liver can be diagnosed with. We will list those out for you here:
- Liver Failure
- Liver cancer
- And more
A liver cleanse is not a one stop answer for these conditions. However, a proper liver cleanse can help improve, eliminate, and prevent these conditions from developing. If your doctor considers you in a healthy state to proceed with a liver cleanse, then you will enjoy the benefits that come with it.
Are Liver Detoxes Safe?
Like we mentioned earlier, liver detoxes must be approached carefully. Herbs, teas, and supplements, should be taken in moderation to ensure there are no bad reactions or overdoses.
Liver detoxes have been practiced since ancient times, making them a safe method to potentially improve liver health.
As long as your doctor considers you in a healthy state and you are smart about how you proceed with a liver cleanse, you will have no problems performing a liver detox on yourself.
Potential Liver Detox Risks
There are risks to consider when you turn to a liver detox diet. If you aren’t keeping careful track of your herb & supplement consumption, you can experience bad side effects such as dehydration, diarrhea, upset stomach, and fever among other side effects. If you are feeling uncomfortable during your cleanse, then don’t hesitate to stop your regimen until your body is back on track.
Liver Detox Benefits
You might be wondering what does a liver cleanse do? What are the benefits? One cannot ignore the benefits a liver detox has to offer. Natural liver cleanses have positive effects on the body that can help get rid of certain problems you didn’t know were related to an unhealthy liver, such as skin irritation and fatigue.
Some benefits experienced from liver cleanses include:
- Improved detoxification functions
- Boosted metabolism
- Increased energy
- Decreased bloating
- Weight loss
- Improved blood pressure & cholesterol
- Improved skin complexion
- And more!
It depends on how unhealthy your liver is for it to become detoxified with a cleansing diet. There is no clear answer on how many days it will take, so it is suggested that even after a liver cleanse, you continue to follow a healthy lifestyle to promote further liver health & function.
Liver Cleanse Side Effects
If you’re new to cleansing, then you may not be aware of the side effects you might run into. However, if you’ve performed a cleanse or detox on yourself before, then you know all about the part where you might feel worse before you feel better. Some side effects to expect when performing a liver cleanse include:
- Upset stomach
If you experience these side effects, don’t worry because it’s a natural reaction to any kind of cleansing routine. In fact, these are signs of liver detox working its magic on your body. If you start to feel too uncomfortable, then either lower your herbal intake or stop your detox all together.
More Myths vs Facts about Liver Detox
Myth #3 - Some believe that a liver cleanse is 100% necessary in order to maintain liver functions. This is a myth because the liver doesn’t need to be detoxified in order to improve its health.
Fact #3 - By making simple lifestyle changes, you can help improve your liver health without undergoing an intensive cleanse.
Myth #4 - Another common myth is that a liver cleanse does not help improve liver functions whatsoever.
Fact #4 - While modern medicinalists like to disprove homeopathic methods, there is no definitive evidence showing that liver cleanses aren’t effective. In fact, there is scientific proof of herbs present in liver cleanses being beneficial for the liver.
Different Liver Cleanse Methods
There are many ways to go about cleansing the liver. The three main methods include consuming liver cleansing foods, drinking liver detox tea, and taking liver cleanse supplements. It is recommended that you don’t do all three at once to prevent any negative side effects from happening. With 3 methods for how to detoxify your liver, you can choose the one that suits your lifestyle best.
10 Natural Liver Detox Foods That Cleanse Your Liver
A great answer for how to cleanse out your liver naturally is by switching over to a liver cleanse diet. We’re going to share over 10 natural foods that cleanse the liver. Incorporate all of these into your diet for natural liver cleanse maintenance. Continuing a liver cleansing diet with these foods even after performing an in-depth liver cleanse will ensure your liver detoxification processes are running smoothly.
Citrus Fruits - helps boost your liver’s ability to cleanse and filter. These are fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruits. Squeeze some of their juices into a cup of water for quick & easy liver flush you can do every morning.
Turmeric - has such a strong antioxidant effect that, when consumed, can help prevent the liver from becoming damaged.
Olive Oil - helps naturally protect the liver from toxin exposure and can also prevent cardiovascular disease.
Carrots - Flavonoids and beta-carotene are effective in stimulating and supporting overall liver function. Vitamin A also helps protect the liver.
Green Tea - a great drink to incorporate into your diet for a gentle liver and kidney cleanse. This is thanks to special antioxidants, known as polyphenols, which help prevent cancer and regenerate cells.
Garlic - Selenium, an essential mineral, helps naturally detox the liver and improve its functions.
Beets - An age-old remedy to increase bile production, beets are a great food to help improve liver health.
Broccoli Sprouts - are another food that are effective for liver and kidney cleanse. They boost liver detoxification and even protect skin cells.
Fermented Foods - contain probiotics, which are essential bacteria to help promote gut health. They also help remove toxins from you liver so it can function more efficiently.
Walnuts - contain amino acids that are beneficial for helping the liver detoxify ammonia. Omega-3 fatty acids also help support the liver naturally.
Other Foods that Naturally Cleanse the Liver - Watermelon, avocado, and apples are other worthy foods to include in your liver cleansing diet. Another food to consider is apple cider vinegar. But why? Is apple cider vinegar good for the liver? An effective liver cleanse recipe is 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of honey.
Your Liver and Food: Myth vs Facts
Myth #5 - Following a liver cleanse diet after overindulging a is a good way to promote liver health.
Fact #5 - While a liver cleanse can help improve liver health after overindulgence, it is not recommended to rely on it for a “cure” to unhealthy habits. Just because you perform a detox or cleanse doesn’t mean you are automatically healthy. The fact is this: if you want to be healthy, then you need to follow healthy habits! Eating the right food is arguably the best way to detox liver and maintain liver health.
Liver Detox Drink
A liver cleanse drink is another way to perform a liver detox. This can be done with a liver cleanse tea, liver cleanse juice, or even with the apple cider vinegar recipe we just shared with you. There are many liver detox home remedy drinks for you to try. Especially if you love making your own smoothies and drinks, you will love this method of liver cleansing.
Liver Cleanse Tea
Liver detox tea can be consumed 2-5 times per day to help cleanse the liver of toxins. Some popular liver cleansing herbs & teas include:
- Milk thistle
- Green tea
- Black tea
- And so much more!
You can choose to brew only one of these herbs or create your own combination for a complex flavor & more benefits in every cup.
Milk Thistle Liver Detox - is really popular due to the effectiveness of this herb. If you’re looking for the best liver detox tea, consider picking up a blend that includes milk thistle in its ingredient list.
Liver Cleanse Juice - You can also choose to make a liver cleanse juice for a powerful and delicious way to detox your liver. Popular vegetables used in detox juices include carrots, beets, and citrus. You can combine any of the foods we mentioned above and create your very own liver cleansing concoction. All you need is a juicing machine or blender!
Liver Cleanse Supplements - If you’re someone who doesn’t like to make their own food or you don’t really have the time to do so, then liver cleanse supplements might be the most reliable way for you to detox your liver. When using supplements, it’s important to make sure you start with small amounts and pay attention to how your body reacts to ensure you don’t have negative effects. Always read the instructions and never exceed the maximum amount labeled on the bottle.
Milk Thistle Detox Supplements - can be consumed as a tea and also in supplement form. It’s one of the most effective liver cleanser substances available. Herbalists may even consider this special plant the best liver cleanse out there!
Turmeric Supplements - can also be taken to cleanse your liver naturally. It is good at helping protect your body against more than liver disease. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, and can even prevent Alzheimer’s.
Things You Didn’t Know About the Liver
Myth #6 - Some people think that you need to feel pain when your liver is unhealthy.
Fact #6 - Your liver may be unwell and inflamed without any discomfort on your end. As your liver becomes unhealthier and more inflamed, more damage can occur. This will eventually cause damage that prevents your liver from functioning properly. That’s why it’s important to not only pay attention to pain, but to other minor symptoms such as fatigue, skin irritation, etc.
Liver Cleanse vs Weight Loss & Obesity: Separating the Facts from the Fiction
Myth #7 - A common liver condition is fatty liver disease. Many believe that you can only experience fatty liver disease if you’re fat. That is a complete myth that needs to be cleared.
Fact #7 - Fatty liver is not a condition that only happens to overweight people. Just because someone is skinny doesn’t mean they are healthy. If someone has unhealthy habits, such as drinking, they are susceptible to developing a fatty liver.
Myth #8 - Another mentionable myth is that a liver cleanse doesn’t promote weight loss.
Fact #8 - Liver cleanses are capable of promoting healthy weight loss when followed correctly. What makes a liver cleanse not effective is when someone continues their unhealthy habits after a cleanse.
How to Protect Your Liver
Protecting your liver is valuable after you perform a cleanse. Liver detox isn’t something you should turn to often because it is taxing on your body. Plan to do a liver cleanse every 3-6 months for a cleansing routine that doesn’t take a toll on your health.
In between your liver cleanses, make sure to follow these tips to keep your liver healthy:
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated
- Eat the foods we mentioned on our list of liver cleansing foods!
- Limit your alcohol intake
- Stay away from drugs
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
- Talk with your doctor about minimizing your prescriptions
- Don’t share personal hygiene items
- Keep your hands clean
Keep in mind that a liver detox is not the way to cure all of your health problems. A liver cleanse is a great way to get your foot in the door to a healthy lifestyle, but you need to dedicate and be consistent with the decisions you make to ensure you stay on that path.
Liver Health Controversy
Myth #9 - A lot of adults think that if they feel healthy, nothing must be wrong with their liver. A common misconception is that you can base health off the way you feel.
Fact #9 - The fact is that you can be unhealthy without feeling bad. Liver diseases can be the result of genes, toxic exposure, unhealthy lifestyle, and more.
Never feel afraid to ask your doctor to check out your liver, it’s always better to know about any condition sooner than later so you can take action as soon as possible.
How to Improve Liver Health With Natural Treatments
The cleansing methods we mentioned are a great way to improve your liver health naturally.
Myth #10 - Someone may tell you that herbs are not effective at improving body functions, but that’s a myth people like to say simply because they heard someone else say it.
Fact#10 - we mentioned to you earlier, herbs and plants are where modern medicine stems from. There is a reason they are used all around the world for many health benefits.
Takeaway: A Natural Liver Cleanse is Beneficial but Not a Cure
most important thing to take from what we shared with you is that a liver cleanse should not be turned to as a cure for liver disease. It is a great way to help improve liver health and provide additional support for the liver. However, if you have a serious liver condition, it is best treated by a medical professional. So if you want to get the most out of your liver detox, make sure you continue practicing healthy habits by following a balanced diet, staying active, and keeping yourself hydrated!
*This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.