Top 20 Natural Foods to Detox Your Liver

What Happens When You Detox Your Liver?

Top 20 Natural Foods to Detox Your Liver
Written by Our: Editorial Team
Medical Fact Checked by: Dr. Bryan Havoc
Last updated:

One of the most important cleanses you can do on your body is a liver detox. Do you know how to detox your liver? Are you looking for a liver detox home remedy that is natural? How long does it take to detox your liver? In this article, we’re going to cover all aspects of how to detox the liver, why your liver is so important, and the top 20 natural foods you can eat to naturally detox your liver.

What is a Liver Cleanse?

A liver cleanse is designed to detox the liver of built-up toxins. If you’re unsure of how to detox liver, we’ll be sharing how to do that shortly. By removing toxins from your liver, your liver will function more efficiently. But why is this so important?

What Does Your Liver Do?

In order to understand why a liver cleanse is so important, it’s essential to understand the liver’s role in your body. Your liver is responsible for filtering your blood from metals & impurities. This process allows the blood to be detoxified of chemicals and drugs, alcohol, & medicine to be metabolised. Nutrients are also broken down in the liver so your body can absorb them more effectively.

What are Signs that Your Liver is Not Functioning Properly?

When the liver is not in a healthy state, your body will have trouble receiving the vitamins, minerals, & nutrients needed to work properly. If your liver is in an unhealthy state, these are the warning signs you should look out for:

  • Abdominal pain & swelling
  • Leg or ankle swelling
  • Jaundice (yellow eyes & complexion)
  • Dark colored urine
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Skin sensitivity or easily bruising
  • Loss of appetite

While these are potential signs of your liver not functioning properly, it is important to contact your doctor before doing a liver cleanse to be sure. Not only that, but you want to be in good enough health to ensure you minimise the risks involved with liver detoxification.

Reasons Why the Liver can Struggle

Being a detoxification machine itself, the liver is prone to the build-up of toxins. It makes sense that your liver can easily rack up a large storage of toxins. These toxins will make it more difficult for your liver to function properly, making it essential that you cleanse your liver regularly.

Are Liver Detoxes Safe?

Generally speaking, liver detoxes are safe. Like most things in life, you want to proceed with caution, moderation, and know when to stop if you’re experiencing uncomfortable side effects. When choosing to do a liver detox, you need to consult with your physician to rule out any negative side effects that may occur. If you have kidney disease, diabetes, anemia, or an underlying health condition, you should choose to avoid a liver cleanse. Alternatively, you can incorporate the foods from our list of liver cleansing foods to help promote liver health.

How Long Does it Take to Detox Liver?

The time it takes for your liver to detox depends on the state it was in before the detox regimen was started as well as how intense your liver flush is. For a generally healthy liver, you can detox your liver effective in as little as 2 to 4 weeks. Are you wondering how long does it take for your liver to recover?

You need to take into account your current lifestyle, habits, as well as any liver conditions you may have.

How long does it take to detox from alcohol? Depending on your previous alcohol consumption and other lifestyle choices, it can take anywhere from 4 weeks to a few years until your liver is detoxed completely. Keep in mind that your liver is in a state of constant regeneration. The sooner you stop consuming alcohol, the better.

Does Liver Cleanse Work? - Looking at Fact vs Fiction:

While many may claim there are no benefits from liver cleanses, there are plenty of benefits you can gain from doing one yourself. One of the simplest ways to cleanse your liver is by enriching your diet with foods that directly benefit the liver. The list of foods we will be sharing later on are a sure way to promote a healthy liver and cleanse naturally.

Some Myths vs Facts

Myth - Natural detox methods are not effective in promoting liver health.
Fact - Liver detoxes are directly aimed at helping improve the liver functions. If liver cleanses didn’t work, there wouldn’t be so many advocates for doing them. Be careful though, because performing a liver detox without caution can be potentially harmful to you liver.

Myth - Liver cleanses can effectively protect your liver from liver disease.
Fact - While liver cleanses can help improve your liver’s health, they are not a sure way to ensure protection from the development of disease. Aside from cleansing, you need to follow a healthy lifestyle to keep your liver healthy. If you drink a lot and eat unhealthy foods when you are finished cleansing, then there was essentially no point in doing a liver cleanse.

Potential Risks When Performing a Liver Cleanse

If you’re new to detoxing and cleansing, then you may be unaware of the potential risks that come with a liver cleanse. When performing any detox, you need to keep track of how many herbs & supplements you are consuming as well as make sure you are drinking enough water. Bad side effects can occur if you’re not careful. These include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Chills & shakes
  • Seizures (in serious cases)

While the probability of experiencing serious & dangerous side effects while you detox your liver is relatively low, we strongly recommend that you seek out permission & confirmation from your doctor that your health is in good enough standing to perform a liver diet cleanse & detox on yourself. If you still run into any problems, stop the regimen immediately and get in touch with your doctor ASAP if you experience adverse side effects.

Liver Detox Side Effects

While you cleanse your liver, you may experience a range of liver detox symptoms. While these may be signs of liver detox working, they may also cause some discomfort. If at any time you feel the side effects are too much to deal with, feel free to stop your natural liver detox at any time.

Liver detox side effects & symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Upset stomach
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irritability
  • Weight Loss

The reason why you are likely to feel these irritable side effects from liver cleansing is because toxins are making their way out of your body. As the toxins leave, your body is exposed to them one last time before being expelled through your bowels, urine, & sweat. Once all is said and done, you should feel an overall improvement in your health and your liver’s functions will be improved.

Liver Cleansing vs Weight Loss

All too often people try to cleanse their liver in hopes of achieving weight loss. While losing weight on a liver detox diet is possible, it is not the result you should be looking for.

Myths vs Facts

Myth - Liver cleanses are a safe & effective way to lose weight.
Fact - The truth behind liver cleanses and weight loss is that you can lose weight, but it’s not always the case. In fact, some liver cleansing supplements can potentially harm you if you’re not careful. This is why we suggest that you cleanse your liver by eating naturally cleansing foods instead.

Myth - Obesity has no affect on your risk of developing liver disease.
Fact - The opposite of this myth is the real truth. Being obese increases the risk of developing fatty liver disease. This can lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis. While you shouldn’t think of a liver cleanse as the solution to your weight loss, you shouldn’t push weight to the side and ignore the negative effects it can have on your health.

How to Protect Your Liver

Some Myths vs Facts

Myth - If your family members have liver disease, then you are genetically predisposed to developing liver disease.
Fact - Most diseases can be prevented even if they happen to run in your family. The reason why it may appear to be genetic is simply because we are prone to developing the habits of our parents and other older family members. These habits can have a potentially negative effect on your health in the long run. If you want to prevent liver disease, then make sure to check out on tips later on.

Myth - Liver cleanses are necessary to keep your liver healthy after overindulging.
Fact - It isn’t necessary to perform a liver cleanse in order to keep your liver healthy. There are plenty of people who don’t detox their liver and have a healthy liver that functions well. Unfortunately, there is no evidence to prove that liver detoxes are a sure method to bringing your liver back to a healthy state. However, you should keep indulgences to a minimum to prevent the development of liver disease.

Methods of Protection and How to Cleanse Your Liver

From liver supplements to natural liver detox, there are so many ways to provide your liver support and promote overall health & well-being. When it comes to health, the best way to maintain it is by doing the following:

  • Drink enough water - When your body doesn’t get enough water, it can’t function properly. This includes liver function. Water itself assists in flushing toxins out of your body, so drink up your 8 or more cups per day, every day.
  • Keep your weight under control - Being overweight is known to cause a number of concerning health problems. You can keep track of your weight by counting calories, limiting sugar & carb intake, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet - Foods that are processed and packed with sugars & salt are the opposite of what you want in your body. These foods are full of toxins and will have to pass through your liver in order for your blood to absorb it properly.
  • Limit alcohol consumptionDrinking too much alcohol is known to increase the risk of liver disease. If you’re experiencing trouble with alcohol intake, consider reaching out for treatment as soon as possible.
  • Exercise 3-7 days per week - Being active is great for your whole body. Your circulation becomes boosted, increasing the amount of oxygen your body absorbs. 
  • Avoid drugs - Drugs are metabolized through the liver. Drugs, both prescription drugs and street drugs, can harm the liver and reduce its efficiency.

If you follow those tips, you’ll be sure to lead a healthy lifestyle and keep your liver functioning properly. A liver cleanse 3-4 times a year on top of that is a great way to supplement liver health. Unsure of how long to detox liver?

Top 20 Natural Foods to Detox Your Liver

When going on a liver cleanse diet, it is essential that you incorporate our list of foods that detox the liver. Eating foods to detox liver is arguably the best way to detox liver and maintain healthy liver.

Liver Cleansing Foods

Here is our exclusive list of the best liver food for your natural detox cleansing diet. While there are more foods good for liver than the ones on our list, these happen to be the best and most effective. Pick and choose any of these foods to create your very own liver cleanse recipe to enjoy in the comfort of your home.

Liver Detox Tea 

What can I drink to detox my liver? There are plenty of teas and liver detox herbs that can be made into a liver detox drink. The milk thistle liver detox tea is a popular method that dates back to as early as the first century.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is apple cider vinegar good for the liver? To put it simply, yet it is. The acids present in this vinegar help by binding to toxins to be expelled from the body. Potassium present in ACV also helps mucus pass through the body with more ease and clearing out your lymph nodes.


Turmeric is a spice that is used commonly in India thanks to it’s medicinal properties. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is responsible for helping your liver & body flush toxins, repair damaged cells, and promote bile production. Use turmeric regularly to boost your liver’s efficiency in one of the most effective ways possible.

Citrus Fruits 

Citrus Fruits are popular thanks to their vitamin C and antioxidants. Limes, lemons, oranges, as well as other citruses help the liver produce bile and improve upon its functions. Citruses are used for fatty liver detox since they help the liver burn off unwanted fat.


Beets are a great source of glutathione, flavonoids, and beta carotene. These have regenerative properties & improve the blood purification process. Beets can be juiced to create a liver detox juice if you’re not interested in cooking and eating it in your meals.


Carrots similarly to beets, carrots contain glutathione, flavonoids, and beta carotene. Enjoy carrots sticks and receive the same benefits we previously mentioned when introducing beetroot.


Garlic assists in activating liver detox enzymes, making your liver more effective at removing toxins from your blood. Aside from that, garlic contains more than 30 antibacterial agents and can effectively kill off harmful organisms that may be in your intestines.


Asparagus is a great food to eat for a natural liver and kidney detox. They are diuretic, meaning they help improve the cleansing capabilities of your liver & kidneys.


Cabbage is known to stimulate the liver. The fiber content is effective at assisting the body’s natural detoxification functions by stimulating the enzymes essential for your liver to flush toxins. Enjoy this veggie in soup or give kimchi a try if you’re unsure of how to incorporate cabbage into your diet.


Turnips are known to reduce the amount your liver can become injured. By promoting the production of enzymes and being rich in flavonoids & vitamin C, turnips can help boost liver function & repair cell damage.


Radishes stimulate the liver to produce bile and also aid in digestion. They’re rich in potassium which is beneficial for keeping your body hydrated.


If you’re a big fan of drinking liver detox smoothie drinks, then don’t leave out apples. Apples detoxify the liver naturally thanks to their fiber content. Their fibers bind to heavy metals before they have a chance to enter your bloodstream, keeping your liver healthy and making your liver flush more effective.


Ginger is a versatile root that can be added to just about any liver detox recipe. Aside from that, you can brew ginger in your liver cleansing tea for an amazing flavor and a boost of health benefits.


Walnuts are the best nuts for your liver. Arginine is the nutrient responsible for assisting in ammonia removable. Glutathione & healthy omega fats are also beneficial towards liver health & function.


You may be surprised to know that coffee can help prevent liver scarring, a liver condition that is found in approximately 10% of American citizens. Drink up to 3 cups per day to experience these potential benefits.


Spinach is one of the best leafy green vegetables you can eat. Chlorophyll is responsible for soaking toxins right out of your bloodstream. Spinach also neutralizes heavy metals and can offset negative side effects from chemicals commonly found on your food.

Dandelion Greens 

Dandelion Greens have the same benefits as spinach. Serve yourself a salad full of dandelion greens to give your body a dose of purifying chlorophyll and your liver will thank you.


Oatmeal is one of the most popular foods when it comes to health. Soluble fiber helps to reduce bad cholesterol from building up in your liver & blood.

Olive Oil 

Olive Oil is one of the healthier oils you can use for cooking. Use olive oil to help reduce liver fat & aid your digestive system.


A handful of almonds is the perfect snack when you’re in a liver detox diet. Vitamin E helps protect the liver against disease and fiber & omega fats boost your liver function. Almonds are also known for their benefits for your heart, so don’t hesitate to reach a second handful if you’d like!

Other Foods to Consider

We know that eating the foods we mentioned can help detox the liver, but what about liver? Is liver good for you? Eating animal liver, such as beef and chicken liver, offer plenty of health benefits. While these animal cuts are beneficial for overall health, we are not sure about their direct effect on liver health. That being said, you may be interested in knowing what liver detox foods to avoid.

Who Should Go on a Liver Cleanse Diet?

Most people would benefit from a liver cleanse diet a couple times per day. Your doctor may recommend a specific diet if you’ve been diagnosed with a certain liver condition. Here are some general suggestions based on liver conditions:

  • Fatty liver disease - Fill up on high fiber foods and steer clear of foods that are loaded with calories.
  • Cirrhosis - Limit your salt consumption, but still make sure you get enough since it is an essential nutrient. It’s possible that your doctor recommends that you eat less protein as well.
  • Hepatitis C - Foods rich in iron and iron supplements will help with this condition. Also make sure you minimize your salt consumption to what is necessary.
  • Bile duct disease - Replace your cooking oil with kernel oil, it doesn’t require as much bile to be broken down in your body. 
  • Wilson disease - With this condition, we suggest you limit your copper intake. Foods such as nuts, mushrooms, and chocolate have higher copper content than others. 

Liver Detox Foods to Avoid

  • Foods high in trans fat - margarine, frosting, fried foods, baked goods, etc.
  • Artificial sweeteners - Equal, aspartame, & NutraSweet. You’re better off using honey or even normal sugar.
  • Chemical preservatives found in processed foods.
  • Dairy - cheese & milk.
  • Alcohol

Liver Cleanses for Treating Existing Conditions & Damage

Are you dealing with liver damage and disease? You may want to try a fatty liver detox. Using the list of foods we provided is the perfect way to create fatty liver home remedies. If you’re unsure of how to detox liver naturally, you’ll find that one of the easiest ways is to eat foods that detox your liver naturally. These foods are also effective for a liver and kidney detox.

Some Myths vs Facts

Myth - You can cure any liver condition by performing a liver detox.
Fact - There is no concrete evidence proving that liver diseases and conditions can simply be cured by following a liver detox regimen. There are, however, undeniable benefits from eating the foods we mentioned. You should never rely on a liver detox to cure any health condition.

Other Possible Treatments & Supplements

While natural liver cleanse is a great way to promote liver health, there are some liver detox supplements you may want to consider. These include Vitaliver & the Swisse Liver Detox system. Vitaliver is a supplement packed with essential oils for liver detox. The Swisse Ultiboost Liver Detox formula consists of liver detox pills to help cleanse the liver naturally at home.

The Takeaway: The Best Liver Detox is One that is Followed Up With Healthy Habits

If you want to know how to do a liver detox the best way possible, it’s when you detox your liver naturally and follow it up with the continuation of healthy habits you’ve developed. Eating foods that promote liver health, drinking enough water, and minimizing your alcohol intake will be extremely effective at maintaining liver health. Make sure you don’t cleanse too often so you can allow your liver time to rest. Detox your liver anywhere from 2 to 4 times per year so your liver doesn’t become too loaded with toxins.

*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.