The liver is an extremely vital organ.
It stores vitamins, minerals, and even carbs, and produces proteins, cholesterol, and bile, among many other vital functions.
As a byproduct, it neutralizes metabolic waste products and poisons like alcohol and drugs. To stay healthy, it’s crucial to take care of one’s liver.
To help you maintain a healthy liver, this article provides a list of the top 7 foods to eat.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy liver, coffee is among the top choices.
Even for people who have preexisting liver disorders, consuming coffee has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of further damage.
Specifically, coffee use has been found to reduce the chance of cirrhosis, or irreversible liver damage, in persons with chronic liver disease.
In addition to helping with liver illness and inflammation, coffee may lessen the likelihood of getting a prevalent form of liver cancer.
Drinking at least three cups a day is connected with the highest advantages, including a reduced risk of death in persons with chronic liver disease.
The accumulation of fat and collagen—two major indicators of liver disease—seems to be the source of these advantages.
Coffee drinkers also benefit from reduced inflammation and elevated glutathione levels. Antioxidants protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are created naturally by the body but can be hazardous if left unchecked.
The liver is one organ that especially appreciates a cup of coffee first thing in the morning, but there are other systems in your body that will benefit from this ritual as well.
A review of the available research suggests that tea may have unique benefits for the liver, in addition to its other purported health benefits.
Blood markers for liver function were shown to improve in people who drank 10 cups of green tea per day, according to a study conducted in Japan.
Drinking green tea strong in antioxidants for 12 weeks boosted liver enzyme levels and may also help reduce oxidative stress and fat deposits in the liver, according to a small study involving adults with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Further research has shown that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of developing liver cancer. People who consumed four or more glasses daily had the lowest risk.
The effectiveness of black and green tea extracts has also been shown in a number of research performed on mice and rats.
In one study with mice, for instance, black tea extract was found to boost liver health markers in the blood and reverse many of the harmful effects of a high-fat diet on the liver.
However, persons with liver issues, in particular, should be careful when taking green tea supplements.
That’s because green tea extract supplement use has been linked to many cases of liver damage.
The anti-oxidants included in grapefruit provide natural liver protection. Two powerful antioxidants, naringenin and naringin, can be found in grapefruit.
Both have been shown to prevent liver damage in a number of animal studies.
There are two known mechanisms by which grapefruit exerts its protective effects: by dampening inflammation and by shielding cells from damage.
Hepatic fibrosis is a dangerous disorder in which excessive connective tissue develops up in the liver, but research has shown that these antioxidants can help prevent or slow its progression. Chronic inflammation is often the cause of this.
Furthermore, naringenin decreased the quantity of fat in the liver and raised the number of enzymes essential to burn fat in mice that were fed a high fat diet, which can aid in preventing the accumulation of extra fat.
Last but not least, naringin has been proven to ameliorate alcohol metabolism and mitigate its deleterious effects in rats.
The effects of grapefruit or grapefruit juice, rather than its individual components, have not been researched as of yet. Furthermore, practically all research on grapefruit’s antioxidants has been done on animals.
However, the available data suggest that eating grapefruit regularly can help you maintain a healthy liver by protecting it from damage and inflammation.
4. Blueberries and cranberries
Antioxidants called anthocyanins are responsible for giving blueberries and cranberries their vibrant colors. Many health benefits have also been associated with them.
Several studies in animals have shown that consuming either whole cranberries or blueberries, or their extracts or juices, can aid in liver health.
After 21 days, the liver was protected from harm thanks to this fruit. The antioxidant enzymes and immune cell response were both boosted by blueberries.
In a separate study, it was shown that the antioxidants included in blueberries delayed the growth of lesions and fibrosis (the formation of scar tissue) in the livers of rats.
Additionally, blueberry extract has been proven in test-tube tests to reduce the proliferation of human liver cancer cells. However, further research is needed to see if this impact holds true in human beings.
Incorporating these berries into your diet on a daily basis will help ensure that your liver receives the antioxidants it needs to function properly.
Grapes, especially those of a red or purple hue, are a good source of many different types of beneficial plant chemicals. Resveratrol is the most well-known of these compounds, and with good reason.
Grapes and grape juice have been demonstrated to be good for the liver in a number of animal experiments.
Researchers have discovered that they can increase antioxidant levels, decrease inflammation, and prevent damage.
There was some improvement in liver function after 3 months of supplementation with grapeseed extract in a small human study with NAFLD.
Grapes may have some health benefits on their own, but you may not get the same results from eating a bunch of grapes as you would from taking an extract made from their seeds. To confidently prescribe grapeseed extract to improve liver health, more research is required.
Still, a plethora of evidence from animal and some human studies suggests that grapes are a particularly liver-friendly diet.
6. Prickly pear
The prickly pear, or Opuntia ficus-indica as it is known in the scientific community, is a common and well-liked edible cactus. The vast majority of its consumers indulge in its fruit and juice.
It has a long history of usage in traditional medicine, namely for the following conditions:
A 2004 study involving 55 persons indicated that this plant’s extract alleviated hangover symptoms.
Lessenings of sickness, dry mouth, and loss of appetite were reported by the participants. Since the liver is responsible for alcohol detoxification, taking the extract before imbibing reduced the likelihood of a severe hangover by half.
Researchers found that alcohol’s anti-inflammatory properties were responsible for the observed changes.
In another experiment with mice, co-administration of a pesticide known to be toxic to the liver with prickly pear extract resulted in normalization of enzyme and cholesterol levels. Similar findings were found in subsequent research.
Recent research in mice examined whether or not prickly pear juice, rather than an extract, may mitigate the unfavorable effects of alcohol.
Researchers showed that drinking the juice after drinking alcohol reduced liver oxidative damage and injury and maintained healthy antioxidant and inflammatory levels.
More research is needed on humans, preferably with whole prickly pears or their juice, rather than with an extract. However, the research done thus far shows that prickly pear has beneficial benefits on the liver.
7. Beetroot juice
In addition to containing nitrates, beetroot juice also contains antioxidants called betalains, which have been shown to improve heart health, lower oxidative damage, and decrease inflammation.
You may probably infer that the health benefits of eating beets would be comparable if you ate the beets themselves. On the other hand, beetroot juice is the standard in research. You can make your own beet juice at home, or you can buy beetroot juice from a store or online.
Beetroot juice has been found to boost natural detoxification enzymes and decrease oxidative damage and inflammation in the liver in several rat experiments.
However, there has been a lack of human trials despite the encouraging results seen in animals.
Animal research have shown that beetroot juice has several health benefits, and these have been confirmed in human trials. Even though beetroot juice has been shown to improve liver health in humans, more research is required to confirm these findings.