Eating a balanced and healthful diet is key to achieving good health and long life. Fruits and vegetables paired with appropriate amounts of proteins from meat is usually an eating strategy generally promoted by health professionals and experts. However, some specific food items can help alleviate specific health issues and help certain organs achieve enhanced function. One very important organ for the human body is the liver. So what foods can help improve the function of the liver? In this article, we will look at some of the best food items to help improve the health of the liver. Read on to find out more!
The Importance of Protecting the Liver
The liver is a crucial organ of the human body whose main responsibility is to break down carbs, make glucose, and have the body detoxified. It is also responsible for the creation of bile and for nutrient storage, both necessary for the digestion and absorption of nutrients and food. There are a number of drinks and food items that an individual can eat to aid in the protection of the liver.
That being said, a healthy liver can contribute to general wellness and health. Dysfunction of the liver can lead to type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders. While managing all of these variables for health risks can be impossible, taking in certain foods and beverages can aid in the promotion of a healthy liver.
Foods that are Good for the Liver
Enumerated below are some of the best foods for the liver:
A study conducted in 2013 showed that in the United States (US) around fifty percent of people drink coffee on a daily basis. There is evidence to suggest that coffee is beneficial to the liver and can help in the protection of the liver against certain health conditions like fatty liver. The same study also noted that coffee intake on a daily basis can aid in the reduction of the risk of liver diseases that are considered chronic. Coffee can also contribute to the protection of the liver from the harmful effects of liver cancer and other conditions that are damaging to the liver. A recent study done in 2014 which was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology observed that the protection that coffee can provide may be due to how it can influence the enzymes of the liver. It appears that coffee can help in the prevention of liver inter in terms of the buildup of fat. It can also enhance the liver’s antioxidants. The Coffee compounds can aid in the enzymes of the liver in ridding the body of substances that can cause cancer.
To add to the fiber consumption, taking in oatmeal on a regular basis can be a workaround. Fiber is an important component of a healthy digestive system. Oatmeal contains specific fibers that can be beneficial for the liver. In addition, oatmeal contains compounds known as beta-glucans. This beta-glucans, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, can be a very potent compound within the body as it is highly biologically active. It can aid in the modulation of the immune system and help combat the negative effects of inflammation. Beta-glucans have also been observed to be effective against obesity and diabetes. The same study also noted that oats found in beta-glucans seem to reduce the levels of stored fat in the liver in animal test subjects (mice), which can also be beneficial for the liver. Further studies on human test subjects are needed to establish this benefit though. Those who wish to include oats into their eating plan should look for oats that are either steel-cut or whole instead of oatmeals that are prepackaged. This is because the latter may contain sugars, flours, and other fillers which may have some negative effects on the body.
3. Green Tea
A study conducted in 2015 published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology noted that green tea can help in the reduction of the overall content of fat, combat oxidative stress, and reduce the other symptoms associated with NAFLD or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It may be beneficial to remember that tea is more beneficial than extracts as there are some extracts that may lead to liver damage than provide healing. The same study, however, noted that are still no exact recommended doses for individuals with the said ailment to take in extracts or teas, but the associations between green tea and improved health of the liver seem to be positive.
Once the garlic is included in a balanced diet, the liver may be benefitted from improved stimulation. A study conducted in 2016 that appeared in Advanced Biomedical Resources noted that the consumption of garlic can help in the reduction of weight and help reduce the content of fat for those affected with non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease or NAFLD without affecting lean body mass. This is extremely helpful as one of the risk factors for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is indeed being obese or overweight.
Different berries, especially those that are dark such as cranberries, raspberries, and blueberries contain polyphenols, antioxidants that can help fight off damage to the liver. One study that was published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology observed that consuming blueberries regularly which can aid in the stimulation of the body’s immune system.
Another study that also appeared in the World Journal of Gastroenterology noted that grape seeds, grape juice, and grapes themselves have increased levels of antioxidants that can aid the liver in the reduction of inflammation and in the prevention of the damage to the liver. Consuming seeded grapes and whole grapes are one strategy to increase the intake of these antioxidants. The extract of the grapeseed can also provide increased levels of antioxidants to the body.
According to the same Journal mentioned above, grapefruit seems to be a beneficial food for liver health due to two antioxidants contained in the said fruit which are naringenin and naringin.