Your liver is a vital organ to your body. In fact, it’s in charge or producing proteins, storing vitamin, among other essential tasks, such as breaking down toxins in your body.
However, it’s imperative that we keep this organ sound and healthy.
To do this, here are a few of the best and worst foods you can consume for your liver.
Best Foods for Your Liver
1. Blueberries and Cranberries
Blueberries and cranberries contain anthocyanin, which are antioxidants which give berries their color. Besides that, they also offer many health benefits.
In fact, a large number of animal studies has shown the blueberries and cranberries can help keep livers healthy.
Additionally, consuming blueberries and cranberries for three to four weeks, they can protect your liver from irreversible damage.
Blueberries can also help increase your immune cell response and holds antioxidant enzymes.
Other research studies have found that antioxidants found in these berries can reduce the progress of lesions and fibrosis.
Coffee is a great beverage to promote a healthy liver. In fact, research studies have shown that drinking coffee can protect it from certain diseases.
Regularly drinking coffee can also reduce the risk of liver cancers, as well as helping reduce your likelihood of liver inflammation.
If you’ve had trouble with chronic liver disease in the past, you can drink at least three cups of coffee a day to lessen your symptoms.
This is because coffee can prevent the buildup of both collagen and fat, which are the leading causes of liver disease.
Coffee is also able to increase levels of the antioxidant glutathione and decrease inflammation in your body.
These antioxidants can help get rid of harmful free radicals in your body, which can damage your cells.
3. Olive Oil
Although olive oil is fat, it’s considered a healthy fat due to it’s varying health benefits on your body, mainly your liver.
In fact, one research study focusing on people with NAFLD found that consuming a teaspoon of olive oil each day boosted both fat and liver enzyme levels.
Also, it increased protein levels that deal promote healthy metabolic effects.
People in the research study also had better blood flow and less fat buildup in their livers.
4. Cruciferous Vegetables
Brussel sprouts, mustard greens, and broccoli are all cruciferous vegetables and are well known for their high fiber content. Plus, they also have a high content of beneficial plant compounds.
Research studies on animals have shown that cruciferous vegetables can increase detoxification enzymes and protect your liver from further damage.
Research studies involving men with fatty liver discovered that broccoli sprout extract helped improve liver enzyme levels and decreased oxidative stress.
Tea is considered beneficial to many aspects of health, but recent evidence has shown that it can benefit your liver.
A Japanese study found that drinking around five to 10 cups of green tea a day overall helped improve liver health. Further research studies have proved that regularly drinking green tea lessened your risk to develop liver cancer.
However, most people who saw the least risk were drinking at least four cups of green tea a day.
Nuts contain a large amount of fat, nutrients, and beneficial plant compounds. However, this mixture of elements promoted good liver health and reduces your risk of heart disease.
In fact, one six-month research study found that people who regularly consumed nuts had improved liver enzyme levels.
Grapefruit contains strong antioxidants that work to protect your liver. The two primary antioxidants in grapefruit are called naringin and naringenin.
Thanks to recent animal research studies, scientists have been able to determine that both work hard to protect your liver under any circumstance. They do this in two ways, protecting cells and reducing inflammation.
Additionally, studies showed that the antioxidants in grapefruit could also reduce your development of hepatic fibrosis, which is a condition that causes connective tissue to build up in your liver. However, this is usually the result of chronic inflammation.
Worst Foods for Your Liver
Although this depends entirely on how damaged your liver is, if you give up alcoholic beverages, you can save your liver health from complete degeneration.
Since alcoholism forces your liver to become toxic, continuing to drink alcohol can kill what chances you have to maintain your liver health. This means avoiding wine, beer, champagne, and any other type of alcohol.
Also, keep in mind that few over-the-counter medications contain some form of alcohol, like cough syrup.
You shouldn’t consume foods that are high in sodium, such as canned soup because it takes a toll on your liver.
Generally speaking, a normal amount of sodium won’t kill you and is actually helpful to your body because it helps regulate your fluids.
However, if you consume too much food that has a high sodium content, it can cause your liver to overproduce fluids. These foods include soy sauce, deli meat, pizza, cheese, etc.
3. Fried Foods
To put into simpler terms, avoid fried foods at all cost, they’re just bad for you. As much as we all love fried foods, such as french fries or crispy chicken, this kind of food has a negative effect on our liver.
Additionally, fried foods have shown to lower good cholesterol and raise the bad cholesterol, putting your body in danger.
Some fried foods that you should stay away from including fried sandwiches, doughnuts, mozzarella sticks, and french fries.
4. Animal-Based Foods
If you have a damaged liver, you’re going to be unable to break down amino acids and metabolize proteins that you consume from animal-based food.
Animal-based foods include red meat, such as beef. Consuming this type of protein can be damaging to your liver and your health on the whole.
However, you should also avoid eating eggs and dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, and milk.
Protein is still important to consume, so make sure you get it into your daily diet from beans, nuts, and other non-meat sources.
To substitute milk, you should also try drinking soy milk instead.
5. High Fructose Corn Syrup
High fructose corn syrup is bad for your health in numerous ways. Foods and drinks that contain some percentage of high fructose corn syrup can seriously damage your liver.
Unfortunately, most Americans get 12 percent of their daily calories from high fructose corn syrup, and soft drinks are made up of 55 percent of the stuff.
In fact, a research study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that although it may not have a direct impact on weight, fructose can seriously damage your liver.
Foods that tend to contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup are soda, bread, crackers, yogurt, and single-serving lunch snacks, such as pudding and cereal bars.
6. Excess Fruit
Though fruit is generally good for you, eating too much of it can be harmful to your liver.
Foods that are composed of fruit sugar, otherwise known as fructose, such as juices may be natural, but they’re not beneficial to your liver.
However, keep in mind that fruit sugar doesn’t affect your body in the same way other sugars do. For example, too much fruit sugar in your body can lead to dyslipidemia, which is an abnormal amount of fat in your blood.
Also, a 2013 research study found that fruit sugar is connected to liver inflammation.
Although small doses of fruit sugar are okay to consume, overeating can cause a liver problem. This means working on your consumption of trail mix, juices, raisins, etc.
7. Trans Fats
Foods that are full of trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils are particularly bad for your liver. Though you may think trans fats are all but gone, you would be incorrect. Many processed foods still contain these fats and hydrogenated oils.
Some products that contain trans fats include microwave popcorn, cookies, store-bought frosting, crackers, salad dressing, and more.
Even little amounts of trans fats can boost your bad cholesterol quickly. Every extra LDL your body receives from the trans fats ends up directly in your liver.
This considerably increases your risk of disease. For this reason, you should always read the nutrition facts on your food packaging and stay away from products that are high in trans fats.
There’s so much food available in the world, making it challenging to figure out which is good for your body and what isn’t.
Your liver is an essential organ of your body, so it’s always important to see what kind of impact food has on it before consuming it.
Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you could get a better understanding of what is and isn’t safe for you to consume for your liver health.
Although it may seem unimportant now, over time, you’ll wish you took better care of it.