Written by Vera Coetsee, Health and Nutrition Coach
8 June 2023
Weakening of our liver can happen unnoticed, and in many cases the only sign of liver weakness is poor digestion and low energy levels. Most people pass this off as something that happens with age, and as a result, they do little or nothing about it until too late. Luckily, we can support our liver health by eating clean and healthy foods.
Modern prescription drugs and liver:
Over the counter drugs, such as painkillers, can cause liver toxicity. Therefore, it is not surprising that many people develop liver weakness or toxicity. The end result is often a feeling of sluggishness and heaviness due to poor circulation.
Heart health and liver:
The structural position of the liver as a bridge between the returning blood from the digestive system, and the lower part of the body to the heart makes the liver an important organ for the health of the heart.
The liver is one of our most important organs and performs more than 100 different functions including:
- Circulation – the liver stores and regulates the blood and is responsible for nourishing every cell in our body.
- Excretion – the liver help with secreting bile that is needed for fat digestion
- Metabolism – the liver helps with carbohydrate, protein, fat, mineral and vitamin metabolism
- Detoxification – the liver is responsible for the detoxification of toxins from the body
- Regulations of hormones – the liver helps with the inactivation and elimination of hormones to avoid excess hormones
Foods that support liver function:
- Cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, mustard greens) – these vegetables support both phase I and II of detoxification. They contain phytonutrients, carotenoids, and flavonoids that can help neutralise toxins, and sulphur-containing compounds that help detoxify carcinogens and heavy metals from the blood.
- Beets – these root vegetables are high in antioxidants and support liver function by helping it detox foreign toxins and chemicals in the digestive tract more efficiently.
- Eggs – contain a full array of amino acids which makes them a perfect protein, which may help the liver in the detoxification process and improve metabolism rate. They are rich in choline which is important for transporting cholesterol away from the liver, which prevents fatty liver.
- Grapefruit – is a powerful antioxidant, and the flavonoid most concentrated in grapefruits, naringin, may help protect the liver from injury.
- Berries – contain many antioxidant phytonutrients which can lower inflammation in the body and support detoxification.
- Oily fish – they contain protein and are high in omega-3 fatty acids which may help prevent fat build up, fight inflammation, improve insulin resistance and keep enzyme levels healthy.
- Lemons – they contain vit C, potassium and bioflavonoids, which can help improve energy levels, enhance liver detoxification, and reduce inflammation.
If you would like support with your liver, make an appointment at our clinic.
Trefts E, Gannon M, Wasserman DH. The liver. Curr Biol. 2017 Nov 6;27(21):R1147-R1151. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.09.019. PMID: 29112863; PMCID: PMC5897118.
Nutrition in Liver Disease, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 9, Issue 3, March 1951, Pages 91–92, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.1951.tb02569.x