The holidays are a joyous time of year filled with family, friends, and of course, food. This combination typically involves large quantities of food and maybe an extra glass or two of eggnog. We get it – this is the season for overeating!
All that overeating might be fun, but its effects on your liver definitely aren’t. The liver is an essential organ (where is the liver located?), one that performs vital functions for your body, which is why it needs to be running at optimal speed. One of the liver’s most important functions is to remove toxins and other harmful substances from the body, allowing it to function properly so that you do not experience any illness or other harmful side effects as a result of a toxin. This is why taking care of our livers is so vital to our overall health.
Keep your liver clean and your body healthy with the following liver-cleansing superfoods. Say goodbye to bloating and sluggishness after that holiday feast and hello to a new year and a healthier you!
Beets are one of the most powerful cleansing and detoxifying foods. Packed with beta-carotene, vitamins B and C, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium, beets also contain pectin, a fiber that helps the body flush toxins from the liver instead of allowing them to be absorbed. Another substance, betaine, protects the liver ducts as well as encourages liver cells to shed toxins.
For optimal liver benefits, keep beets raw. Juice them into a delicious drink or grate them raw onto a salad.
You might think dandelions are only an annoying weed, but in fact they are considered to be a “liver tonic”. Dandelion tea is one of the best ways to get rid of the bloated feeling that overeating and excess salt can cause due to its diuretic nature. Folk medicine has also used dandelion root tea for years as a way to increase bile flow and detoxify the liver.
Dandelion root tea is widely available in stores and can be drunk daily for optimal liver benefits.
In terms of toxins, there really isn’t a better way to fight them off than wheatgrass. Wheatgrass’s powerful detoxifying abilities come from its large quantity of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, fiber and protein. It is made up of 70% chlorophyll, which makes it highly alkaline. Wheatgrass can balance the body’s pH levels, cleanse and purify blood, flush out toxins and also keep your liver running at its best.
Get a fresh shot of wheatgrass a few times a week to reap its energizing and cleansing benefits! Just remember – fresh is best!
Leafy Green Vegetables
It can be hard to think about eating a salad with all that delicious holiday leftover food still in your fridge, but a leafy green salad is one of the best ways to naturally detox your body. These greens are high in plant chlorophylls, which help to absorb the toxins in the blood. Leafy greens also have the ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, making them a powerful liver cleansing aid.
For the most powerful detoxifying leafy greens, look for spinach, mustard greens, dandelion greens, kale and arugula. Toss them together in a salad or even use them as a topping in a sandwich!
Lemon water may not seem very “super”, but the benefits this simple drink provides the body sure are! Lemon water balances pH levels in the body, boosts immune system, cleans and revitalizes the urinary tract, improves skin health as well as detoxifies the liver. Lemon water aids liver health by increasing the production of bile, the substance necessary for digestion. Lemon water also controls the flow of bile, making sure it does not damage the digestive tract.
Start your morning with a mug of warm water with a few fresh lemon slices. You can also add fresh lemon wedges to your water throughout the day for continues cleansing!
So if you had one too many helpings of mashed potatoes and pie over the holidays, get back on track with these liver detoxing foods. Not only will you be helping your liver out, but you’ll also shed that unwanted bloat and sluggishness!