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Home/Blog/How to Love Your Liver: Best Foods, Drinks and Supplements

How to Love Your Liver: Best Foods, Drinks and Supplements

By Ethan Boldt

January 26, 2024

Liver health

There are many factors for staying healthy, including how well your body’s built-in detoxification system removes and purges toxins. Everyday toxins arrive from the environment, ultra-processed foods and even body care products. This is normal and part of living in our world. And when it comes to the body doing that important job, the liver is called upon again and again. 

One of the hardest working organs in the body, the liver works tirelessly to detoxify our blood, produce the bile needed to digest fat, break down hormones, and store essential vitamins, minerals and iron.

So how can we promote liver health? Is a liver cleanse necessary? Let’s learn about liver function and how to help make sure it remains as optimal as possible, through certain foods, drinks and supplements. 

Liver Function

What exactly does the liver do? Some of the essential functions include:

  • Removing toxins from the bloodstream

  • Processing nutrients absorbed by the intestines so they are more efficiently absorbed

  • Producing essential proteins and cholesterol

  • Regulating blood composition to balance protein, fat and sugar

  • Storing of minerals, iron and vitamin A

  • Getting rid of old red blood cells

  • Producing essential chemicals to help the blood clot properly

  • Breaking down and metabolizing alcohol and medications

You can see that the liver does a lot in and for the body and overall health, which is why it’s important to take care of it … so it can take care of you. 

Foods, Drinks & Supplements for Healthy Liver Support

Fortunately, you can promote your liver health through the intake of certain foods, drinks and supplements. First, however, you will want to remove certain foods from your diet.

As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning and new dietary or lifestyle regimen, including ones that can impact liver health. 

1. Remove Problematic Foods from Your Diet

If you are eating a diet high in processed foods, be aware that these foods can work against liver health. Hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, convenience foods and lunch meats are notoriously problematic to your system.

For example, hydrogenated oils, also known as "trans fats," feature a chemical structure that’s been altered to increase shelf life. Consumption of trans fats can cause issues throughout the body, including the liver and heart.

Added nitrates and nitrites — commonly found in convenience foods, fast foods and lunch meats — are used to preserve foods to make them last longer, inhibit “bad” bacteria growth and preserve color. They also are problematic for the liver. 

Make an effort to buy organic food as well. Your liver pays the price for a diet that’s high in chemicals, pesticides and other toxins.

Replace these foods immediately with liver friendly healthy choices. For example, roast your own organic chicken breast and turkey breast to replace deli meats for quick lunches and after school snacks. Replace chips and other processed snacks with fresh fruit, carrot sticks, nuts and homemade granola bars.

2. Avoid Excess Alcohol and Sugary Drinks

Drinking high amounts of alcohol is one of the fastest ways to damage the liver — and alcohol combined with prescription or over-the-counter medications, cigarettes, or a poor diet cause even more harm.

Similarly, certain sports drinks, soda, energy drinks and juice should be avoided because they’re full of sugar and artificial sweeteners that can wreak havoc on the liver. According to some studies, too much sugar (especially fructose) consumption can cause the buildup of fat in the liver. 

3. Drink Raw Vegetable Juice

When you seek to cleanse your liver, raw vegetables can be game-changers. However, it can be nearly impossible to eat all of the raw vegetables you need to make your liver cleanse effective. 

By juicing a variety of raw vegetables, you can easily get the 4–5 servings of fresh, organic vegetables you need. A juice cleanse makes the vegetables easier to digest and more readily available for absorption.

Vegetables ideal for liver cleanses include cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. While that combination may not sound very enjoyable, you can add other vegetables that you enjoy to the mix including carrots, cucumber, beets and greens. You can also add fresh herbs including parsley, mint and others to make the juices more enjoyable.

These vegetables can help promote acid-alkaline balance in the body and create a more friendly pH balance. 

For example, juicing carrots helps cleanse the liver. The beta carotene converts to vitamin A to help flush out the toxins in the body while reducing fat in the liver. The high-fiber content helps support a healthy digestive tract, speeding up elimination in your body. 

The ginger root — such as in ginger shots — helps to soothe the digestive tract, reduce intestinal gas and supports healthy inflammation levels. 

4. Consume Potassium-Rich Foods

Are you getting the recommended 4,700 milligrams per day of potassium? Potassium-rich foods can help cleanse the liver plus support a healthy cardiovascular system and healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range. 

Start eating more sweet potatoes — one medium-sized sweet potato contains around 700 milligrams of potassium, plus is high in fiber. Beet greens contain over 1,300 milligrams of potassium per cup. A cup of fresh organic spinach contains 840 milligrams per serving.

Bananas contain 470 milligrams of potassium and also assist in digestion, helping to promote healthy detoxification in the body. 

5. Eat Grass-Fed Beef Liver

The "like supports like" philosophy is a fundamental concept in Chinese herbalism. It suggests that certain aspects of nature, such as certain foods, have an affinity for specific organs or systems within the body, and by consuming or applying those that share similar qualities with those organs, a beneficial effect can be achieved.

For example, eating animal liver (like beef liver) — or taking a liver supplement — is thought to support your own liver.

Some experts, and many practitioners of traditional health systems, believe that organ meats — including beef liver — are among the most, if not the most, nutrient-filled superfoods on the planet. Animal livers typically contain the highest protein content and best amino acid profile of all organ meats. This is why liver is the most popular organ meat to eat.

Bovine liver, also called beef liver, is among the most widely used of glandulars. Beef liver is an essential cow organ that performs many important functions, including storing nutrients. This is exactly why you benefit from eating beef liver, since it’s basically a nutrient storage organ.

5. Take Healthy Liver-Supporting Supplements

Liver Cleanse Supplement

Ancient Nutrition’s Liver Cleanse Capsules feature a blend of potent botanicals, including milk thistle seed, dandelion root, beet root and bupleurum root, along with reishi and lipase, to provide support for healthy detoxification, healthy liver function and a healthy response to inflammation.

Not only are these herbal liver cleanse capsules a simple way to obtain liver-supporting herbs, but they also provide adaptogens and enzymes to help with a generally healthy digestive system and response to stress. Adding these Liver Cleanse capsules to your daily routine can also help your body’s natural ability to break down and absorb nutrients.

Grass-Fed Liver Supplement

Ancient Glandulars Grass-Fed Liver capsules are made from grass-fed bovine liver, which, in its food form, supplies iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12 and other compounds. Among its many benefits, it supports liver health and healthy blood, supports healthy detoxification, and supports healthy energy metabolism, endurance and performance. Now there's also once daily grass-fed liver tablets

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle is considered the “king” of detoxifying herbs, making it ideal for a liver cleanse. Milk thistle helps to support the body’s built-in detoxification system to promote overall bodily health. 

Milk thistle can be taken as a supplement or as a liver cleansing detox tea. It also is a prominent ingredient in the Liver Cleanse supplement mentioned above. 

Dandelion Root

Dandelion root has a healthy detoxification-supporting benefit, which promotes liver health so that it can continue to function properly for overall bodily health. 

Like milk thistle dandelion root can be taken in both supplement form or as a detox tea. It also is a prominent ingredient in the Liver Cleanse supplement mentioned above. 

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