Planning a healthy liver diet isn't too difficult to do. In fact, if your current diet is a reasonably healthy one, your liver is no doubt already benefiting from it. We know for example that some of the nutrients we eat are needed by every cell in the body, and those would of course benefit the liver as well as every other organ.
Foods which are low in cholesterol, or help to keep levels of bad cholesterol within check are obviously good for the heart. Other foods contain nutrients known to boost the immune system. So, what about the liver, and is a healthy liver diet any different?
Keeping A Vital Organ Healthy - The liver is something we can't do without. We can't live for an instant without our heart, and though we might last a little longer without a liver, it wouldn't be all that much longer. The liver cleans our blood, helps regulate our metabolism, and plays a vital role in the digestion process. Enzyme systems that control most of the activities in our body are created in the liver. There are thousands of such enzymes, and if we miss any of them we usually feel the effects quite rapidly. It's important therefore that we eat foods that will help to keep our liver in top condition. One could almost say, as goes the liver, so go we.
What's good for our liver? Any nutrients the liver needs to help it in detoxifying our blood is obviously a top priority. Foods rich in iron, magnesium, selenium, the B-vitamins, and flavonoids are all needed by the liver for it to effectively carry out the detoxification process. A healthy liver diet would therefore include fresh juices, beans, leafy greens in salads, nuts and seeds. Lean protein, such as found in chicken, eggs, fish, and lentils are also very good for this purpose.
Foods rich in antioxidants also promote liver health. Broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower top the list here. Potent antioxidants are not only good for our liver but for our immune system as well.
Foods rich in beta carotene also benefit the liver. These and include beets and carrots. In fact any foods containing vitamins B, C, and E help to keep the liver healthy and functioning as it should.
Fiber Is Key - While the above foods are very important elements of a healthy liver diet, eating foods rich in fiber is really essential to keep the liver in top form. This means the healthy lover diet should include cereals, rice, or whole grain breads. It's also advisable to eat foods rich in fiber to keep the digestive system in top shape. It's not always recognized how important fiber is to the good health and proper functioning of the liver.
It's quite obvious if one eats a well balanced and generally healthy diet, the liver is probably doing fine. Eating plenty of fiber is one of the key items, as is any food rich in antioxidants. Conversely, there are those foods which not only don't help the liver much, but could damage it, with excessive consumption of alcohol likely heading up the list. Foods high in saturated fats are bad for the liver as well, as is caffeine. If you are a coffee lover, you needn't give up the beverage for fear of destroying your liver, but it's probably best to cut back if you drink more than a cup or two a day. Decaf is of course one way to go.
By and large, if you're fairly certain your diet is already a healthy one, don't spend too much time worrying about your liver. If it's an unhealthy one, it might be a good time to clean up your act. Your liver will thank you for it.
Copyright © 2006 Liver Facts.