Liver Detoxification

A diet filled with fresh foods can help in liver detoxification

The liver works in two detoxification phases

For liver detoxification, the liver has two detoxification pathways called Phase One and Phase Two. The work of each of  these phases requires specific vitamins and minerals. These vitamins and minerals, in turn, need other nutrients called phytochemicals and amino acids to help them. The liver has a big job to do and as you can see, it requires a team effort.


Phase one liver detoxification

Phase two liver detoxification

Foods that assist in liver detoxification


Phase One liver detoxification

During Phase One liver detoxification, a toxic chemical such as alcohol, is processed into a less harmful one. As a result, free radicals are formed. Free radicals are unstable particles that react with the body and damage the body’s cells. Free radicals can damage the liver cells if there are too many of them. The body needs foods rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Antioxidants and phytochemicals are often found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. One of the most important antioxidants is an amino acid called glutathione. Glutathione is made by the body and is also found in some foods.

Very important vitamins in the process of Phase One liver detoxification are the B vitamins, including B 12 and folic acid.


1.You can either eat foods that are rich in glutathione or help the body to produce glutathione. Good sources of glutathione include :
• Watermelon
• Broccoli
• Asparagus
• Boldo
• Avocado helps the body to produce glutathione
• Papaya helps the body to produce glutathione


2.You can use herbs, spices, or other flavorful ingredients in cooking that can help protect the liver:
• Caraway seeds
• Garlic
• Onions
• Dill
• Boldo


3. A very important point is that you have to drink a lot of water.
• Drink 6-12 glasses or 2.5 to 3 liters per day
• Water helps the liver to get rid of the toxins the liver has broken down
• Drinking water will keep the body hydrated which contributes to healthy cell regeneration


4.Polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat are sometimes referred to as "good fats" and are an important part of good nutrition. Conversely, excess saturated fats are harmful for the liver. Some good sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats include:
• Nuts- walnuts, almonds
• Seeds- Flax seed, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
• Avocados
• Leafy greens- arugula, spinach, kale, romaine
• Algae
• Olives
• Salmon


5. Omega-3 fats are also very important. Omega-3’s are found in:
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Mackerel
• Sardines
• Halibut
• Ground flaxseeds
• Flaxseed oil
• Walnuts


Phase Two liver detoxification

Once  the toxic chemical has been changed into one that is less harmful, the liver adds a substance to make it water-soluble. After this process the toxin can be moved out of the body. Foods rich in sulfur compounds are needed during this process. Sulfur containing foods include:
• Asparagus
• Avocado
• Banana
• Brussel sprouts
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Chive
• Egg yolk (in moderation)
• Garlic
• Kale
• Kiwi
• Lentils
• Nuts
• Onions
• Pineapple
• Shallots
• Soy beans
• Strawberry
• Wheat germ


Foods that Assist in Liver Detoxification

Foods rich in B vitamins and folic acid:
• Broccoli
• Brown rice
• Eggs
• Spinach
• Beets
• Almonds
• Cabbage
• Bananas


Antioxidant containing foods:
• Garlic
• Tomatoes
• Beets
• Kidney beans
• Pinto beans
• Blueberries
• Cranberries
• Blackberries
• Artichokes
• Russet potatoes


Carotenoid-rich foods:
• Carrots
• Sweet potatoes
• Pumpkin
• Cantaloupe


Foods containing phytochemicals:
• Cilantro
• Turmeric
• Avocados
• Watercress
• Kale
• Onions
• Bok choy
• Cabbage
• Apples


• Vitamin C- bearing foods
• Chili peppers
• Bell peppers
• Guava
• Thyme
• Parsley
• Kiwi
• Strawberries
• Oranges


Food containing a combination of antioxidants, beta-carotene, and vitamin C:
• Tomatillos
• Papaya
• Plantains
• Carambola
• Guava


Additional Foods that help in Phase Two Detoxification:
• Sulfur-containing foods like Brazil nuts, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions, and garlic
• High fiber foods such as whole grains and psyllium

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