Best Detoxing Foods For The Liver : Evidence Based Cleansing

The liver cleanse diet plays a key role in the liver detox plan; you want to choose the best detoxing foods for the liver, and also avoid foods that are bad for liver.

In this post, we focused on the most common detoxing foods for the liver you can easily get in your local store. You don’t have to eat all of them of course. It is best to choose the ones you enjoy the most that agree with your body and taste buds.

Detoxing Foods For The Liver


apples detoxing foods for the liver

First on the list of the detoxing foods for the liver are apples. Well known for their many health benefits, and more specifically, liver and gallbladder health, apples play a key role in almost any natural liver detox and gallbladder cleanse plan.

The research data suggests that cloudy apple juice (juice with the pulp) can regulate various liver enzymes, and therefore may protect the liver from damage [1].

If you consider making apple juice as a part of your liver cleanse and wonder if cloudy apple juice is better than clear or pure juice, A pulish study may found the answer. According to research, it is four times better. According to the study, cloudy apple juice contains four times more the concentration of polyphenols than the clear juice [2].

For this reason, you may want to keep the pulp when you make the apple juice.

More on apple juice and liver cleansing. In his best-selling book, The Amazing
Liver Cleanse, Andreas Moritz recommended to drink apple juice daily during the liver cleanse. According to Andreas:

Malic acid in apple juice does exceptionally well in dissolving
some of the stagnant bile and making the stones softer…The malic acid in the apple juice softens the gallstones and makes their passage through the bile ducts easy.

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar detoxing foods for the liver

Another great way to enjoy the liver health benefits of apples is to drink raw apple cider vinegar. Raw apple cider vinegar (ACV) is well known for its natural ability to cleanse, detox and flush out toxins. For this reason, you can find ACV in most liver detox drink.

The research data also supports the liver cleansing benefits of apple cider vinegar. One study evaluated the effect of apple cider vinegar on mice that were fed with a high cholesterol diet. The results suggest that apple cider vinegar was able to protect the kidneys and liver from an oxidative injury [3].

Another study also supported these findings, and suggested that apple cider vinegar was able to regulate lipid metabolism and decrease liver damage in rats that were fed with a high fat diet [4].

Does apple cider vinegar work better than apple juice to cleanse and detox the liver? Both have their own benefits, one doesn’t come instead of the other.

Olive Oil

olive oil detoxing foods for the liver

Extra virgin olive oil has a very long history of traditional use as both food and medicine. According to the medical literature, olive oil presents several protective effects on the liver. The data suggest that olive oil can reduce fatty liver disease,  prevent liver cells injury, and reduce lipid peroxidation [5].

To get the most health benefits of olive oil, it is best to consume extra virgin olive oil, on its raw state. Olive oil has a relatively low burning point and is not a good option for cooking or frying.


lemon detoxing foods for the liver

There are many reasons to include lemon or lime juice in your liver cleansing juice. The first reason, is that lemon juice can enhance the body’s overall ability to detox and cleanse. Naturally, safely and effectively.

As for the liver cleansing benefits of lemon juice, the research suggests that lemon juice can regulate elevated levels of serum ALT and AST liver enzymes as well as triacylglycerol and lipid peroxidation in the liver [6].


Turmeric detoxing foods for the liver

Turmeric is one of the most known detoxing foods for the liver, that comes with a very long history of traditional use and published studies.

Since 1900 bc, turmeric was known to benefit a variety of diseases, including liver disorders. Curcumin, the main active compound of turmeric, has shown anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer activities. [7].

A study that compared curcumin to placebo, found that curcumin reduced liver fat content by 78.9% (vs 27.5% improvement in the placebo group).  Curcumin was also able to regulate elevated liver enzymes, improve cholesterol profile and triglycerides, along with additional benefits the researchers were able to capture. [8].

A common issue with turmeric is its poor bioavailability in the body. A known traditional remedy to address this, is to consume turmeric with black pepper. According to research, piperine, the major active component of black pepper can increase the bioavailability of curcumin by 2000% [9].


beet detoxing foods for the liver

Beetroot is a rich source of a class of antioxidants known as betalains. According to research, beetroot may have a protective effect against oxidative damage to the liver [10].

The health benefits of beetroot don’t stop here. Other studies suggest that beetroot can help to reduce blood pressure, inflammation, and promote healthy circulation and blood flow [11].

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables detoxing foods for the liver

The health benefits of cruciferous vegetables are well known and supported by many studies. Cruciferous vegetables contain unique nutrients and  phytochemicals that are suggested by the medical community to induce detoxification, stimulate the immune system and prevent oxidative stress. [12].

Common cruciferous vegetables include: cauliflower, cabbage, kale, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts.

What Are The Best Cruciferous Vegetables To Cleanse The Liver?

The evidence we are aware of doesn’t highlight a specific cruciferous vegetable that is superior to others. For this, we recommended to rotate your vegetables according to their availability (local, in season), and always eat the ones you enjoy the most.

If you like broccoli…one study suggested that eating whole broccoli can help to lessen the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver and liver cancer. [13].


spinach detoxing foods for the liver

Not surprisingly, the research data also supports the liver health promoting benefits of leafy greens. Most findings show that leafy greens can benefit liver health and modulate fatty acid composition in the liver [14].

Spinach, which is a known detoxing food for the liver, showed in research potent antioxidant that was able to improve liver function, and even decrease liver damage done by oxidative stress [15].


Asparagus detoxing foods for the liver

Another superstar on the list of the detoxing foods for the liver is Asparagus. According to the evidence, Asparagus may help to protect the liver cells against toxic insults, liver injury, and alleviate alcohol hangovers [16, 17].

Nuts & Walnuts

Walnut detoxing foods for the liver

The health benefits of nuts go above and beyond liver health. A very large number of studies suggest that human populations who consume nuts as a part of their diet were more healthy. Specifically to liver health, nuts were able to improve lipid profile, inflammation and the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. [18].

Which Nuts Are The Best detoxing foods for the liver?

Compared with other nuts, walnuts have higher omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids content (47%) and the highest level of antioxidant polyphenols. Some evidence suggests that walnut consumption may help to protect from the development of Type 2 diabetes better than other nuts. [19].

From the perspective of detoxing foods for the liver, however, we strongly recommended not to limit your nut consumption to just walnuts. Different nuts contain different nutrients and as such may offer different health benefits.

Some nuts are exceptionally good sources of unique nutrients that may not be as easy to get from other food sources. A good example is Brazil nuts and selenium.

Brazil nuts

Brazil Nuts detoxing foods for the liver

just one brazil nut (5 gram) provides 165% of the daily values of selenium. Many people who keep buying selenium supplements may want to consider Brazil nuts as another option.

Selenium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in many critical functions in the body. The research suggests that selenium is needed for reproduction and DNA production, supports healthy thyroid function, and may also protect the body from damage caused by free radicals or from infection [20].

Some evidence suggests that selenium can help to protect against dietary liver necrosis [21].


Avocado detoxing foods for the liver

The research data on the health benefits of avocado seems endless at times. The evidence suggests that avocados benefit the heart, protect against UV damage in skin and eyes, and show anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-microbial, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Not surprisingly, the addition of avocado and olive oil to the diet is often linked to weight loss and improved liver tests [22]. Animal studies further supported the liver benefits of avocado. Avocado showed “extraordinarily potent liver injury suppressing activity” when the researchers compared it to 22 different fruits. [23].


Blueberries detoxing foods for the liver

Healthy fruits wise, no list will ever be completed without the berries.

Specially to blueberries and liver, one study found that blueberry juice can augment antioxidative capability of the liver and alleviated liver fibrosis. [24].

These findings were also supported by other studies. The data suggests that blueberries antioxidant properties were able to decrease the development of hepatic cirrhosis. (Chronic liver damage that include scarring and liver failure) [25].

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil detoxing foods for the liver

Most people are surprised to see coconut oil in the list of detoxing foods for the liver. While other foods definitely have more evidence on their liver health benefits, the research data also support coconut oil. Something to consider if you enjoy consuming coconut oil as a part of your diet.

Animal studies showed that virgin coconut oil was able to reverse  nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, restore redox homeostasis and lipid metabolism in male Wistar rats. [26].

Another study found that virgin coconut oil significantly modulated elevated liver enzymes and regulated other biomarkers related to kidney function. [27].

Tip: coconut oil is very a very stable oil even in high heat. For this reason, it is one of the best oils to use for cooking. Much better than olive oil.

Is Garlic Good For The Liver

Garlic detoxing foods for the liver

In the natural cleansing world, garlic seems sometimes like a cure all remedy. For this reason, we always pay extra attention to new claims, and look in the medical literature for some evidence.

So if garlic a good liver cleansing food?

The research data suggests that garlic can protect the liver from damage and scarring in alcoholic liver fibrosis. Garlic was able to modulate lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress [28].

On the other hand, other evidence suggests that high dosage of garlic has the potential ability to cause liver damage. The safe dose the researchers suggested is (0.1 or 0.25 g / kg body weight/day) are safe doses of garlic [29].

Let’s take the 0.1 to be on the safe side. For a 200 pounds male or female, the safe daily dosage of garlic is 9 grams, 3 cloves of garlic.

Our recommendation: if you like garlic, keep enjoying it. Just watch the serving size and take breaks. If however, you are not a big fan of garlic, we do not see a compelling reason to start eating it just for the purpose of liver cleansing.

Is Ginger Good For Detoxing The Liver?

ginger detoxing foods for the liver

There are many reasons you may want to include ginger in your list of detoxing foods for the liver. The research data suggests that ginger can improve liver enzymes profile and other nonalcoholic fatty liver disease characteristics [30].

Another study further supported these findings. 44 nonalcoholic fatty liver patients that took 2 grams of ginger for 12 weeks, showed improvements in certain liver enzymes, inflammation, insulin resistance and other nonalcoholic fatty liver disease characteristics [31].

Another reason you may want to include ginger as a part of your liver cleanse, is due to its natural ability to promote healthy digestion.

Ginger has a long history of use as a natural remedy for digestive issues such as constipation, bloating, indigestion, nausea and vomiting. When you cleanse your liver, you want to make sure your digestion system works well so it can effectively eliminate any toxins released from the liver during the cleanse.


carrots Best Detoxing Foods For The Liver

The first reason you may want to eat carrots on a daily basis, has to do with its high vitamin A content. Just one medium carrot provides your body with 340% daily values of this important vitamin.

Unlike many supplements and multivitamins that often contain synthetic version of vitamin A, that can be toxic, when you eat carrots, you get the natural form of the vitamin, beta-Carotene.

According to research, carrots are are rich in Retinoic acid that may have a  protective effect on the liver [32]. The data suggests that carrot juice can improve liver functions that may be benefit in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [33].

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