The liver is a powerhouse of an organ. It performs a variety of essential tasks, ranging from producing proteins, cholesterol and bile to storing vitamins, minerals and even carbohydrates. It also breaks down toxins like alcohol, medications and natural byproducts of metabolism.
Keeping your liver in good shape is important for maintaining health.
This article lists the 11 best foods to eat to keep your liver healthy.
Coffee is one of the best beverages you can drink to promote liver health.
Studies have shown that drinking coffee protects the liver from disease, even in those who already have problems with this organ.
For example, studies have repeatedly shown that drinking coffee lowers the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in people with chronic liver disease.
Drinking coffee may also reduce the risk of developing a common type of liver cancer, and it has positive effects on liver disease and inflammation.
It’s even associated with a lower risk of death in people with chronic liver disease, with the greatest benefits seen in those who drink at least three cups per day.
These benefits seem to stem from its ability to prevent the buildup of fat and collagen, two of the main markers of liver disease.
Coffee also decreases inflammation and increases levels of the antioxidant glutathione. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, which are produced naturally in the body and can cause damage to cells.
Summary: Coffee increases antioxidant levels in the liver, all while decreasing inflammation. It also lowers the risk of developing liver disease, cancer and fatty liver.
Tea is widely considered to be beneficial for health, but evidence has shown that it may have particular benefits for the liver.
Furthermore, another review found that people who drank green tea were less likely to develop liver cancer. The lowest risk was seen in people who drank four or more cups per day.
Nevertheless, some people, especially those who have liver problems, should exercise caution before consuming green tea as a supplement.
That’s because there have been several reports of liver damage resulting from the use of supplements containing green tea extract.
Summary: Black and green tea may improve enzyme and fat levels in the liver. However, exercise caution if you’re taking a green tea extract, as it may cause damage.
Grapefruit contains antioxidants that naturally protect the liver. The two main antioxidants found in grapefruit are naringenin and naringin.
Several animal studies have found that both help protect the liver from injury
The protective effects of grapefruit are known to occur in two ways — by reducing inflammation and protecting cells.
Studies have also shown that these antioxidants can reduce the development of hepatic fibrosis, a harmful condition in which excessive connective tissue builds up in the liver. This typically results from chronic inflammation.
Moreover, in mice that were fed a high-fat diet, naringenin decreased the amount of fat in the liver and increased the number of enzymes necessary for burning fat, which can help prevent excess fat from accumulating.
Lastly, in rats, naringin has been shown to improve the ability to metabolize alcohol and counteract some of alcohol’s negative effects.
Thus far, the effects of grapefruit or grapefruit juice itself, rather than its components, have not been studied. Additionally, almost all studies looking at the antioxidants in grapefruit have been conducted in animals.
Nevertheless, the current evidence points to grapefruit being a good way to keep your liver healthy by fighting damage and inflammation.