Nutritional Love for Liver Detox Support
By Wendy Wells, NMD.
Goals: 1. To improve the liver's ability to detoxify toxins and waste, by supporting healthy regeneration of the liver cells, by means of dietary choices. 2. To allow the enjoyment of good health.
Method: Learn why certain foods are suggested in the effort to help the liver regain its normal functions of digestion, and elimination.
Carbohydrates supply the body with easily available energy. The liver and thus the body can extract their energy easily and then concentrate on using dietary protein to build organs and muscles.
Fiber is the indigestible part of foods; especially found in plants. It aids in the elimination of bile which is made by the liver when you eat fatty foods/oils. The gall bladder stores and concentrates bile.
Essential fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids derived from seeds and nuts. They increase the ability of bile to breakdown cholesterol. Therefore, they help to maintain normal growth, the blood's health, as well as that of the arteries, nerves, skin, and liver.
Fats are the most concentrated source of energy in the diet. They are sources of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are found in oils (the vegetable type that is cold pressed), nuts and seeds. Avocado is one of the few vegetables/fruits that is high in fats. While fats are abundant in dairy products and meats, these sources are not as desirable because of their polyunsaturated nature. Therefore, it is recommended to minimize their use to only three times per week.
Items to avoid put unwanted stress on the liver and slow the recovery process. They include:
- Cigarettes, cigars, and drugs.
Protein is one of the most important foods for maintaining growth and development of all body tissues. It is the major source of building materials for muscles, blood, skin, hair and internal organs. Your liver will need to use extra protein whenever there is an increased metabolites, i.e., after surgery, hemorrhage, for wound recovery, prolonged illness or fevers, liver disease or dysfunction.
How to select foods to help the liver regain its natural healthy functioning state:
Snacks and meals are very important in order to ingest enough calories to attain this goal. The following selections are to be made from the attached food list.
1. Select three to five fruits per day --good for snacks.
2. Select a protein for each of the three meals per day. Grains should be mixed with another protein, such as tofu, to improve their protein availability to the body. Limit meats to three per week, and use vegetable proteins, such as grains and beans (in combination).
3. Select at least two different vegetables for each meal. Concentrate on the orange/yellow vegetables which are rich in beta-carotene, which will be very liver-friendly. Consider eating beets daily.
4. Select a fat or oil or seed or nut with at least two meals. One teaspoon of oil or more. Nuts and seeds make excellent snacks and are easy to package and carry in plastic bags.
5. To prime the digestive organs every morning, take one tablespoonful of lemon juice, a pinch of ginger powder and put it in one cup of hot water. Drink this one hour before breakfast. You may add honey, molasses or maple syrup to taste.
The foods that support the liver especially well are starred (*). (Your physician will guide selection if you have sensitivities to specific foods.)
Tofu*, beans*, lentils, kidney beans, soy beans, barley, brown rice*, buckwheat, corn, flax seeds, oats, quinoa*, rye, millet*, sesame
Beef, chicken, eggs, pork, seafood, fish, turkey
Acidophilus milk, buttermilk, raw milk cheese, yogurt
Artichoke leaves, beans (dried), corn, lentils*, peas*, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin*, sweet potato, squash*, yams*
Avocado, beans (green/yellow), beets*, broccoli*, brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots*, cauliflower*, celery, chives, cucumber, eggplant, garlic*, kale*, kohlrabi, mustard greens*, okra, onion*, parsley*
Food to Include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables, beets, endive, cucumbers, garlic, onions, artichoke, sprouted seeds, grains, tahini, vegetable products (raw or juiced only).
- Liquid (at least 40 ounces a day), green juice (can be mixed with some carrot juice).
- Liquid chlorophyll.
Foods to Exclude:
- All processed and refined foods, salt, strong spices, sugar, alcohol, drugs, synthetic vitamins, fats/oils, non-organic meats and dairy (due to hormones), coffee, heavy starches (potatoes, rice, bread, cereal), heavy proteins, chicken, eggs, milk or milk products, and vitamins and herbal supplements (except as directed by your physician).
- Condiments except lemon juice and a little salt.
Juice and Tea?
- Red beet mixed with carrot (1/2 cup) once a day.
- Dandelion root tea: steep 1 teaspoon in 1 pint boiling water for 20 minutes. Take once a day.
Apples, apricots, bananas, berries, cherries, dates, cantaloupe, figs*, grapes (organic), raisins (organic), kiwi, lemons, mangos*, peaches*, pears, plums, papaya*, rhubarb, watermelon
- Lipotrpic factors, such as choline, inositol, lecithin, methionine, niacin, magnesium, Vitamin B6.
- Liver specific herbs, such as Silybum marianum (milk thistle), Curcuma longa (turmeric).
Other Detox Considerations
- Deep breathing, 30 seconds each time, 10 times a day.
- Brisk walk or other exercise 20-30 minutes a day.
- Drink clean filtered water (at least 2 quarts a day).
- Do not use aluminum cookware.
Herbal Love for Liver Support
Stimulates Liver Function: Cholegogue, yellow dock, burdock root, licorice root, fennel seed, milk thistle seed, poke root cleavers, red clover
Stimulates Liver Enzymes: Betaine, choline, lecithin
Protect Liver Cells: Milk thistle
Detox Dieting articles to help understand how to safely detox the body.