Have you ever felt fatigued and exhausted, but you didn’t know why? Now, I’m not going to suggest that liver damage is always the cause of fatigue. However, what I know for sure is that sometimes, too many toxins in your body cause your liver to go into overdrive. And your liver is not a robot.
Think about this for a second. When you work for more than 12 hours, do you feel fatigued? Do you need a rest? Well, your liver needs a rest as well. Especially if you are feeding it toxins. We live in a fast food era; we consume processed foods rich with toxins. And the liver is the organ that has to process all those toxins and flush them out of your system. They take their toll. So, from time to time, you need a liver cleanse.
How do you do a liver cleanse? And what are the signs telling you that you need a liver cleanse? Let’s break it down.
Signs of liver damage
Before we go to the liver cleanse section, let’s discuss some signs of liver damage. These are the first signs that will indicate that you need to provide some relief for your liver.
Abdominal swelling is one of the first symptoms that your liver is working overtime. Shortly after, you’ll also notice abdominal pain, especially in the upper abdominal area, under the lower ribs. The pain comes and goes.
- Fatigue is another frequent, common symptom of liver damage. I mentioned at the beginning that if you feel fatigued and exhausted, it might be a sign that your liver cannot process toxins quickly enough.
- Unusual bruising occurs because your body produces fewer proteins. You need proteins for blood clotting, and if you don’t get them, you bruise easily.
- Digestive problems can happen when your liver is working overtime. Vomiting and nausea are among the first symptoms.
Foods that cleanse the liver
The symptoms mentioned above are among the first signs you need a liver cleanse. Things can get nasty later on, but hopefully you’ll react in time and prevent further damage. Consuming the following foods on a daily basis is a great way to cleanse your liver. They help flush toxins out of your body and improve the health of your liver.
And I’ll give you some juices that are great for a liver cleanse.
A superfood in so many ways, garlic is loaded with vitamins and minerals. I know most people are reluctant to eat garlic; they can’t stand the odor, or their stomach simply can’t process it. But I recommend you try to eat at least one clove per week.
Garlic helps mainly by activating enzymes that flush out toxins. The white bulb also contains selenium and allicin, two compounds that improve liver health.
Any fruit that is high in vitamin C is great for a liver cleanse. But grapefruit is on the list because it contains lots of antioxidants in addition to vitamin C. Those two combined increase the cleansing process of your liver. One glass of grapefruit juice per day is more than enough to detox your liver. But remember, only natural grapefruit juice works.
Lemons and limes
Speaking of high vitamin C fruits, you can’t ignore lemons and limes, the gold standard for vitamin C. The best way to stimulate your liver is by drinking a glass of water with a squeezed lemon in it (I’ve talked about the benefits of lemon water previously).
Cleansing your liver is just one of the numerous health benefits of lemon water. Lemon helps by synthesizing toxins into compounds that water absorbs, after which they are flushed out of your system via urine.
Consuming beets on a daily basis stimulates the function of the liver. And the more efficiently your liver works, the more toxins it flushes out of your system. And you know what that means: fewer toxins in your body.
Beets are rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene, two compounds that improve the health of your liver.
We are into the vegetable section of foods that help with liver cleansing. And in that regard, you can’t ignore cruciferous vegetables.
Broccoli and cauliflower are the two best veggies from that group that you can consume. Both are rich in compounds that stimulate enzyme production in the liver. Without those enzymes, the liver may have trouble flushing out toxins.
Leafy green vegetables
You can’t talk about vegetables without leafy greens, one of the most powerful allies of your liver. You can eat leafy greens cooked, juiced, or even raw. They help by sucking up environmental toxins from your bloodstream. Leafy greens also help by neutralizing heavy metals, pesticides, and chemicals. Spinach, mustard greens, and arugula are among the best at doing that.
Cabbage is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. However, when it comes to liver cleansing, it deserves its own section. Cabbage stimulates even more enzymes that help with liver cleansing and flushing out toxins.
If raw cabbage is too much for you, try eating cabbage soup.
Just like lemons and grapefruit, apples are an excellent source of vitamin C. However, they are even more beneficial thanks to their richness in pectin, a chemical compound that helps the body cleanse and flush out toxins.
By consuming apples, you are helping your liver handle the toxin load.
We are talking about alternative grains here. That means quinoa and buckwheat, for example. Simply substitute your flour and wheat with grains like millet, buckwheat and quinoa.
The standard grains are usually high in toxins, mostly gluten. In the world of gluten-free diets, you need to make some changes.
Most nuts are good for a liver detox. However, walnuts are the only ones that contain arginine, an amino-acid that helps the liver with ammonia, one of the deadliest toxins. In addition, walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which provide the liver with the ingredients for proper functioning. Just make sure that you chew your nuts well so that they release the acids.
Nothing beats green tea when it comes to antioxidants. Green tea is rich in catechins, compounds that help normal liver function. And let’s not forget that green tea is actually delicious.
Make it a healthy addition to your diet!
Almost any cold-pressed organic oil is good for the liver. In addition to olive oil, you can use flaxseed and hemp oil.
All of them provide a lipid base for the body, which sucks up harmful toxins. In a way, you take the burden off your liver.
Let’s finish this list with the magical spice that is the liver’s best friend. You can add turmeric to lentil soup, stew, or any veggie dish.
Turmeric is one of the best spices for detoxing, helping by flushing out dietary carcinogens.
Juices for a liver cleanse
Consuming the foods above is great way to help your liver. However, I would also recommend performing a liver cleanse with some juices at least twice per year. Here are some juices specifically designed for that purpose.
Beet and lemon juice
Both beets and lemons are on the list of foods that cleanse the liver. But combining those two in a drink is even more potent.
Here are the ingredients for the juice:
- 6 celery stalks
- ½ lemon
- 1 knob of ginger
- 1 medium-sized beet
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
Place all ingredients in a juicer, and then drink immediately after preparing the drink. Repeat the treatment for one week for best results.
Beet and carrot juice
Consuming beets and carrots on a daily basis is great. But as with the lemon juice, these two combine for a potent drink that you can use to perform a liver cleanse.
The ingredients are simple:
- 2 small beets
- 2 carrots
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 lime
Put all the ingredients in a juicer, blend, and then drink it up. You can prepare batches of the drink and store it, if you like. Just remember to drink it once per day for a full week.