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  • Robin Fillner

Ten Natural Ways to Support Your Liver

woman holding fake liver in front of her body

Why is Liver Health Important?

Your liver is vital for maintaining and performing numerous essential functions contributing to your overall health. 

Some of these include:

  • Facilitating digestion

  • Stabilizing blood sugar

  • Aiding with blood clotting

  • Storing and releasing vitamins

  • Supporting the immune system


When your liver is healthy, you may experience benefits such as maintaining appropriate energy levels, defense against infections, delayed-onset aging, mood regulation, and overall well-being.


Say Goodbye Through Detox

Another essential function of the liver is detoxification. Detox is needed to break down and remove harmful substances called toxins from the body. Toxins can enter the body from the environment or are created during the body’s normal breakdown process. 


Environmental Toxins

Environmental toxins can be manufactured or found naturally in soil, air, water, and food.

Some of these include: 

  • Food 

  • Drugs

  • Heavy metals 

  • Personal care items 

  • Industrial chemicals 

  • Dental amalgam fillings or titanium surgical implants 

These substances can enter our bodies via breathing, digestion, or skin absorption.


Self-Made Toxins

Some toxins are created during the body’s natural breakdown process, called metabolism.  The body must break down substances into smaller particles to recycle them, use them for growth and repair, or eliminate them.  


Some of these breakdown particles are toxic to the body.  Examples include free radicals, ammonia, and estrogen byproducts. These toxic byproducts must be transformed for elimination from the body—your liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin help in this process.   


You can support your body’s natural detox process by engaging in a lifestyle that promotes eating a varied, organic, whole-food diet made primarily of plants. Read on to see which nutrients help support liver detox and other liver functions.


Support Your Liver for Overall Health

Foods that support liver health are often high in fiber, antioxidants, lean proteins, or healthy fats.


Here are ten natural ways to help your liver:


display of healthy fats grouped together









1. Prioritize Good Fats Over Bad Fats

Eat healthy organic fats like mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, like avocados, salmon, walnuts, and olive oil. 


A diet high in fast and fried foods, such as frozen pizza, chips, and burgers, contains excess trans- and saturated fats. Eating excessive amounts of these fats can lead to inflammation and fat buildup within the liver, which may eventually become fatty liver disease.


Read food labels to avoid hydrogenated vegetable oils. In addition, make sure to use oil with a high smoke point when cooking at high heat. 



mug of green tea


















2. Superfoods Are Good for Liver Repair

Chlorella, fucus, and spirulina algae have chelating, or binding, properties that help reduce heavy metals in the body. Green tea is high in strong antioxidants, which may reduce the health risks of heavy metals. To prevent contamination, buy products that are clean-sourced.



bowl of kidney beans









3. Fiber Fuel for Liver Detox

High-fiber plants like beans and whole grains are rich in soluble fiber. This helps support your liver by promoting gut bacteria. These bacteria, known as the microbiome, decrease inflammation and help rid the body of toxins. Also, try chia, flax, apples, leafy greens, and oats for a daily fiber boost.  


Tip: Increase fiber slowly to decrease digestive distress. Also, drink more water when you increase fiber to avoid constipation.



woman harvesting different fresh herbs from small pots on a table









4. Protect Your Liver with Herbs

Milk thistle contains silymarin, which has antioxidant, antifibrotic, and antiviral properties. Silymarin is known to have various protective liver effects and may minimize the severity of liver diseases.  


Milk thistle has been used for centuries. It can be taken as a pill, tincture, or tea. Don’t take milk thistle if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have had a hormone-related cancer.



bundle of endive









5. Bitter Foods Benefit the Liver 

Bitter greens such as broccoli rabe, endives, mustard, dandelion, and arugula are known to help the liver create bile. This fluid in the liver helps remove waste, ward off bacteria, and digest fat.   


Bitter foods’ taste is related to protective plant compounds. Try them in smoothies, salads, or soups.



turmeric roots in a bowl









6. Turmeric for Liver Repair 

Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin. It is best absorbed by the body when eaten with fats such as dairy, nuts, nut milk, and avocados. Curcumin may help lower high levels of liver enzymes and minimize the damage from fatty liver disease.  


Golden milk, soups, and curries are good ways to eat turmeric.  You can even sprinkle it on eggs.



eggs in an egg carton









7. Choline Can Help with Fatty Liver

This nutrient helps transport triglycerides away from the liver and prevents fat buildup. A healthy amount of choline is essential for normal liver metabolism.  Choline is found in eggs, soybeans, shitake mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts.



orange citrus on a tree









8. Zesty Citrus for a Liver Cleanse

Pomelo, orange, and lemon zest have been studied for their anti-inflammatory effects on the liver. Citrus peel, grated to become zest, contains the antioxidant vitamin C.  


Zest also contains d-limonene, which supports liver detox enzymes. Add some zest to your morning smoothie or favorite dressing.



mixed raw cruciferous vegetables









9. Cruciferous Vegetables are Liver Foods

Thanks to a compound called indole, these veggies prevent unhealthy fat buildup in the liver. They are also very high in glutathione, a natural compound that supports liver detox. These veggies may also help reduce excess hormones in the blood.  


Examples include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, watercress, and bok choy. Try them roasted or steamed.



cooked beets on a plate









10. Beetroot Helps Beat Fatty Liver

Beets contain powerful antioxidants and fiber. They also contain betaine, which may help in the transformation process of toxic byproducts. Beets are promising in helping fatty liver disease by preventing fats from depositing in the liver.  


Raw beets are great when shredded into a salad. Also, try them roasted or juiced.


Eating various foods is essential for getting the nutrients needed for liver health. Try eating these foods with herbs and spices for extra flavor and in combination to create satisfying and delicious meals.


Live Your Best Liver Lifestyle

A lifestyle that supports a healthy liver includes eating a varied, organic, whole-food diet that is mostly plants. Other vital elements of a healthy lifestyle include staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and limiting alcohol intake.


The liver performs many vital functions for overall health. Optimizing the function of this essential body organ can help you feel your best.


As always, seeking medical advice from your healthcare provider for any health concerns is best.  


***

Robin Fillner, RN, BSN, CMSRN is an Oncology Nurse and Health Writer. Using her Functional Nutrition Health Coach Certification and healthcare expertise, her passion is writing about food and lifestyle through the functional lens. Find her at robinfillner.com or linkedin.com/in/robinfillner/

1 Comment


Amy Lombardi
Amy Lombardi
Apr 26

Ah, this makes me happy to see citrus on the list. It's in season now and I've been eating a LOT!

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