For how floppy, rubbery, and gross-looking it is, the liver is a superstar when it comes to your health. It’s responsible for filtering a large portion of your blood. It creates bile, which helps you digest and assimilate nutrients. And perhaps the most important function in today’s world is its role in detoxifying your body. But that’s a major source of stress. And with how toxic our environment has become, our livers are taxed—almost to the breaking point.
If your digestion has been sluggish…
If you’re lacking energy…
If you’ve been prone to illness and infection…
Your liver is in desperate need of some reinforcements. Here are 5 foods that will help your liver do its job while increasing your energy and immunity:
Sardines are among the smallest fish caught for commercial use. That means they’re close to the bottom of the food chain, and they have far fewer toxins (like mercury) than tuna or swordfish. But they’re still packed with nutrients.
The most important ones for your liver are B-12 and selenium, which are detoxifying agents and glutathione-boosters. They’re also the reason sardines have become a staple for health food stores around the world.
Sardines come in convenient tins, which make them good for traveling, hiking, and carrying in your bag for an emergency source of protein. Aim for three servings a week for the maximum benefit to your liver.
Beets have long been valued as a blood cleanser. But research shows that the red pigment, known as betalain, is especially important for Phase 2 liver detox. You can squeeze the greatest benefit from beets by juicing 10 ounces at least once a week.
As a bonus, the naturally occurring nitrates in beet juice are proven to boost athletic endurance by 16%. So make sure to drink a glass before your next long run or hike.
Though bone broth is famous for its ability to heal the gut, it’s also becoming known for its ability to heal your liver. Bone broth has the highest glycine content of any natural food. And glycine is a critical component for the manufacture of glutathione: your livers primary antioxidant.
Depending on how taxed your liver is, it’s good to sip broth at least once a day. But don’t fall for the store-bought version—it’s a far cry from the real thing. You can make an authentic broth with just 10 minutes prep time. All you need are two pounds of marrow bones—which can be bought from your local butcher—apple cider vinegar, and water. Pour enough water to cover the bones, add 2 tbsp ACV, let sit for 30 minutes, then bring to a boil and simmer for 24-48 hours. Season with sea salt, and add as many vegetables as you want.
Up until the 20th century, whey was just a waste product of the cheese-making industry. But when scientists discovered its incredible amino acid profile, it was soon converted into a powder and marketed as a muscle-builder. But it’s a potent liver tonic, too.
Whey protein contains large amounts of cysteine and glutamine, which are key components to Phase 2 liver detoxification. Both of those amino acids also link up with glycine to form glutathione, which your liver needs to neutralize toxins.
The best form of whey is undenatured—meaning the proteins haven’t been altered by high heat or chemical means. Shoot for 1-2 servings a day mixed in smoothies or blended with water.
While technically not a food, water is perhaps the most important part of liver detoxification. Without proper hydration, your body can’t neutralize harmful toxins and convert them into water soluble forms, which then pass through your urine and bowel movements.
Even if you drink plenty of water, hydration isn’t a guarantee. Most forms of tap and bottled water are devoid of minerals, which provide structure to the water and allow it to pass into and out of cells. Our DYLN Living Water Bottle solves that problem by naturally releasing alkalizing minerals into your drinking water. And you get to bottle it!
Liver detoxing wasn’t such a big issue before the industrial revolution. Our streams were pure; our vegetables didn’t need labels to be organic; and our homes were constructed with natural materials. Not so today. Even if you purchase all organic foods, you’re still breathing in smog particles from the city, and absorbing all of the toxins from modern manufacturing methods. This makes eating the right foods for your liver a top priority.
If you focus on the 5 foods listed in this article, you’ll potentially add years to your life while absolutely preserving the quality of your life. Don’t forget to drink enough of the right water!