What is the liver and what roles does it play?
The liver is the largest gland in the human body, connected to the digestive system and the numerous vital functions.
- Produces balls, a substance useful for the digestion of fats;
- It stores glucose in the form of glycogen, which acts as an energy reserve;
- Stores minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B12, iron and copper;
- He is involved in the protein metabolism and in synthesis of cholesterol and triglycerides;
- Promote the'elimination of toxic substances.
These are just some of the fundamental roles played by the liver. One can, therefore, imagine, how important it is to keep it healthy. Like? A healthy diet can be a winning weapon!
The ten foods for a healthy liver
Several studies have shown that drinking (moderately) coffee protects against liver disease, such as cancer and cirrhosis.
2. Green tea
Green tea, rich in antioxidants, is able to improve liver enzyme levels and reduces the risk of getting liver cancer.
Grapefruit reduces the risk of liver fibrosis, a disease associated with chronic inflammation.
Thanks to the numerous antioxidants, including anthocyanins, blueberries protect against liver damage and slow the development of liver fibrosis.
Grapes, especially red ones, improve liver function thanks to the presence of resveratrol.
6. Beetroot juice
Rich in antioxidant molecules called betalaines, beet juice reduces oxidative damage and inflammation of the liver and improves liver enzyme levels.
Some crucifers like Brussels sprouts and broccoli protect against liver damage, improve liver enzyme levels, and reduce the risk of developing liver cancer.
8. Nuts in shell
Nuts like walnuts or almonds are rich in good fats and antioxidants, such as vitamin E, and protect against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Regularly consuming fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel or anchovies promotes a correct balance between omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, essential for reducing inflammation and all associated diseases. They also reduce liver fat levels in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
10. Olive oil
Olive oil improves liver enzyme levels and reduces the accumulation of fat in the liver.
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Bibliography and sources
Coffee and non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease: Brewing evidence for hepatoprotection? Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Green tea with high-density catechins improves liver function and fat infiltration in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients: A double-blind placebo-controlled study, International Journal of Molecula Medicine
Green Tea Consumption and the Risk of Liver Cancer: A Meta-Analysis, Nutrition and cancer
A comprehensive overview of hepatoprotective natural compounds: mechanism of action and clinical perspectives, Archives of Toxicology
Comparison of phytochemical profiles, antioxidant and cellular antioxidant activities of different varieties of blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), Food Chemistry
Grape seed extract to improve liver function in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver change, Saudi journal of gastroenterology
The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease, Nutrients
Induction of detoxification enzymes by feeding unblanched Brussels sprouts containing active myrosinase to mice for 2 wk, Journal of food science
Association between nut intake and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk: a retrospective case-control study in a sample of Chinese Han adults, British Medical Journal Open
Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acid in Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Meta-Analysis, Gastroenterology research and practice
A Mediterranean Diet Rich in Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Is Associated with a Reduced Prevalence of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Older Individuals at High Cardiovascular Risk, The Journal of nutrition
Effect of a 6-Month Intervention with Cooking Oils Containing a High Concentration of Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (Olive and Canola Oils) Compared with Control Oil in Male Asian Indians with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics