Detox and cleanse diets seem to be everywhere. Do they really help pull toxins from your system? The answer may surprise you: it’s not exactly the cleanse that does the cleansing.
Certain healthy foods help our bodies naturally detox themselves.
We all already have a built-in filtering system that helps get all of the toxins out of our bodies. This organ cleans out toxins of nearly 100 gallons of blood every day and allows nutrients to get to your cells. It also regulates your blood sugar level and prevents it from going dangerously high or low. It also produces more than 13,000 crucial chemicals and hormones, including cholesterol, testosterone, and estrogen. It also stores essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, D, K, and B12 to keep bones strong.
This filtering system is the liver. And taking care of this crucial organ is essential to keeping you healthy all year round. How do you do this? You need to feed it the foods that allow it to take a healthy break.
The liver filters out as many toxins as possible. But sometimes there are just too many to process. The result? They get stored in the lower lobe of the liver and in tissues throughout the body, especially in fat cells. Or, the toxins get recycled through your system, because there’s no room to store them. That’s when you start feeling sick, tired, or get unbalanced hormonally.
The good news is that the liver can heal itself and regenerate new cells if you give it a break. And a cleanse is the perfect way to give your liver the well-deserved rest that it wants.
Here are five healthy foods that help heal your liver:
Artichokes: This thorny thistle contains flavonoids, powerful plant antioxidants, and it is particularly useful at stimulating the gall bladder to secrete bile. The bile helps fats that are stored in the liver and elsewhere in the body to break down, releasing excess toxins out of your system.
Asparagus: This skinny green vegetable is rich in beta carotene, which the body needs to create vitamin A, another powerful antioxidant. It also contains significant amounts of inulin, a carbohydrate that breaks down very slowly and supports healthy digestion by feeding your gut’s healthy bacteria.
Dandelion: Among the many leafy greens that the liver loves, dandelion is one of its favorites. The bitterness helps with the secretion of bile and break down of fats. You can eat the leaves in a salad, or make the roots into a tea—both have healing powers for the liver.
Lemon: Fresh lemon juice can help with bile formation, which boost’s your body’s ability to metabolize fat. Adding lemon juice to hot water in the morning (instead of drinking coffee) can help with healthy digestion, allowing your body to eliminate waste and toxins more effectively as you let your liver cleanse.
Flaxseed oil: The essential fatty acids in this oil stimulate bile production, which is crucial to breaking down fats. As the fats break down, they can be excreted out of the body along with the toxins that the fat was storing.