Your liver is your largest internal organ, and while most associate it with things like metabolizing alcohol, did you know that it performs tasks that are associated with a wide variety of body systems like: collecting toxins for removal from the body, clearing old hormones from circulation, producing necessary cholesterol, and making proteins that help your blood properly clot?
That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to liver health, but you can see how a liver that is functioning at its best is going to have amazing benefits for the whole body. Likewise, a liver that is depleted of the necessary nutrients to perform its functions will have an impact on the health status of the entire body.
There are specific nutrients that can support liver function, and here I’m going to detail 5 Paleo foods to support your liver. Eat these regularly to keep your liver running in tip top shape:
Cruciferous vegetables are especially beneficial for the liver since they aid the detox organ in both phases of collecting toxins from the bloodstream and eliminating them from the body. You may have heard that cruciferous vegetables aren’t good for people with thyroid disease because of their goitrogenic nature, but you would have to eat so much of the vegetable to actually cause damage. So don’t shy away from these superfoods even if you have thyroid or other autoimmune disease.
Featured recipe: Broccoli Soup
This broccoli soup recipe is a hearty solution for those who are looking for something substantial to serve on a cold day. Not only is it packed with nutrients and will work well as a main dish, but it could also pair well with chicken or fish for those who would like to serve it up as a Paleo side. For those who do not want to use coconut cream, you’ll have a thinner soup, but it’s just as delicious.
Rich in selenium and other potent nutrients, garlic is a purifying food because it helps the liver to activate enzymes that are responsible for eliminating toxins and chemicals from the body. As a bonus, garlic is also a powerhouse for the immune system, and many natural health experts advise consuming raw or roasted garlic for colds and other pesky viral infections.
Featured recipe: Green Garlic Soup
Soup is a timeless comfort food, which is why it’s served when the weather is chilly or if you’re sick. While chicken soup is probably the most well-known variety, this soup made with leafy greens and garlic is perfect when you want something flavorful, nutritious, and comforting. It’s loaded with garlic (more than in most recipes) and thickened with eggs. The end result is velvety smooth that you’ll make again and again.
Your liver needs antioxidant power to thrive because its job, by nature, is dealing with potentially carcinogenic substances. Antioxidants help to fight inflammation, oxidation, and other equally as damaging issues within the body. Fresh lemon juice is rich in vitamin C, one of the better known nutrients that is rich in antioxidants.
Featured recipe: Sautéed Vegetables with Lemon and Basil
This zesty recipe pairs lemon and garlic together with classic vegetables for a simple but flavorful side dish. Serve alongside any main dish, and plate leftovers (if there are any!) with over easy eggs or some Paleo bread and a cup of tea.
When consumed in an organic form, green tea is one of the greatest antioxidant beverages that exist. It is specifically beneficial to the liver because of the presence of catechins, which are flavonoids that aid the liver in eliminating toxins. Research has even shown that regular consumption of green tea or matcha can reduce the risk of liver disease.
Featured ingredient: Matcha
Matcha is an antioxidant rich green tea powder that is versatile. Enjoy as a tea, mix into smoothies, or add to baked goods or desserts.
Bone broth is a nutrient-rich liquid made from simmering bones and cartilage. As a result, the broth is filled with amino acids and minerals that are hard to come by from other dietary sources. Glycine, in particular, is an amino acid that plays an important role in optimizing digestion. Additionally, glycine is a liver supportive nutrient because it helps to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation within the body, and promotes proper digestion of fats.
Featured ingredient: Bone broth
Bone broth has numerous health benefits that go well beyond liver health. Did you know that it can actually improve bone, teeth, skin, and hair quality?