5 Foods that Will Take Care of Your Liver Health at Night
Good liver health is synonymous with well-being. If the liver is strong, digestion is carried out properly and we can enjoy an internal balance that’s also noticeable on the outside.
However, when the liver is inflamed or overloaded, we’ll immediately notice the symptoms. One of the most common is often waking up at night with a feeling of “fullness,” or pressure.
Keep in mind that the liver has its own work rhythms. Believe it or not, it’s one of the most active organs during the night hours, like the brain.
It’s important to pay attention to our food throughout the day. However, at night, we must pay special attention to the nutritional value of food, since what we eat during those last hours of the day will largely determine the rest.
Here’s what foods are good for your liver at dinnertime and why.
The body is still active during the night
Far from disconnecting when you close your eyes and fall into a restful sleep, the body continues to carry out multiple tasks. Here are a few small examples to help you get an idea of how important it is to enjoy a restful sleep.
- While you sleep, Vasopressin is released. This is a hormone that causes an increase in water reabsorption and prevents us from losing this water due to gastric problems. This substance is also known as the ”antidiuretic hormone.”
- The endocrine system also has its responsibilities: the highest peaks of growth hormone production, which is essential for children, occur at night.
- Melatonin appears at this time to promote both adequate sleep and proper cell regeneration.
- During the phase of Delta sleep or deep sleep, blood pressure is reduced to protect the heart and promote rest and calm.
- When we sleep, our muscle tone decreases, and our muscles relax. We can then synthesize hormones and proteins for the muscles. The regeneration of many structures is promoted, such as the intervertebral discs, which are filled and strengthened while we sleep.
- The brain, on the other hand, is incredibly active. Data and information are stored and unimportant aspects are discarded.
- While you sleep, many tasks are carried out in the immune system. For example, this includes the purification of harmful elements and the renewal of the defenses.
- The liver is one of the organs that perform the most functions during the night. It metabolizes many enzymes, proteins, and vitamins. Plus, it also performs essential cleansing tasks together with the lymphatic system.
If you overload your during dinner with fatty foods, very spicy foods, or with excess sugar, you prevent it from carrying out its tasks optimally.
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Liver health: Foods that you should eat at night
Something that we must take into account is that dinner requires some rituals and rules that you must comply with to promote not only liver health but also to promote proper rest. Here are a few of them:
- You should eat dinner at least two hours before going to sleep. This way, you’ll be able to digest well and go to bed ready for your liver to perform its functions in the following hours.
- Try to always eat dinner at the same time. The brain and the body like regular habits.
- Never exert yourself considerably or do heavy exercise after dinner or before going to bed.
That said, let’s take a look at some great foods for your liver health.
An ideal dinner to promote liver health would be, for example, some artichokes with a little olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and a little lemon juice.
- Artichokes strengthen the liver and gall bladder. In fact, they have a hepatoprotective capacity, according to an article published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.
- Plus, they help to maintain good digestion.
- Artichokes stimulate urination.
- They also promote cell renewal.
- Believe it or not, artichokes can even help treat fatty liver. However, although there are studies that affirm the efficacy of artichoke extract in the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, there is still a lack of trials that prove this usefulness. Therefore, the consumption of artichoke should not replace any pharmacological treatment.
2. Spinach for liver health
In general, all green leafy vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamin B, and folic acid that stimulates liver and kidney functions. Don’t hesitate to accompany your dinners with spinach, dandelion, arugula, and chicory, among others.
Anyway, the studies and tests carried out on the influence of folic acid on liver health have been performed on animals. For this reason, the results may not be directly applicable to humans.
3. Raisin water
Raisins are a wonderful food to take care of the liver. Their consumption is associated with improvements in the lipid profile, according to an article published in the journal Food Research International . They’re also a natural source of antioxidants that promote liver cleansing while providing multiple vitamins.
You can accompany your salads with a few raisins. However, you can also prepare this medicinal water for your dinners.
- 1 cup and a half of raisins (150 g)
- 2 glasses of water (500 ml)
Prepare this natural remedy overnight. In fact, you’ll have to do this for two nights in a row. Here’s what you need:
- Simply cook the grapes with the water for half an hour. Then, let them sit overnight.
- The next day, just separate the grapes from the water and drink it warm before or after your dinner.
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4. Beetroot for liver health
Beetroots have a wonderful supply of nutrients to support liver health: betalain, fiber, iron, betacyanin, folic acid, among others.
Studies linking the consumption of beets with liver health have been conducted in mice. Although the results are promising, they cannot be extrapolated to humans just yet. More trials are needed to establish the evidence.
Do you have carrots at home?
Ideally, they should be organic so that they’re of higher quality. Carrots are rich in water, flavonoids, and beta-carotene and help fight liver problems such as inflammation or cirrhosis.
Carotenoids have an important antioxidant role that can help improve liver health. We’d especially like to highlight the potential of vitamin A, according to science.
Dine healthy and light and take care of your liver health at night
Now that you know how important it is to know how to choose the foods that will make up the last meal of your day, you can better choose your meals and enjoy a better and more liver-friendly rest. Just remember not to overdo it and to drink enough fluids.
On the other hand, bear in mind that the foods mentioned should be part of a varied and balanced diet. Moreover, they should not replace any pharmacological treatment.
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Kilburn, M. (2018). How does your liver affect your sleep? A Vogel. [Online] Avaiable at: https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/sleep/how-does-your-liver-affect-your-sleep/
- Bruyneel, Marie and Thomas Sersté. “Sleep disturbances in patients with liver cirrhosis: prevalence, impact, and management challenges” Nature and science of sleep vol. 10 369-375. 2 Nov. 2018, doi:10.2147/NSS.S186665
- Bhat, Mamatha et al. “Prevalence and predictors of sleep disturbance among liver diseases in long-term transplant survivors” Canadian journal of gastroenterology & hepatology vol. 29,8 (2015): 440-4.
- Ben Salem M., Affes H., Ksouda K., Dhoubi R., et al., Pharmacological studies of artichoke leaf extract and their health benefits. Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 2015. 70 (4): 441-53.
- Panahi Y., Kianpour P., Mohtashami R., Atkin SL., et al., Efficacy of artichoke leaf extract in non alcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot doublé blind randomized controlled trial. Phytother Res, 2018. 32 (7): 1382-1387.
- Sid V., Shang Y., Slow YL., Hewage SM., et al., Folic acid supplementation attenuates chronic hepatic inflammation in high fat diet fed mice. Lipids, 2018. 53 (7): 709-716.
- Kanellos PT., Kaliora AC., Protogerou AD., Tentolouris N., et al., The effects of raisins on biomarkers of endothelial function and oxidant damage; an open label and randomized controlled intervention. Food Res Int, 2017. 102: 674-680.
- Lorizola IM., Furian CPB., Portovedo M., Milanski M., et al., Beet stalks and leaves (Beta vulgaris L.) protect agianst high-fat diet induced oxidative damage in the liver in mice. Nutrients, 2018.