Improve Liver Health: Whole-Gran Foods & Bitter Vegetables

· April 20, 2016
Because your liver is indeed able to heal itself, it’s important that you learn how to assist its strength through nutrition. You can do this by eating foods enhance its natural processes and getting the right vitamins and minerals your liver needs

If there ever were an organ that performed functions essential to your health, it’s your liver. If you want to take care of your own health, the best thing you can do is improve liver health.

Unfortunately, people often forget this fact and they follow diets or lifestyles that aren’t the best for the liver until a problem forces them to change their ways.

The most common liver disease is associated with hepatomegaly, which occurs when the liver is inflamed. If left untreated, this problem can become very serious.

Diets that are high in fats, refined sugars, and other processed foods can have severe negative effects on your liver, obstructing it from performing its important metabolic and cleansing functions.

In today’s article, we want to talk about two ways to improve liver health. These are eating foods that are rich in fiber and consuming more bitter vegetables.

The importance of fiber when trying to improve liver health

Doctors and nutritionists say that the first step in your path to a liver-healthy lifestyle adhering to a diet that’s low in fat. In order to accomplish this, it’s essential that you pay close attention to how you prepare your food.

The best cooking techniques for your liver are grilling, baking, steaming, and boiling.

A key component you need to start introducing into your daily diet is fiber. Take a look at the following fiber facts to improve liver health.

Low levels of fiber can cause increases in cholesterol and blood sugar

Improve liver health with fiber
You might be wondering why fiber is so important.

First of all, remember that fiber is fundamental to your body’s ability to properly absorb nutrients from the food you eat.

  • Insoluble fiber, for example, has a laxative effect that helps care for your intestines. When your intestines are clear, it ensures that your nutrients reach the bloodstream clean of toxins.
  • Soluble fiber, in the meantime, helps regulate cholesterol levels, promotes healthy intestinal bacteria, and lowers the levels of so-called “bad” cholesterol.
  • Another thing to keep in mind is that if you suffer from fatty liver disease, you may tend to have hyperglycemia, meaning that you have some resistance to insulin levels. You need food to slow the absorption of sugars. Fiber-rich, whole-grain foods are some of the best ways to get this benefit.
  • Remember that you need to consume foods that are rich in fiber, but at the same time have low amounts of sugar.
  • The recommended daily intake of fiber is 30 grams. Do you think you get this amount in daily? If not, and if you’re concerned about your liver health, be sure to make it a priority.

Also read: Do you have a fatty liver?

Fiber-rich foods you should add to your diet

  • Oats
  • Brown rice
  • Whole-grain flours
  • Rye bread
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Lentils (add them to salads, but avoid the classic lentil dishes because they can be high in fat)
  • Sugar-free whole grain products

The benefits of bitter vegetables

Improve liver health with bitter vegetables
Endive, broccoli, Brussels sprouts…these aren’t usually favorite foods for the majority of the population. A cheeseburger or a taco is more attractive by a large margin.

But what a lot of people don’t know is that the bitter taste of these vegetables is due to a series of compounds that promote the following important processes:

  • Releasing gastric juices
  • Improving digestion through enzyme production
  • Absorption of nutrients
  • Promoting a healthy metabolism

But let’s look a bit more closely, shall we?

Bitter vegetables help cleanse your liver

  • Bitter greens like chicory, for example, are rich in phytonutrients that help cleanse the liver of toxins and other harmful waste products.
  • They help keep cholesterol levels low while metabolizing fats and cleansing the bloodstream.

See also: Cholesterol-reducing juices

A natural source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to heal your liver

Remember that your liver is an organ that requires a constant supply of antioxidants and minerals. This helps protect the liver cells from being attacked by bacteria and toxins.

Vitamin C, for example, is a basic element that helps improve liver health.

Can bitter vegetables cover all these important bases? Of course they can!

  • Bitter vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, along with calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
  • They are high in fiber and folic acid.
  • They contain very little in fat and sodium.

What bitter vegetables should you be including in your diet?

  • Arugula
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Sour mustard
  • Cauliflower
  • Watercress
  • Artichokes
  • Celery
  • Chicory

Want to read more? Do you have a fatty liver?

You might also be interested to learn that there are certain beverages that help you care for and heal your liver. Just remember not to consume them in excess.

  • Coffee
  • Tonic water (it’s rich in quinine)
  • Valerian tea
  • Thistle tea
  • White tea
  • Lemon juice
  • Grapefruit juice (or plain grapefruit)

To wrap up today’s article, don’t forget that your liver has an amazing power: it can regenerate itself. If you give it the nutrients it needs, it will heal.

Still, you should always listen to the advice of your doctor and follow a course of treatment that’s tailored to your particular needs.