Heal Your Liver: Whole Foods & Bitter Vegetables
If there ever were an organ that performed functions essential to your health, it’s your liver.
All too often, people don’t think of this fact and they follow diets or lifestyles they think are healthy until suddenly, a problem arises.
The most common liver disease is associated with hepatomegaly, which occurs when the liver is inflamed. If left untreated it can become very serious.
Diets that are high in fats, refined sugars, and other processed foods can poison your liver, keeping it from performing its important metabolic and cleansing functions.
In today’s article we want to talk about two ways you can promote excellent liver health: eating foods that are rich in fiber, and consuming more bitter vegetables.
The importance of fiber when it comes to liver health
Doctors and nutritionists say that the first step to heal your liver is following a healthy diet that’s low in fat, and to pay close attention to how you prepare your food.
The best culinary techniques for your liver are grilling, baking, steaming, and boiling.
A key element you need to start introducing into your daily diet is fiber. We want you to be thinking about the following important facts for your health.
A lack of fiber can cause increases in cholesterol and blood sugar
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 unaccompanied by 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, and fiber-rich, whole foods provide this unique benefit.
- Remember that you need to consume foods that are rich in fiber but not sugar.
- The recommended daily intake of fiber is 30 grams. Do you think you meet that in a day? If not, and you’re concerned about the health of your liver, make it a priority.
Also read: Do you have a fatty liver?
Fiber-rich foods you should add to your diet
- Brown rice
- Whole grain flours
- Rye bread
- Lentils (add them to salads, avoiding the classic lentil dishes because they can be high in fat)
- Sugar-free whole grain products
The benefits of bitter vegetables
Endive, broccoli, Brussels sprouts…these aren’t usually the most 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
- Protecting the liver through detox, and promoting 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 keep your liver strong and healthy.
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 fat or sodium.
What bitter vegetables should you be including in your diet?
- Brussels sprouts
- Sour mustard
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.
- 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.