4 Best Vegetables For Your Liver, Dieticians Say – Eat This, Not That

Your liver is an essential organ with a variety of functions that include aiding in the digestion and metabolism of food, storing vitamins and minerals, cleaning toxins from the blood, and synthesizing proteins. Although the liver has the unique ability to regenerate after damage, it is not invincible, and your food and choice of drinks can have a great impact on this organ.

There are many nutrient-dense foods that benefit the liver, and one particularly important food group is vegetables. Read on for the four best vegetables for your liver, and for more, don’t miss The best breakfast habits for reducing liver fat, dietitians say.

Shutterstock

Some may think the flavor of this vegetable is a little too “earthy”, and while it may not appeal to everyone’s taste buds, beets are packed with nutrients that support your liver health. To research states that beet juice is a “health-promoting” and “disease-preventing” beverage and may be particularly helpful for liver health. A study specifically looked at the impact of beetroot on liver health and found that beetroot juice may help protect the liver against certain classes of carcinogens.

Although there is still much to learn about the impact of beetroot on the liver, current evidence suggests that certain antioxidants found in beetroot, called betalains, have anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is important to note that this finding is specific to beetroot and other beet varieties, such as golden beets, may not possess the same levels of antioxidants.

Eat this!: Roasted and pickled are the most popular ways to eat beets, while beet juice provides the highest concentration of nutrients found in beets.

broccoli
Shutterstock

Of course, all vegetables are good vegetables, but specific nutrients found in cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, appear to be particularly helpful for liver integrity. A study conducted on mice found those that were fed broccoli had more positive liver measurements and a lower incidence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver tumours. Although the exact mechanism for this finding is unconfirmed, the unique plant compounds found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are likely to give thanks.

Eat this!: Broccoli can be enjoyed raw or cooked and can even be grated to be enjoyed in coleslaw. It can also be an addition to quiche and pasta dishes or added to a salad or served as a side dish – there are so many ways to incorporate broccoli into your meal plan.

RELATED: I did a broccoli cleanse and it changed my body for the better

Brussels sprouts
Shutterstock

Another cruciferous vegetable, Brussels sprouts have become a more popular vegetable in recent years, and for good reason. While Brussels sprouts can improve digestion and provide tons of vitamins and minerals, they also contain herbal compounds that help with liver function.

In study, Raw Brussel fed to mice appears to increase levels of detoxifying enzymes in the liver and lungs. These detoxifying properties appear to be highest in uncooked Brussels; however, to research indicates that even cooked, Brussels sprouts retain the ability to induce these detoxifying enzymes. Glucosinolates are a unique compound found in cruciferous vegetables that are involved in enzymatic reactions that can detoxify carcinogenic compounds in the body.

Eat this!: Brussels sprouts are most often enjoyed after being roasted, sautéed, or steamed; however, it may be beneficial to incorporate more raw Brussels into your diet. Brussels shave can easily be added to a salad for extra crunch and nutrients.

kale and spinach
Shutterstock

This group of vegetables includes kale, spinach, and collard greens, which may benefit overall well-being, including liver health. Like the other vegetables on this list, leafy greens are packed with antioxidants that protect the body against dangerous free radicals.

In addition to reducing the impact of free radicals in the body, certain leafy greens, such as spinach, appear to offer more specific benefits for the liver. A recent study found that eating raw spinach reduced the risk of NAFLD, and the more spinach participants ate, the lower their risk of getting the disease. Although cooked spinach still provides many essential nutrients, such as fiber, in this study cooked spinach did not have as great an impact on reducing the risk of NAFLD.

Eat this!: Leafy greens can be added to a salad or smoothie to be enjoyed raw, or they can be cooked in a variety of ways. Although this study focused specifically on spinach, all leafy greens contain chlorophyll, a compound that may help the liver neutralize toxic compounds and chemicals.

Leave a Comment