As the master filter and major detox organ, our liver is one of the most hard working organs in the human body. The liver works around the clock to detoxify the body and is also responsible for cleansing the blood and producing bile to emulsify the fat we consume. By eating a modern diet of processed and fried foods and through exposure to environmental pollutants and stress, the liver becomes overworked and overloaded. When the liver is taxed, it can't process toxins and fats in an efficient way. There are many foods that can help cleanse the liver naturally by stimulating its natural ability to eliminate toxic waste from the body.

Foods That Cleanse the Liver

  1. Garlic

    Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.
  1. Grapefruit

    High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, citrus fruits like grapefruit, oranges, limes, and lemons support the natural cleansing abilities of the liver. Have a small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice to boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.
  1. Beets and Carrots

    Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating beets and carrots can stimulate and support overall liver function.
  1. Green Tea

    This liver-loving beverage is full of plant-based antioxidants known as catechins — compounds known to assist liver function. Green tea is a delicious, healthy addition to any diet. Ceremonial grade matcha green tea is the most nutrient rich of all the green teas as it is made from the entire plant and thus provides a greater array of nutrients.
  1. Leafy Green Vegetables

    One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in chlorophyll, greens soak up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals, and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver. Incorporate leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory into your diet. This will increase creation and flow of bile — the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.
  1. Avocados

    This nutrient-dense superfood helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.
  1. Apples

    High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This, in turn, makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.

  2. Olive Oil

    Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp, and flaxseed are great for the liver when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can absorb harmful toxins in the body. In this way, they take some of the burden off the liver.
  1. Cruciferous Vegetables

    Broccoli and cauliflower are good sources of glucosinolate, which supports enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes flush carcinogens and other toxins from the body, and may significantly lower risks associated with cancer.
  1. Other Vegetables

    Other liver cleansing vegetables are:  artichoke, asparagus, kale, and brussel sprouts.
  1. Lemons and Limes

    These citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning can stimulate the liver. 
  1. Walnuts

    High in the amino acid arginine, walnuts support the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing. Make sure you chew the nuts until they are liquefied before swallowing.
  1. Cabbage

    Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage stimulates liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup, and sauerkraut are great cabbage-foods to add to your diet.
  1. Turmeric

    Turmeric is the liver's favorite spice. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next homemade salad dressing, fermented slaw, tonic or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detoxification by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary toxins.

- Robyn Lev