This means that supporting the function of the liver is usually a very powerful way to give the body an internal spring clean.
The cornerstone of any liver-friendly programme is a diet that makes relatively light work for this organ. The diet should contain an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Not only do these foods tend not to tax and stress the liver, they also contain an abundance of nutrients such as vitamin C and carotenoids (e.g. beta-carotene) which can support liver function. Organic produce is best as this is relatively free of potentially toxic herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.
Foods which contain a lot of either fat or protein should be down played in the diet, as they require quite a lot of chemical processing in the liver.
The main foods to avoid are fatty meats such as beef, lamb and duck, dairy products and unhealthy hydrogenated vegetable oils present in many margarines, processed and baked foods.
Foods that contain artificial additives such as sweeteners, colourings, flavourings and preservatives should be also be minimised in the diet.
Alcohol and caffeine, both of which stress the liver, should be avoided or moderated too.
There are many foods that can help counteract the effects of a toxic lifestyle. Whether you want to lose weight, feel more energised, improve your complexion or boost your mood, check out these top 10 foods to help detox your body
Top Ten New Year Detoxifiers
1. Milk Thistle
If there’s anything that takes a bit of a beating over the festive period, it’s our poor livers, which is why during a detox, the addition of milk thistle is often recommended. The liver provides several vital functions, including the removal of harmful toxins from the body. While it’s not technically a food, no detox plan would be complete without the mighty Milk thistle which has been shown to have protecting and therapeutic benefits to the liver – it is even suggested that it can improve its function. The better able your liver is to cope with expelling toxins, the stronger your detox. Simple! Try Thisilyn Milk Thistle, available in two strengths. Visit http://www.thisilyn.co.uk for more information and special prices.
Lemons are a staple of many detox diets, and there is good reason for this. Firstly, lemons are packed with antioxidant vitamin C, which is great for the skin and for fighting disease-forming free-radicals. Furthermore, the citrus fruit has an alkaline effect on the body, meaning that it can help restore the body’s pH balance, benefitting the immune system. Try starting your day with hot water and a slice of lemon to help flush out toxins and cleanse your system.
If you have recently been overindulging in fatty foods and alcohol, adding some steamed globe artichoke leaves to your meals is a great way to help get your body back on track and beat the bloat of Christmas. Globe artichokes are packed with antioxidants and fibre and can also help the body digest fatty foods. On top of this, globe artichoke is renowned for its ability to stimulate and improve the functions of the liver – the body’s main toxin-fighting tool. Try Thisilyn Artichoke herbal food supplement tablets. Visit http://www.thisilynartichoke.co.uk for more information and special prices.
Many celebs have resorted to the cabbage soup diet to help lose weight and get in shape quickly before a big event, however cabbage is not only good for weight loss – it is also an excellent detoxifying food. Like most cruciferous vegetables (including broccoli and sprouts), cabbage contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which helps the body fight against toxins. Cabbage also supplies the body with glutathione; an antioxidant that helps improve the detoxifying function of the liver.
For those needing a quick health-boosting shot of nutrients, you can’t do much better than beetroot. Packed with magnesium, iron, and vitamin C, the vegetable has recently been hailed as a superfood due to its many reported health benefits. Not only is beetroot great for skin, hair and cholesterol levels, but it can also help support liver detoxification, making it an ultimate detox food. To enjoy its benefits, try adding raw beetroot to salads or sipping on some beetroot juice.
Like most green herbs and vegetables, watercress is an excellent health-booster and detox food. Firstly, watercress leaves are packed with many vital detoxifying nutrients, including several B vitamins, zinc, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C. Secondly, watercress has natural diuretic properties, which can help to flush toxins out the body. To reap the benefits of this nutritious food, try adding a handful of watercress to salads, soups and sandwiches.
If too much fatty food or alcohol has caused problems for your digestive system, it may be worthwhile adding some ginger to your diet. Ginger is not only great for reducing feelings of nausea, but it can help improve digestion, beat bloating and reduce gas. In addition to this, ginger is high in antioxidants and is good for boosting the immune system. To give your digestion a helping hand, try sipping on ginger tea or adding some freshly grated ginger to a fruit or vegetable juice.
Garlic has long been known for its heart benefits, however the pungent food is also good at detoxifying the body. Garlic is not only antiviral, antibacterial and antibiotic, but it contains a chemical called allicin which promotes the production of white blood cells and helps fight against toxins. Garlic is best eaten raw, so add some crushed garlic to a salad dressing to boost its flavour and your health at the same time.
9. Green Tea
As with milkhistle, While it’s not technically a food, no detox plan would be complete without regular consumption of essential liquids. Fluids are essential for keeping our organs healthy and helping to flush toxins from the body, and drinking green tea is a great way of boosting your intake. Green tea is not only a good weight-loss drink, but it is extremely high in antioxidants. Research has also suggested that drinking green tea can protect the liver from diseases including fatty liver disease.
10. Finally, Fresh Fruit!!
Fresh fruits are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre= and are also low in calories, making them an important part of a detox diet. If you’re after brighter eyes and skin, shinier hair and improved digestion, try boosting your intake of fruit and eating from a wide variety of different kinds. The good news is fruit is easy to add to your diet, so try starting your day with a fresh fruit salad or smoothie and snacking on pieces of fruit throughout the day.