Your liver plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your body. It has several jobs, but it primarily cleans the blood, produces bile and stores energy in the form of glycogen, according to KidsHealth. Safeguarding your liver from disease is as easy as eating a healthy diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. Some types of fruits and vegetables, however, actually help to cleanse the liver to keep it in optimal shape.
Tomatoes naturally contain lycopene, which can inhibit carcinogenesis and faulty detoxification by scavenging DNA-damaging agents, according to Cherrie Calborn et al., in the book “The Complete Cancer Cleanse.” Heating tomatoes will help you to absorb up to five times more lycopene than a fresh tomato alone, the authors say. Additional liver-enhancing nutrients include vitamin C to sustain immunity, B complex vitamins to aid in liver detoxification and vitamins A and E, which are powerful antioxidants.
Beets are among the most well-known vegetables that help cleanse the liver. This is due to the presence of betaine, which helps to induce the liver’s second wash cycle to breakdown homocysteine, a compound that can increase the risk of heart disease, according to Laurie and Alex Steelsmith in their book “Natural Choices for Women’s Health.” Traditional Chinese medicine utilizes beet juice to purify the liver and improve its function.
Lemon is a powerful fruit that helps to support digestive organs, as well as activate and cleanse the liver, according to Timothy Brantley in his book “The Cure.” Lemon juice acts to warm up your liver and enhance its natural detoxification activity. This fruit also helps to stimulate the digestive juice bile to enter the blood and clean up the debris of undigested food particles.
Fruits and Vegetables Rich in Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber is fundamental in a properly functioning liver as it helps to trap and eliminate cholesterol and toxins that accumulate in this vital organ. A diet low in fiber can lead to a build-up of toxins and fat in the liver causing health complications like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to Sue Williams and Eleanor Schlenker in the book “Essentials of Nutrition and Diet Therapy.” Fruits and vegetables rich in soluble fiber include apple, broccoli, oranges, apricots, soybeans, chick peas and strawberries.
- KidsHealth: Your Liver
- “The Complete Cancer Cleanse;” Cherrie Calborn et al.; 2007
- “Natural Choices for Women’s Health;” Laurie and Alex Steelsmith; 2005
- “The Cure;” Timothy Brantley; 2007
- "Essentials of Nutrition and Diet Therapy;" Sue Williams and Eleanor Schlenker; 2003
- Mayo Clinic: Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- red_pepper82/iStock/Getty Images