In one of my recent posts I wrote about how lemon water helps to detoxify the liver and hence give you clearer skin. I decided to compile the foods out there that help with detoxifying the liver. It is the liver that helps to purify the blood, and if the liver isn't functioning properly, it's purification work is affected and as a result, we get exposed to diseases. Our skin also takes the brunt in the long run, as well as our eyes. We get breakouts because the skin acts as a detoxifying organ and when the liver is overworked, the skin tries to help out by releasing those extra toxins. When people do cleanses like fruit cleanses, veggie cleanses (indeed just upping your water intake is a very mild form of a cleanse) etc they notice brighter, clearer skin and brighter eyes. The problem is usually the inability to be consistent.
Anywho, here are some easy-to-find foods we can add to our diet and try to take more often. I find that the lemon water mix is the easiest for me to be consistent with.
1. Warm Lemon Water - Warm lemon water is a great way to detox your liver every single morning. This isn’t lemonade, so don’t add sugar or anything else. Just purified water and a healthy dose of fresh lemon juice. Some experts also believe that the liver produces more enzymes in response to water with lemon than to any other food.
2. Garlic - Garlic contains sulfur compounds that can help activate enzymes in the liver. It contains allicin and selenium, which are both good for liver protection. I have garlic supplements and I believe it's a very good alternative, as garlic isn't something that people like to add to their meals all the time.
3. Avocados - A Japanese study found that avocados contain compounds that can protect the liver from damage. When compared with 21 other fruits, avocados had the most promise in protecting the liver from galactosamine, a “powerful” toxin that has been shown to produce a liver damage much like human viral hepatitis. (Source:whydontyoutrythis.com)
4. Green tea- Green tea is loaded with catechins, a type of plant antioxidant that has been shown in studies to eliminate liver fat accumulation and promote proper liver function. This powerful herbal beverage also protects the liver against toxins that would otherwise accumulate and cause serious damage. Green tea is sold in many health stores now, thankfully.
5. Turmeric - Another powerful spice from the ginger family with a long list of benefits, turmeric is said to not only protect the liver from damage, but also encourage regeneration of liver cells. In addition, it increases natural bile production and aids in keeping the body toxin-free. Turmeric can also be found in many stores-many Indians in Nigeria buy this. Now I do not know how similar turmeric is to ginger in terms of taste, but I would advice that it be mixed with ginger or used instead of ginger for cooking.
6. Dandelion root tea: There's this tea I read about that is called Yogi Skin Detox Herbal tea and is supposed to help people that have problem tea have clearer, smoother skin. I read some good reviews about it and was even considering ordering it. Anyway I checked on the ingredients and found that one of the main herbs in it is dandelion root. It had other good stuff in there, green tea inclusive but yea it had this dandelion root and I remember telling myself that this herb must be very good for the skin. I need to look around for where I can get this tea in Nigeria.
Other foods that help with cleansing the liver are cilantro, brussel sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, leafy green veggies like spinach and asparagus, grapefruit, beetroot juice (another awesome one-check Shoprite for this, or Osata supermarket at Allen), ACV (preferably the pure kind like Braggs) and water, and walnuts. Some of these are common in Nigeria and some aren't. But do you see a trend here? Leafy vegetables as well as crunchy ones are good for liver cleansing. But then again veggies and fruits are good for just about anything! It just goes to show that we need to take our diet more seriously and eat well. It's not easy though!
Meanwhile, I was right-I did gain some weight these past holidays. I am a bit irritated at how my body can be so predictable lol. I fell off the wagon again when I fell ill some weeks ago. But I will get back on track this week. I don't care how many times I fall I will keep getting back on track! (I did not intend for that statement to sound so gospel-song-ish but it did).