Spring cleaning the liver is a wonderful way to give your body an overall tune-up. Along with lightening the physical feeling of sluggishness and stagnation in the body, cleansing the liver can help transform and release any feelings of frustration, anger, and resentment that may be percolating under the surface. If you are interested, you can read more about the role of the liver in my blog post “Spring: Cycle of Natural Detoxification Liver and Gallbladder”
Below are some foods that can be easily added to your daily diet to stimulate gentle cleansing of the liver, enhancing your overall sense of wellbeing and improving your energy and vitality.
1. Bitter Greens
Organic bitter greens such as arugula, dandelion greens, kale, collards, mustard greens, and endive promote bile flow and stimulate liver detoxification. “Spring Mix” or other leafy green salad blends are a convenient way to add these to your diet. Throw a handful of greens into a morning smoothie or top fresh greens with olive oil and lemon juice for a quick liver-cleansing salad.
Lemon juice is rich in vitamin C and other nutrients that support the health of the entire digestive system and stimulate the production of liver detoxification enzymes. Drink a cup of warm water with the juice of ½ a freshly squeezed organic lemon first thing in the morning to stimulate digestion, promote bile flow, and help flush out toxins from the body.
Garlic is rich in antioxidants and sulphur-containing compounds that give it its potent healing benefits. Along with stimulating liver detoxification, garlic cleanses the blood, normalizes blood pressure, and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Add fresh garlic to salad dressings, soups, stir-fries, marinades, or other dishes.
Turmeric is a yellow spice that is the main ingredient in curry powder. Turmeric fights free radicals and helps to protect the liver from damaging toxins. It is also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Use turmeric as a spice in cooking or, for an added boost, add ¼-1 tsp of turmeric to a morning smoothie.
5. Beets and Carrots
Beets and carrots contain high levels of phytonutrients that provide the body with a number of benefits, including helping to stimulate liver detoxification and flushing toxins out of the body. Add fresh, raw grated carrots and beets to salad, steam and serve with a mixture of lemon juice and olive oil, or juice them with some apple to take advantage of their delicious liver-stimulating properties.
6. Green Tea
Green tea is a real heavyweight when it comes to detoxifying and supporting the body. Green tea has one of the highest antioxidant values of any food. Compounds in green tea have been shown to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances and increase the elimination of toxins from the body. A cup of green tea in the morning is a great way to support your liver.
7. Flax, Borage, Olive and Hemp Oil
Essential fatty acids found in healthy oils such as flax, borage, olive, and hemp oils support the development of healthy cell membranes, which are vital to the health of every cell in the body. Flax, borage and hemp oils should be kept refrigerated and never used for cooking. Use these oils in salad dressings or in smoothies. Aim for at least 1 tbs of healthy oils daily.
Important note: Pesticides used in conventional farming are very damaging to the liver (and other areas of the body). Choose organic, pesticide-free foods whenever possible.
Additional Liver-Detox Tips
- Fresh, purified, non-chlorinated water helps hydrate the cells and flush toxins out of the body. If you don’t like the taste of water by itself, consider adding fresh slices of lemon, orange, cucumber or mint to add some flavour.
- Tracing the liver meridian can help get Qi moving through the body and stimulate liver function. Read my blog post A Simple Technique for Revitalizing and Restoring Balance to the Body: Tracing the Meridians for more info.
- Exercise daily to help circulate blood and lymph through the body and enable the removal of toxins from the body.
- Practice gratitude, love, and forgiveness to help release old stagnant emotions such as anger, rage, and frustration
Looking for more support?
If you feel stuck and weighed down and want to live a lighter, healthier life on all levels (body-mind-spirit), I invite you to learn more about Nutritional Consulting with Rebecca Loach here.
Note: This article is not meant to be construed as medical advice. If you suffer from any medical condition or are taking prescription medications, please consult your physician.