Every time you drink, it’s like you walked out on your partner. And every time you eat something beneficial to your liver, it’s like you’re bringing flowers and candy. Don’t skimp on the flowers.
Clearly we’re not here to shame you out of drinking. And we’re definitely not here to give you authoritative nutritional advice (no website that has multiple Margarita round-ups could claim to do so). But we know that most of us have done some significant “work” on our livers over the years. Weeks. Last weekend. And since we all depend on our livers to detoxify us, it actually does seem like a totally backward idea for a booze website to advocate on behalf of the liver, not against it.
Fortunately, it’s not hard to give your liver a bit of a boost, and it’s actually incredibly essential to your general health. It may be pretty quiet, as organs go, but your liver does a lot of the dirty work that keeps you looking so fresh. It “filters and processes blood as it circulates through the body,” “metabolizes nutrients,” and “detoxifies harmful substances.” Like, alas, alcohol. Which is why anyone who enjoys the occasional tipple should coddle his or her liver like it was a precious newborn kitten. And then feed it a bunch of garlic.
It’s not just good at keeping vampires, and potential second dates, away. It has enzymes that can flush out toxins, plus allicin and selenium, “two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.”
This one’s easy, since it’s basically smothered on everything. Order an iced tea at a natural foods café and it’ll come with a wedge of avocado. But that’s good for your liver since avocado has glutathione, which helps your liver stay nice and toxin-free.
Not just a thing we put out during the holiday season next to the terrifying nutcracker. Walnuts also have glutathione, so get cracking.
Apples are kind of a helper of a helper. They have a bunch of pectin — the stuff that lets boring fresh fruit turn into delicious jam — and pectin helps the body deal with toxins generally, which helps your liver deal with taking out the overall toxin trash.
Unless you’re Lisa Simpson, it’s hard to get excited about beets. But you should. Like their slightly less stain-happy friends carrots, beets are high in beta carotene and flavonoids (just like in wine!), which can help your liver and also change your skin pigment if you eat too much (seriously, don’t).
Seriously, is there a problem leafy greens can’t fix? Besides making salad preparation faster? They’re basically a toxin vacuum for your system, meaning they lighten the garbage load for your liver. Seriously, they can neutralize bad guys in your system like an action hero. Eat salad.
Also always recommended, also green, also delicious. Full of antioxidant catechins, which are a friend to your liver. (But when taken in high quantities, like what you might get in a dietary supplement, catechins can actually be harmful to your liver. Stick with the drinkable kind.)
It’s annoying to cut, so just eat it like an orange. And yes, you’ll get good old fashioned vitamin C, plus antioxidants, plus a general boost to your liver function. Just be careful if you’re taking medication, since grapefruit can apparently muck with a lot of it.
There’s actual turmeric juice out there. Which probably shouldn’t be a thing, but it is, and it’s a good thing, since turmeric can detox your liver and helps you produce bile, a good thing despite old timey medicine claims.
Lemons and Limes.
We kind of wish drinking lemon-lime soda would do the trick here, but alas, 7-Up will do nothing for your liver. On the other hand, lemons and limes are really refreshing and actually help your liver synthesize toxic stuff so you can flush it out of your system.
Not just cabbage, but most of the gross vegetables you refused as a child (broccoli, cauliflower, the list goes miserably on). Except we’re all adults now and all those veggies are suddenly delicious to us, which is great since they help “stimulate” two liver-detoxifying enzymes. If not your appetite.