The liver is our largest internal organ and primary filtration system. It is responsible for hundreds of processes that occur throughout the body including cleansing the blood, metabolizing nutrients and medications, bile and hormone production, immune cell activation, storage of vitamins and iron and of course detoxification. It is important that we nourish and care for this mighty organ!
When it comes to liver detoxification, there are 2 main phases that help to neutralize and eliminate endogenous and exogenous toxins from the body. Phase I of liver detoxification converts fat soluble toxins into water soluble intermediates. Phase II then takes the intermediate metabolites, further neutralizes then eliminates them through the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Phase I and II liver detoxification is quite complex and requires a large number of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids to support all of the involved processes.
Here are 5 things that we can do to support healthy liver detoxification:
1. Take a good quality multiple vitamin: Multiple vitamins contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals that support Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification which include Vitamin C, B vitamins, Magnesium, Copper, and Iron.
2. Consume nutrients that help to increase Glutathione levels: Glutathione is often referred to as our master antioxidant and is required for Phase I and Phase II liver detoxification. Examples of foods that increase Glutathione levels include the Cruciferous family of vegetables, onion, garlic, Brazil nuts, milk thistle tea, gentian tea.
3. Enjoy foods that stimulate bile production. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that helps to push toxins from the liver into the digestive tract so that they can be eliminated through the large intestine. Foods that increase bile production include beet root, radicchio, dandelion greens, artichoke, and turmeric.
4. Incorporate Citrus fruits like lemon, grapefruit, and oranges: These fruits are rich in vitamin C and limonene which boost the production of liver detoxifying enzymes.
5. Selenium is an essential micronutrient that has been shown to help boost the natural antioxidant enzyme levels in the liver. Selenium-rich foods include Brazil nuts, brown rice, spinach, cashews, and lentils.
Dr. Aminah Keats