The liver is an essential organ that has many functions in your body. Some of these functions are making proteins and blood clotting factors and manufacturing triglyceride.
Others are production of cholesterol, glycogen synthesis, and bile.
The liver is the large organ that sits on the right-hand side of the belly.
Also, it is the body’s largest internal organ.
Disease processes and infection could occur in the liver and may damage it when proper care is lacking.
Some diseases that could affect the liver are hepatitis, cirrhosis (scarring) and cancers (1).
Also, some medications or toxins can also damage this organ.
To keep the liver healthy and to ensure it functions well, you need to add some foods to your diet.
These foods which you can find in Nigeria help boost the function of the this important organ.
1. Green Tea
This is one of the best teas to have. While it has so much benefits for your health, it has its unique benefit to the liver.
According to a study, green tea can help lower the risk of some disorders of the liver.
The study’s report reads: “The inverse association between consumption of green tea and various serum markers shows that green tea may act protectively against cardiovascular disease and disorders of the liver” (2).
Also, another study says green tea extract can improve serum levels of liver enzymes in patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) (3).
2. Beetroot Juice
Your liver needs antioxidants to lower oxidative stress and the effect of toxins.
Fortunately, some vegetables come with these necessary antioxidants.
Beetroot is one of such vegetables with so much antioxidants that are beneficial to your liver.
It contains nitrates and antioxidants called betalains. These are beneficial to your heart and they reduce oxidative damage and inflammation.
A study says beetroot juice’s betalain pigments, display potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and chemo-preventive activity (4).
According to studies, the juice extract is what you should take.
Once you buy beetroot, you will dice it and then blend it to juice. You can also get the powder and make your juice from it.
Similarly, another study says DNA damage in blood leukocytes caused by either toxicant was slightly diminished, by 20%, in the rats treated with beetroot juice before N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) administration (5).
3. Olive Oil And Your Liver
olive oil is also a common oil in Nigeria and it is one of the items that benefit your liver.
According to a study, extra-virgin olive oil also helps in preventing or resolving liver damage (6).
Another study also reports that long-term consumption of olive oil enriched with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with NAFLD is able to decrease circulating liver enzymes and triglycerides.
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This study says there was significant improvement of adiponectin levels.
Therefore, because we are exposed to toxins daily, adding one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil to your diet daily will be a good idea.
4. Omega-3 Rich Fish And Liver Health
Fish with omega-3 or fatty fish should be part of your diet as much as possible to keep your liver healthy.
A study reports that taking omega-3 supplements could be beneficial for some patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (7).
It says patients with increased levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood after taking supplements had improved liver function.
Some fish with high fatty acid are Salmon, Sardine, Atlantic mackerel, Cod, Herring, Lake trout, Canned and light tuna.
Nuts are great for your health any time, but they have exceptional effect on this vital organ.
A study says diets with a higher intake of nuts may help lower risk of NAFLD, particularly in men.
The study further said ellagic acid, a natural antioxidant polyphenol found in nuts, can suppress oxidative stress and inflammation.
When this happens, it improves hepatic insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism.
These nuts are also rich in vitamin E and selenium which are very beneficial in fighting oxidative stress.
Some of the nuts that you should look out for in Nigeria are almonds and walnuts.
Also, the folic acid and resveratrol in pine nuts, have been reported to have beneficial effects on NAFLD (8).
6. Cruciferous Vegetables And Liver Health
This kind of vegetables are great sources of fibre and they are rich in detoxification enzymes.
According to studies, these enzymes protect your liver from damage.
Cruciferous vegetables have myrosinase which metabolises the relatively inactive glucosinolates into isothiocyanates and other products that have the ability to increase detoxification enzyme expression (9).
Also, another study of mice found that those receiving broccoli developed few tumours or fatty liver disease (10).
As a result, adding cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens to your diet will benefit your liver.
It is not like you need to eat them every day. This is one reason people say healthy living is expensive.
All you have to do is add them as often as possible to your diet.
7. Lemon Juice
Fruits that are high in vitamin C are rich in antioxidants and lemon is one of them. For alcohol induced liver injury, here is a great remedy.
According to a 2017 study, lemon juice has protective effects on alcohol-induced liver injury in mice.
The protective effects might be related to the antioxidant capacity of lemon juice because lemon juice (11).
Although there are other foods that benefit this very important organ, these are the most common in Nigeria and you can easily find them in vegetable markets or super malls.
If you find this helpful, kindly share with your friends and loved ones to enable them know what items to add to their diet for amazing liver function.