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6 Foods for a Spring Liver Detox

April 23, 2013

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Spring is an optimal time to refresh your energy and start something new. It’s also a great time to simplify your eating and choose foods that will support your overall health.

According to many ancient health philosophies such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, the spring season rules the liver, an organ that’s essential for overall wellness, but especially digestion.

The liver helps break down, distribute, and store nourishment, and it helps form and break down blood. Additionally, as Ayurvedic expert and guest speaker John Douillard says, the liver is the “janitor” for your body and it is essential for your body’s ability to naturally clean and detoxify itself.

You don’t need to make an extreme change in your eating to cleanse your liver and boost your overall health. Adding a few new foods that support liver health can do the trick. And fortunately, Mother Nature provides foods in springtime that help the liver renew itself.

Here are six foods that support liver cleansing:

Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages are all high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that helps clear your body of free radicals (damaged cells in your body). They stimulate enzyme production in the liver, which helps flush out carcinogens and other toxins, and can help lower your risk of certain cancers. Try this: Garlic Ginger Broccoli recipe.

Artichoke: The thorny thistle contains flavonoids – powerful plant antioxidants that have shown to have anti-cancer properties. Artichoke also helps stimulate the gall bladder to secrete bile, which helps with digestion. Try this: Artichoke with Dipping Sauce

Dandelion: Both leaves and roots help detoxify the liver. The liver loves the bitter flavor of dandelion, which also helps stimulate enzyme production. The leaves can be made into a salad, while root is a soothing herbal tea.

Lemon: This sour citrus fruit is high in vitamin C, which helps the liver clear out old, stored toxins. Try it squeezed in a glass of water first thing in the morning to stimulate your digestion and elimination.

Garlic: This pungent bulb has high amounts of allicin, an anti-bacterial compound that aids in lowering blood lipids and reducing hypertension. It also contains selenium, which is key to metabolic functioning. Garlic stimulates the liver to self-cleanse.

Asparagus: This skinny green vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, another powerful antioxidant. It also contains potassium, which is essential for healthy electrolyte balance and also lowers your risk of hypertension. 

What foods do you add to your spring diet?