The body would not survive without the help of the liver. This organ is responsible for a number of very important internal processes that need to be done every day in order for the body to function. Diet can significantly affect the function of the liver and thus it is important to know what types of food are good for this specific organ and what types are not.
The Functions of the Liver
The liver is responsible for breaking down fats, producing urea, and producing amino acids. It also helps to maintain normal glucose levels, filters chemicals in the blood, and stores vitamins and minerals.
Types of Food that are Good for the Liver
There are types of food that help the liver function effectively.
- Soybeans help the liver break down cholesterol and fat.
- Soy also contains lecithin, a substance that aids in maintaining healthy membranes surrounding liver cells.
- Walnuts help the liver in ammonia detoxification.
- Caraway seeds help the liver make glutathione, which is a substance needed for flushing toxins from the body.
- Cayenne pepper and other spices are abundant sources of B-vitamins and other phytochemicals that help in destroying free radicals.
Detoxification in the liver is divided into two phases.
Detox Phase 1 converts toxic substances into chemicals that are less harmful. Foods rich in B-vitamin (folic acid) help in this process. They include:
- brown rice
- Detox Phase 2 involves injecting a substance into the toxic chemical in order to convert it into a water-soluble chemical, one that can be excreted from the body via urine or feces. Food rich in methionine and selenium helps in this process. They can be found in:
Types of Food that Are Bad for the Liver
The types of food that have high saturated fat content are not good for the liver. Examples are:
- hot dogs
- ice cream
Other types of food that are to be avoided include highly processed foods such as:
- white bread
Alternatives To Those Bad Foods
An alternative to the types of food that are to be avoided are those that have high wholegrain content. Examples of this include foods made with:
- brown rice