Remove Toxic Foods from Your Diet. If you are eating a diet high in processed foods, you are putting the health of your liver at risk as these foods basically work against liver health. Hydrogenated oils, refined sugar, convenience foods, and lunch meats are notoriously toxic to your system. Hydrogenated oils, also known as "trans fats," have higher levels of saturated fat. The chemical structure of the oil itself has been altered to increase shelf life. Consumption of trans fats dramatically increases the risk of heart disease by 25 percent or more. In addition, it is believed that trans fats cause problems with our immune system and can lead to inflammation throughout the body. Added nitrates and nitrites, commonly found in convenience foods, fast foods, and lunch meats, have been linked to serious health conditions. These chemicals are used to preserve foods to make them last longer, inhibit bacteria growth and preserve color. Replace these foods immediately with liver-friendly healthy choices. Healthy foods taste great, and, with a bit of creativity, you can create healthful meals for your family that will support liver health. Roast your own organic chicken breast and turkey breast to replace deli meats for quick lunches and after school snacks. Replace chips and other processed snacks with fresh fruit, carrot sticks, nuts, and homemade granola bars.
Load Up on Potassium-Rich Foods Are you getting the recommended 4,700 milligrams per day of potassium? Chances are, you aren't. Potassium-rich foods help to lower systolic blood pressure, lower cholesterol and support a healthy cardiovascular system, in addition to helping cleanse your liver. If you have been tempted to take potassium supplements, instead add these healthful foods to your diet.
Surprisingly, it is not the banana that is the richest in potassium. It is the sweet potato. A single medium sweet potato contains nearly 700 milligrams of potassium, not to mention the high fiber and beta carotene content.
A sweet potato only has 131 calories, yet is rich with vitamins B6, C, D, magnesium, and iron. While naturally sweet, the sugars actually are slowly released into the bloodstream through the liver, without causing a spike in blood sugar.
Tomato Sauces (Not allowed on AIP)
Potassium, and the other beneficial nutrients in tomatoes, is significantly concentrated as a sauce, puree or as a paste. As an example, 1 cup of tomato puree contains 1,065 milligrams of potassium, but 1 cup of fresh tomatoes contains only 400 milligrams. When selecting tomato sauce, paste or puree, be sure to choose those made only from organic tomatoes.
To make your own concentrated tomato sauce, slice organic tomatoes in half and roast face down in the oven for 30 minutes at 425 degrees F, until the skin has shriveled. Remove from the oven, and let cool. Slide the skins off and gently crush in your food processor or blender. Strain to remove seeds, if you desire. Pour into a Dutch oven, and let simmer until thick, 1 to 2 hours.
Beet Greens and Spinach
Rich in antioxidants, beet greens contain over 1,300 milligrams of potassium per cup. Add beets and beet greens to your fresh vegetable juice recipe; finely chop and add raw to salads; or sauté lightly, like other greens. Beets also naturally cleanse the gallbladder and improve bile flow.
Fresh organic spinach is easily added to your diet, and it's a good source of potassium, containing 840 milligrams per serving.
Beans (AIP use garbanzo beans only)
White beans, kidney beans, and lima beans are all rich in potassium, protein, and fiber. Swap out garbanzo beans for one of these potassium-rich beans in your favorite hummus recipe. Enjoy it with carrot sticks and celery sticks.
Just 2 teaspoons of this rich all-natural syrup contains 10 percent of the daily-recommended amount of potassium. In addition to potassium, blackstrap molasses is rich with iron, calcium, manganese, and copper. Incorporate blackstrap molasses into your diet by replacing other natural sweeteners with it. You can use it to create barbecue sauces and to top oatmeal or quinoa porridge in the mornings. Two teaspoons added to coffee intensifies the richness of the coffee while lowering the acidic taste.
And finally, add a banana to your favorite smoothie. While in comparison to the other high potassium foods on this list, the banana's 470 milligrams of potassium are only part of the story. Bananas assist in digestion and help to release toxins and heavy metals from the body - all of which are essential during a liver cleanse.
Please note: If you have high levels of potassium in your kidneys, foods rich in potassium should be consumed moderately.
Milk Thistle is considered the "king" of detoxifying herbs, making it ideal for a liver cleanse. Milk thistle helps to eliminate the buildup of heavy metals, prescription medications, environmental pollutants and alcohol in the liver.
In addition, it helps to reduce the negative effects on the liver after chemotherapy and radiation. The active ingredient silymarin helps to strengthen the cell walls in the liver while supporting healthy regeneration. Milk thistle can be taken as a supplement or as a liver cleansing detox tea.
Turmeric reduces joint pain; is an effective antidepressant; aids in digestion; helps to restore a healthy blood sugar balance; and supports healthy liver tissue and liver metabolism. Currently, researchers are studying turmeric for a variety of health benefits for diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer's disease, cancer, depression, osteoarthritis, breast health, prostate health, and chronic pain.
Most homeowners hate the dandelion, as it populates yards every spring. But, this flower, and its root, is actually packed with vitamins and minerals.
Dandelion root has a natural diuretic effect, allowing your liver to more quickly eliminate toxins. It also helps to strengthen the immune system, balance blood sugar levels, relieve heartburn, and soothe digestive upset.
Burdock root is another option in the same plant family as dandelions that can help detox your system by cleansing the blood, therefore helping to support liver function. Like milk thistle, both dandelion root and burdock root can be taken in both supplement form or as a detox tea.
Eat Real Liver or Take Liver Tablets
Liver from young, healthy, grass-fed cattle or chicken liver is rich with vitamins A and B, folic acid, choline, iron, copper, zinc, chromium, and CoQ10. The liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods we can eat.
If you can't stomach eating liver, you can take beef liver pills. Seek a supplement that guarantees no hormones, pesticides or antibiotics are used in the feeding and care of the cattle.
LIVER DETOX DRINK
14 Foods That Cleanse the Liver
Other liver cleanse foods not listed above include artichoke, asparagus, kale, and Brussels sprouts.
Eating the foods listed above is a great way to help keep your liver functioning properly. However, for best results, I recommend performing a liver cleanse. Performing a liver cleanse at least twice a year will eliminate any foreign substances that may be trapped in your liver.