Happy Liver Foods by Lindy Cook, Naturopath and Nutritionist

By December 21, 2017Seasons, Nutrition

It’s pretty hard to avoid not having a few extra drinks at this time of year, it goes with the territory. While it’s important to remember to keep your alcohol intake moderate and stay well hydrated by keeping your water intake high, there are also numerous herbs and foods that will support the livers detoxification pathways and regeneration of cells.

Herbs such as St Mary’s Thistle and Schisandra have regenerative qualities, while dandelion root, globe artichoke and golden seal get the bile moving to break down some of those extra fats you might be indulging in and ensure your detox pathways are fired up and working well.

As always, my favourite way to look after your liver

is through the use of ‘food as medicine’.

Cruciferous vegies such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and bok choy help support the detoxification process of the liver.  There really is a good reason to eat extra kale this time of year!

Include foods rich in the liver’s favourite nutrients (lipotropics) to support fat metabolism – choline and inositol (whole grains, legumes, egg yolks and lecithinmethionine (garlic, onion, legumes, eggs, yoghurt and sardines  and carnitine (avocado, fish, beef and chicken).

B Vitamins (raw nuts and seeds, wholegrains and vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables and legumes).

‘Good’ fats generally improve liver function, support blood sugar regulation keeping us feeling full for longer, reduce inflammation and enhance our immunity.  Think oily fish, nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed oil, coconut oil, olives and legumes. ALWAYS check your fish is sustainably sourced. Our oceans are incredibly depleted and we need to do our bit to help conserve those that are left.

Dandelion root tea is a natural liver tonic. With a slightly coffee-like taste, it can be drunk with your choice of milk or ‘black’. The bitterness stimulates digestion, enhances the detoxification role of the liver and can improve bowel function. Try making your own chai dandelion for extra digestive support and deliciousness.