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Foods to Cleanse and Care For Your Liver

1. Beets

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Beets are bright and beautiful, like an insane shot of wellness for your whole body, including your liver. Their red, purplish hues may seem a bit overwhelming, but nature was smart in the way she created foods to mimic the benefits they have on the body. For example, beets look like the color of blood, and coincidentally, they naturally cleanse and purify the blood, which boosts liver function, and nutrient production in your body. Beets are also high in antioxidants and important nutrients including: folate, fiber (in the form of pectin), iron, betaine, betalains, betacyanin, and betanin. Pectin is a soluble form of fiber that’s well known for its cleansing properties and ability to keep you full. Beets’ fibers and nutrients help the body flush toxins that are often stored in our liver so they can be evacuated out of the body instead of reabsorbed into the bloodstream. So, stop hating on the bloody color of beets- these little red gems are amazing for you! Find out how to use them best with some of our best beet recipes.

2. Broccoli

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Shaped like mini trees, broccoli gives life to your body and its bright green hues indicate the high level of antioxidants and chlorophyll found in the cruciferous veggie. Broccoli is high in fiber that naturally cleanses the body from carcinogens and other toxins.  Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and other members of the cruciferous veggie family also contain glucosinolates which help the liver produce enzymes to aid in the removal of toxins and aid in digestion. Broccoli is also a good source of fat-soluble Vitamin E, an especially important antioxidant for the liver. If you’re tired of typical broccoli recipes, try these 12 Yummy Ways to Enjoy Broccoli for something new!

3. Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes (along with carrots and winter squash such as butternut and pumpkin) are all rich in beta-carotene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory nutrients your body loves! Beta carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body, directly in the liver. It’s important to get your Vitamin A through beta-carotene rich foods in place of supplements. Supplements with too much Vitamin A can be toxic to the liver since Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin (meaning more gets stored than excreted.) Sweet potatoes and other foods rich in Vitamin A, however, do not cause liver toxicity and can not be stored for long-term use like supplements can. Sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber and Vitamin C, other cleansing and immunity-boosting nutrients that help your liver function at its best. Try using sweet potatoes roasted in a hearty, plant-based dinner, or use them as a simple lunch by stuffing them with salsa and some hummus for an easy mid-day meal.

4. Lemons

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Lemons love your liver and your liver loves them right back! Lemons are a natural cleansing food and essentially one of the best to “get things going” in all areas of your body. Lemons provide a wealth of antioxidants, primarily Vitamin C, and they help your liver produce more enzymes which give you more energy and help with digestion. Lemons are also a natural replacement for salt in the diet since they’re high in electrolytes that support your body but that don’t dehydrate your cells like sodium does. In fact, they’re often recommended as a salt replacement for individuals on a liver disease diet for this reason. Lemons are also alkalizing to the body, despite being acidic on their own. Once they enter the body, they help neutralize toxins, excrete wastes, and jump start the entire digestive process. Use organic lemons since you don’t want any chemicals from conventional lemon peels interfering with their benefits. This Red Lentil Soup with Fresh Cilantro and Lemon is a great recipe to care for your liver and your appetite at the same time!

5. Lentils

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Speaking of lentils, your liver loves them too! Lentils are rich in fiber, which assists with the cleansing process and they’re also a natural source of plant-based protein. Too much protein is not recommended since it can be especially hard on the liver. Lentils provide just enough protein to support your body without causing any harm. They’re also some of the easiest legumes to digest, which will help your body use them better for nutrient distribution.

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