Liver detox diet
Suffering from skin problems, mood swings or poor energy levels? The liver detox diet might be the way forward
Hormonal imbalance, high cholesterol levels, skin problems, poor energy levels, dark circles under the eyes, foggy thinking, mood swings or irritability, halitosis (bad breath), body odour, excessive sweating and poor sleep.
It mightn’t be the sexiest detox around, lacking its lemon cousin’s celeb ambassadors, but the liver detox is among the most helpful clean-out solutions, according to Naturopath Jacqueline Evans.
“It seems the more far-fetched the diet is, the more attractive it is to people desperate for improved health,” she says.
“The liver is the primary organ which filters the blood and metabolises any toxins present. In reality we are not detoxing the liver, we are providing the liver with the right raw materials it needs to complete its phase one and two detoxification pathways effectively."
What foods should we eat?
Foods and supplements said to promote liver function include cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, brussels sprouts and broccoli, garlic and onions, beetroot, dark green leafy vegetables and brightly coloured vegetables, and fruits – specifically yellow, orange and red ones.
Supplements and other food items suggested for liver function include cold pressed oils such as olive, macadamia, avocado and coconut oil, raw or soaked nuts and seeds, spirulina, evening primrose oil, dandelion, St Mary’s thistle and turmeric.
What should we avoid?
Liver detox diets cull foods that are toxic to the body and therefore add metabolic stress to the liver – think alcohol, caffeine, preservatives, additives, colourings, flavourings including ‘natural flavourings’, hydrogenated oils, trans fatty acids, refined sugar and refined carbohydrates.
Evans says there is a building body of evidence to support specific nutrients and their benefit to the liver detoxification pathways. She recommends would-be liver cleansers read Sandra Cabot’s The Healthy Liver & Bowel Book.