The liver is the body’s organ responsible for filtering and eliminating toxic substances, aiding in digestion, storing nutrients, and manufacturing proteins, enzymes, and glucose. That is why you have to take care of it and keep it in its best health.
The dietitian and nutritionist Cristina Sabaté, from the Júlia Farré center, assures RAC1 that there is no miracle food. “No matter how many liver-friendly foods we eat, if we don’t accompany our day-to-day with a healthy diet in general, one or two foods alone won’t protect us at all,” she explains. “But there are some that stand out for contributing to the good health of the liver,” she clarifies.
1. All whole grains
Whole grains have a high amount of dietary fiber and prevent cholesterol from being absorbed as much and the liver does not end up accumulating too much cholesterol. Of all these, Sabaté highlights oats, which have beta-glucans. “There are studies that ensure that the beta-glucans in oats can help reduce cholesterol levels,” he explains.
So that there are no doubts, the nutritionist clarifies that drinking oatmeal does not have the same effect, since the amount of fiber is minimal. She also highlights brown rice as one of the best sources of dietary fiber and it is also very rich in vitamin B6, which is very important because liver enzymes can carry out their functions.
2. Foods rich in omega 3
Fat is an enemy of the liver. The higher the intake of omega 3 fatty acids, the healthier our lipid profile will be. “It is convenient to eat walnuts and also small-sized oily fish: sardines, salmon or mackerel, to ensure this omega 3 that is so difficult for us to acquire,” specifies Sabaté. “In the end we end up eating inflammatory fats, like saturated and trans,” he laments.
As a complement, Sabaté adds that chia and flax seeds are also rich in omega 3.
3. Vitamin E from olive oil
Olive oil is optimal for liver protection, not only because it is an unsaturated fat, but also because it provides vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant that protects against liver inflammation. Turmeric is also beneficial for its antioxidant properties.
4. Vegetables with choleretic effect
Foods with a choleretic effect are those that promote the secretion of bile and favor the digestive process. Within this group of vegetables, broccoli stands out and also those with a bitter touch, such as escarole or endive, as well as green asparagus and artichokes.
The artichoke, especially, contains substances called cynarin and silymarin, which are anti-inflammatory and favor the digestion of fats. And as many vegetables as possible, steamed.
In addition, the expert also recommends incorporating legumes into the diet, since they are also a source of protein but do not have the saturated fats that animal meats have.
Boldo is a plant from which it is customary to make an infusion. It is especially interesting for its choleretic and cholagogue properties (which regulate the progressive emptying of the gallbladder), and it is considered to be highly protective of the liver.
Green tea and even coffee are also recommended for some people and in moderate amounts.