BY: Lively Staff

June 5, 2017

5 Cleansing Detox Foods Your Liver Will Love

Is your kitchen stocked with these 5 detox foods?

If you’ve ever had that run-down, something-doesn’t-feel-right feeling, it might be your body trying to tell you something; maybe you overindulged in delicious food over the weekend, or got a little off track with your healthy diet.  It happens to all of us, and there are ways to realign your body so that you feel your very best – like with detox foods!  

Sometimes your body feels like it needs a break – that’s where incorporating detox foods into your diet can be highly beneficial.  Certain foods contain nutrients and antioxidants that stimulate liver function and can aid in eliminating toxins. 

detox foods

1. Garlic

It has been shown that garlic can boost immune system functionality.  One large-scale study found that the number of common cold sufferers was reduced by 63% compared to those who took a placebo during the 12-week study (1). This nutrient-dense veggie is a great detox food because just a tiny amount is potent enough to trigger enzymes that aid in eliminating toxins in the liver.  Adding garlic to soups, sauces, and savory beverages for quick consumption. You can take it as a supplement adding a crushed clove to a teaspoon with a little bit of honey. They honey just makes it easier to swallow!

2. Apples

With it’s nutritional benefits, it certainly couldn’t hurt to make apples a dietary staple.  Boasting a high fiber content, apples have beens shown to play an integral role in creating satiety, especially when eaten between meals (2).  Apples are also quite rich in Vitamin C, which acts as a natural diuretic to the body and can aid in digestion (3).  Research shows that a chemical called pectin makes apples a major player in helping the body eliminate toxins from the digestive tract, which encourages the liver to more easily handle toxins during cleansing (11).

3. Lemons 

There is nothing more refreshing on a hot summer day than sipping on an ice cold water infused with a lemon slice or two.  Besides tasting great, adding lemon to water, salad dressings, and other recipes provides a host of health benefits.  Lemons are packed with the antioxidant Vitamin C and citric acid which is essential for skin health.  Since lemons contain so much Vitamin C, they can help to increase the absorption of iron from complementary foods as well (4).  Studies have shown that when consumed with water the morning, lemons can jump-start liver function (11).

4. Turmeric

Spice up your dinner with a sprinkle of turmeric, one of the ultimate detox foods!  Turmeric is a plant of the ginger family, native to Southeast India. It is majorly used in popular dishes such as curries, stews, meats and even desserts. A component found in turmeric called curcumin has been shown to produce a healthy inflammatory response when used properly. These effects may be accomplished through it’s ability to inhibit molecules usually associated with inflammation (5).  Turmeric is a great detox food because it helps to stimulate important enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins (10). 

5. Beets

Beets naturally contain nitrates, which are effective when working to increase energy and athletic performance (6).  But wait–you might be thinking that nitrates are “bad,” right?  While certain nitrates can do more harm than good, the nitrates found in beets can have positive health effects.  Dietary nitrates, which are found in beets, convert to nitric oxide, which aid in eliminating toxins from the body (8, 9).  Rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene – important antioxidants commonly found in plants – beets contain nutrients that benefit overall liver function (7).



(1) Josling, P. (2001). Preventing the common cold with a garlic supplement: A double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in Therapy,18(4), 189-193. doi:10.1007/bf02850113

(2) Hammad, Shatha, Shuaihua Pu, and Peter J. Jones. “Current Evidence Supporting the Link Between Dietary Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease.” Lipids51.5 (2015): 507-17. Web.

(3) Slavin, Joanne L. “Dietary fiber and body weight.” Nutrition21.3 (2005): 411-18. Web.

(4) Kaczmarczyk, Melissa M., Michael J. Miller, and Gregory G. Freund. “The health benefits of dietary fiber: Beyond the usual suspects of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.” Metabolism61.8 (2012): 1058-066. Web.

(5) Chainani-Wu, Nita. “Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa).” The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 9.1 (2003): 161-168.

(6) Murphy, M., Eliot, K., Heuertz, R., & Weiss, E. (2011). Whole Beetroot Consumption Acutely Improves Running Performance. Journal of the American Dietetic Association,111(9). doi:10.1016/j.jada.2011.06.051

(7) Váli, László, et al. “Liver-Protecting Effects of Table Beet (beta Vulgaris Var. Rubra) During Ischemia-Reperfusion.” Nutrition, vol. 23, no. 2, Feb. 2007, pp. 172–178.

(8) Kröncke, Klaus-D., Karin Fehsel, and Victoria Kolb-Bachofen. “Nitric Oxide: Cytotoxicity versus Cytoprotection— How, Why, When, and Where?” Nitric Oxide1.2 (1997): 107-20. Web.

(9) Larsen, Filip J., Tomas A. Schiffer, Sara Borniquel, Kent Sahlin, Björn Ekblom, Jon O. Lundberg, and Eddie Weitzberg. “Dietary Inorganic Nitrate Improves Mitochondrial Efficiency in Humans.” Cell Metabolism13.2 (2011): 149-59. Web.

(10) Braun, Lesley, and Marc Cohen. “Herbs and Natural Supplements, Volume 2: An Evidence-Based Guide, Volume 2.” Elsevier Health Sciences, 30 Mar. 2015. Print.

(11) Guan, Yong-Song, and Qing He. “Plants Consumption and Liver Health.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2015 (2015): 824185. PMC. Web. 6 Mar. 2017.

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