Keep your body’s most im­por­tant detox­i­fi­ca­tion path­ways in top shape with these liver- sup­port­ive veg­gies and herbs

Better Nutrition - - CONTENTS - /// BY LISA TURNER

Heal Your Liver Keep your body’s de­tox path­ways in top shape with these veg­gies and herbs.

Af­ter a long hol­i­day sea­son with too much sugar, fat, and heavy drink­ing, your liver may need a lit­tle care. Try these seven foods, shown to help strengthen the liver, im­prove its cleans­ing pro­cesses, and pro­tect it from dam­age.

1 Ar­ti­chokes are rich in cya­narin, chloro­genic acid, and other com­pounds that boost the liver's de­tox path­ways, pro­tect against ox­ida­tive stress, and re­duce the risk of liver dam­age. It's also high in in­ulin, which helps stim­u­late com­po­nents of the im­mune sys­tem.

TRY THIS: Steam whole ar­ti­chokes and serve them with warm olive oil in­fused with rose­mary and gar­lic; toss chopped ar­ti­choke hearts with can­nellini beans, black olives, roasted red pep­pers, and baby arugula; quar­ter baby ar­ti­chokes, grill un­til ten­der, and toss with a dress­ing of minced shal­lots, grape­fruit juice, and olive oil.

➋ Cof­fee re­duces in­flam­ma­tion and pro­tects against fatty liver dis­ease and in­flam­ma­tion. Stud­ies show that drink­ing cof­fee low­ers the risk of cir­rho­sis, a con­di­tion marked by scar­ring of the liver, even in peo­ple with chronic liver dis­ease. It may also pro­tect against liver can­cer and re­duce mor­tal­ity in peo­ple with chronic liver dis­ease.

TRY THIS: Blend cooled es­presso with vanilla Greek yo­gurt, freeze in an ice cream maker, and top with shaved cho­co­late; sim­mer co­conut milk with gin­ger, turmeric, and honey, then strain and add to brewed cof­fee; mix in­stant es­presso pow­der, brown sugar, chipo­tle pow­der, gar­lic pow­der, and brown sugar, and use as a rub for grilled salmon.

➌ Broc­coli sprouts, like all cru­cif­er­ous veg­eta­bles, are rich in sul­foraphane and other com­pounds that boost detox­i­fi­ca­tion and pro­tect the liver from dam­age. In one study, men with fatty liver dis­ease who took broc­coli sprout ex­tract showed im­proved liver en­zyme lev­els and de­creased ox­ida­tive stress.

TRY THIS: Toss broc­coli sprouts with sliced red onion, pomegranate seeds, wal­nuts, feta cheese, and olive oil; roll broc­coli sprouts, av­o­cado, car­rots, cu­cum­bers, and cooked brown rice into sheets of nori for quick veg­gie sushi; sautŽ shal­lots and wild mush­rooms in olive oil and gar­lic, add broc­coli sprouts to warm, and toss with pasta.

4 Beet juice has tra­di­tion­ally been used as a rem­edy to ac­ti­vate liver en­zymes and in­crease bile, which helps the liver's de­tox func­tion. It's high in be­ta­lains and other com­pounds that have been shown to re­duce in­flam­ma­tion, pro­tect against ox­ida­tive stress, and re­duce the risk of liver dam­age.

TRY THIS: Juice whole beets, gin­ger, car­rots, and green ap­ples for an up­lift­ing morn­ing bev­er­age; com­bine beet juice, grape­fruit juice, lime juice, and sparkling wa­ter, and gar­nish with lime wedges; sim­mer beet juice with honey, rose­mary sprigs and bal­samic vine­gar, and use as a glaze or dress­ing.

5 Grape­fruit is packed with narin­genin and naringin, an­tiox­i­dants that pro­tect the liver by re­duc­ing in­flam­ma­tion and prevent­ing ox­ida­tive dam­age. Some stud­ies have shown that narin­genin and naringin may help re­duce the risk of cir­rho­sis and he­patic fi­bro­sis, the de­vel­op­ment of ex­ces­sive con­nec­tive tis­sue in the liver. Naringin also helps the liver's abil­ity to me­tab­o­lize al­co­hol and pro­tects against some of its dam­ag­ing ef­fects.

TRY THIS: Toss grape­fruit sec­tions with cubed av­o­cado, frisse, pomegranate seeds, and pis­ta­chios; com­bine chopped grape­fruit sec­tions with minced red pep­per, red onions, jalapeno pep­pers, cilantro, and lime juice for a zesty salsa; cut grape­fruits into wedges, in­clud­ing skin, toss with sliced fen­nel and olive oil, and roast un­til ten­der.

6 Green tea is high in cat­e­chins, an­tiox­i­dants that im­prove blood mark­ers of liver health, boost liver en­zyme lev­els, and pro­tect against ox­ida­tive stress and fat de­posits in the liver. Some stud­ies sug­gest that green tea also re­duces the risk of liver can­cer. Be­cause some stud­ies sug­gest that con­cen­trated green tea sup­ple­ments can in­crease the risk of liver dam­age, it's best to drink it in its nat­u­ral form.

TRY THIS: Cook brown rice and dried mush­rooms in a broth of strong brewed green tea, tamari, and gin­ger; com­bine matcha green tea pow­der with minced gar­lic, gin­ger, se­same oil, and rice vine­gar for a ro­bust Asian dress­ing; purŽe cooled green tea with cu­cum­bers, baby spinach, and honey for a re­fresh­ing bev­er­age.

7 Blue­ber­ries are rich in an­tho­cyanins, an­tiox­i­dants that re­duce in­flam­ma­tion and pro­tect the liver from ox­ida­tive stress. Some stud­ies sug­gest that blue­ber­ries, as well as cran­ber­ries, pro­tect against liver dam­age and re­duce the risk of fi­bro­sis.

TRY THIS: Sim­mer mashed blue­ber­ries with minced onion and sprigs of fresh thyme, then purŽe for a sa­vory jam; toss blue­ber­ries with chopped kale, dried cran­ber­ries, edamame, red onion, cashews, and quinoa, and driz­zle with olive oil; com­bine blue­ber­ries, Greek yo­gurt, and chia seeds, then re­frig­er­ate overnight and top with chopped pecans for a fast break­fast bowl.

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