11 Foods That Are Good for Your Liver

7. Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is a source of nitrates and antioxidants called betalains, which may benefit heart health and reduce oxidative damage and inflammation.

It’s reasonable to assume that eating beets themselves would have similar health effects. However, most studies use beetroot juice. You can juice beets yourself or buy beetroot juice from the store or online.

Several rat studies have shown that beetroot juice reduces oxidative damage and inflammation in the liver, as well as increases natural detoxification enzymes .

While animal studies look promising, similar studies have not been done in humans.

Other beneficial health effects of beetroot juice have been observed in animal studies and replicated in human studies. However, more studies are needed to confirm the benefits of beetroot juice on liver health in humans.

SUMMARY:

Beetroot juice protects the liver from oxidative damage and inflammation, all while increasing its natural detoxification enzymes. However, human studies are needed.

8. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens are known for their high fiber content and distinctive taste. They are also high in beneficial plant compounds.

Animal studies have shown Brussels sprouts and broccoli sprout extract increase levels of detoxification enzymes and protect the liver from damage .

A study in human liver cells found that this effect remained even when Brussels sprouts were cooked .

A recent study in men with fatty liver found that broccoli sprout extract, which is high in beneficial plant compounds, improved liver enzyme levels and decreased oxidative stress .

The same study found that the broccoli sprout extract prevented liver failure in rats.

Human studies are limited. But so far, cruciferous vegetables look promising as a beneficial food for liver health.

Try lightly roasting them with garlic and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to turn them into a tasty and healthy dish.

SUMMARY:

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts may increase the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes, help protect it from damage and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.

9. Nuts

Nuts are high in fats, nutrients — including the antioxidant vitamin E — and beneficial plant compounds.

This composition is responsible for several health benefits, especially for heart health, but potentially also for the liver .

One six-month observational study in 106 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found eating nuts was associated with improved levels of liver enzymes .

What’s more, a second observational study found that men who ate small amounts of nuts and seeds had a higher risk of developing NAFLD than men who ate large amounts of nuts and seeds .

While more high-quality studies are needed, preliminary data points to nuts being an important food group for liver health.

SUMMARY:

Nut intake has been associated with improved liver enzyme levels in patients with NAFLD. Conversely, low nut intake has been associated with a higher risk of developing the disease.