Summer cocktails can take a toll on your liver, but fear not, I’m not suggesting that you ditch the cocktails and cold ones! Of course, moderation is important, but if you enjoy a cocktail occasionally on a hot summer day, read on for some suggestions on how you can keep your liver healthy despite the alcohol consumption.
First off, let me explain how alcohol can harm your liver. Think of your liver as your body’s main detoxifier. It rids toxic waste to help prevent infections. Your liver needs water to effectively rid the waste and alcohol dehydrates you, robbing the liver of the main ingredient it needs for eliminating waste!
Another way alcohol damages your liver is that it produces a toxic enzyme called acetaldehyde, which can damage liver cells and cause permanent scarring, This can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, which can become life-threatening if left unchecked.
A few drinks here and there are unlikely to cause severe damage to your liver, but either way you look at it, it’s wise to incorporate foods into your regime that are protective of your liver.
Here are my three favorite, liver-protective foods that have the most scientific research backing them.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens and Brussels sprouts are a must in anyone’s diet! They have so many beneficial properties and are one of the most protective foods against cancer.
They help your liver by increasing detoxification enzymes. An animal study found that broccoli sprout extract prevented liver failure in rats.
Broccoli sprouts are available in many grocery stores. Note that anything sprouted increases its beneficial nutrients exponentially!
Fatty fish like salmon are loaded with Omega-3s, which we know promotes heart health and brain health. Studies show that omega-3s also fight liver inflammation and keep liver enzyme levels healthy.
Several studies have linked olive oil to lower fat accumulation in the liver. Olive oil also keeps liver enzyme levels optimal. It also assures better blood flow to the liver. I cook with olive oil and dress my salads with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
I hope you all can find ways to incorporate these three types of food into your daily diet. The cool thing is that each of these food choices not only benefit your liver, but also help prevent several health ailments!