14 Foods That Cleanse The Liver - Incorporate These Liver Cleanse Foods Into Your Diet.
Liver: Why and How to Incorporate It Into Your Diet (Without an Unpleasant Taste)
We've explored some of the myths regarding liver. Now, let's look at some of its health benefits. Organ meats can give us nutrients above and beyond the muscle meats (like chicken, beef, and pork) that we typically eat. It is precisely due to these nourishing nutrients that liver, especially from grass-fed and organic sources, trumps many other foods in our traditional diets.
- Vitamin-Rich: Liver is rich in a multitude of vitamins, notably the B vitamins as seen in the chart above. It is one of greatest sources of vitamin B12 in any food on the planet. B12 is important for proper nerve and blood cell operations. It is also a concentrated source of bioavailable vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for organ functioning and eye health.
- Full of Trace Minerals:Liver is especially high in the minerals selenium and iron. Selenium is needed for immunity and disease prevention as well as thyroid health. Adequate iron levels are needed for energy, oxygenation, and to prevent anemia.
- Contains Coenzyme Q10:Many people supplement with CoQ10. Getting an adequate amount is essential for those taking statin drugs which are known to deplete levels. CoQ10 is abundant in liver. This substance is critical for heart health and is a powerful antioxidant that helps slow down the aging process.
- Source of Protein:A 3-ounce serving of liver contains 21 grams of protein. Protein is needed for tissue repair and growth and for appetite regulation.
- Helps with Detoxification:Have you ever heard the adage, "Eat what ails you?" Our livers are a main organ of detoxification, filtering unwanted pollutants out of our bodies. When we eat animal liver, we are actually fortifying our own organ and helping it to perform optimally. Animal liver also contains numerous vitamins, like folate, that support detoxification.
- Prevents Anemia:Getting vitamin B12 through liver may help prevent pernicious anemia, a disorder is which the vitamin is not properly absorbed in the body. This can sometimes be caused by inadequate intake of vitamin B12. Liver is also rich in iron, a mineral necessary for adequate circulation of red blood cells. These cells transport oxygen around the body. Liver can help one avoid iron-deficiency anemia.
- Boosts Brain Function:B vitamins, especially B12 and thiamin, are known for improving memory and overall brain health. Also, liver contains choline, a nutrient important for liver function, normal brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, and supporting energy levels. A study in theJournal of the American College of Nutritionstates that foods rich in choline, like liver, are important for the brain development of fetuses.
- Increases Immunity:Liver contains a host of antioxidants. Our immune systems need zinc to ward off viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Zinc is also important for the healing process. Selenium is known for its anti-cancer properties and for protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and from infection.
- Helps with Energy:An oft cited review from a 1951 article published in theProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicinedescribes a study which looked at three different groups of rats. One group ate a diet fortified with 11 vitamins. A second group ate the same diet with the addition of a B complex vitamin. The third group ate the same diet but, instead of B vitamins, they received powdered liver supplements. The animals were placed into a drum of cold water from which they could not climb out. They literally were forced to sink or swim. The first two groups swam for 13 minutes, but the ones receiving liver swam for longer than 60 minutes each. Something in the liver had prevented them from becoming exhausted. Whether it's the additional vitamins and minerals or just the overall composition of liver, that energy can translate to humans as well.
- Benefits Eye Health:Vitamin A is known for maintaining good vision. It can prevent cataracts, eye infections and age-related macular degeneration. Zinc is important in helping to transport vitamin A from the liver to the retina, to produce melanin, an eye protective pigment. Zinc also protects against night vision and cataracts.
Video: Love Your Liver with Ellie Freeman
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