Did you read this title and wonder how berries could aid in liver detox? The truth is, consuming these brightly-colored fruits can make an enormous impact in flushing toxins from your liver.
Statistically speaking, very few people fully understand the role the liver plays in the human body; if you’re in this camp, this article might interest you. As far as its location, the liver sits on the right side of the stomach. And it is responsible for detoxifying chemicals and metabolizing drugs in the body. In accomplishing both of these tasks, the liver secretes an alkaline fluid known as bile, which eventually makes its way into the intestines. The acids in bile help the intestines digest and absorb fats and fat-soluble vitamins.
The liver is also instrumental in removing waste from the body. In short, the liver keeps the body running like a fine-tuned machine. However, if too many toxins build up in this meaty organ, they can prevent it from functioning correctly. Fortunately, consuming certain foods can go a long way toward preventing and even preventing this problem, some of which include berries.
HOW BERRIES CAN HELP WITH LIVER DETOX
In carrying out its many complex functions, the liver relies on Kupffer cells. These are star-shaped cells found in the linings of the liver’s sinusoids. Wild berries, particularly raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries, which are rich in antioxidants, can help these cells and the liver as a whole perform better. However, there are many more that offer the same benefits when it comes to improving liver function.
WHAT ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?
Having established that wild berries are a great source of antioxidants, let’s take a moment to go over what they do and, more importantly, why you need them. According to an article published by Medical News Today, an online resource for medical information aimed at physicians as well as the general public, antioxidants are chemical substances that aid in preventing or slowing down damage to cells caused by free radicals. For those who are unfamiliar with free radicals, they are a byproduct of oxidative stress. Free radicals are known to contribute to a wide range of illnesses and can also cause premature aging.
Along with compromising liver function, free radicals have also been linked to the following:
- Certain cancers
- Senile dementia
- Degenerative eye disease
- Inflammatory joint disease
- Atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the artery walls)
While the human body is more than capable of producing antioxidants on its own to help lower the risk of developing these chronic health problems, it is not always able to produce enough of them. And this is where consuming foods antioxidant-rich foods into the picture.
WHAT BERRIES SHOULD YOU EAT TO IMPROVE LIVER FUNCTION?
If you’re experiencing any of the tell-tale signs of liver problems, such as dark-colored urine, nausea, vomiting, or chronic fatigue, adding antioxidant-rich berries to your diet might be worth considering. After all, they can help improve liver function and also strengthen the immune system. That said, let’s take an in-depth look at 15 berries that you should start eating today:
Along with being an excellent source of polyphenol antioxidants, raspberries contain vitamin C and ellagic acid, an oxygen-containing heterocyclic compound with even more antioxidant properties. All of the nutrients in raspberries are effective in detoxifying the liver. Raspberries also contain ketones, which, structurally speaking, are nearly identical to the capsaicin in red peppers and the synephrine in citrus peels. These ketones can significantly reduce fat build-up in the liver, which, in turn, allows it to function better.
2. GOJI BERRY
Although native to China, the goji berry can be found in most supermarkets across America. Like raspberries, they are rich in antioxidants that can detoxify the liver. However, they offer much more. The goji berry, which is a dark red and mildly tart fruit, contains vitamin A as well as zeaxanthin, which have both been shown to improve eye health.
Blueberries contain unique polyphenol antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Along with liver detox, anthocyanins can reduce oxidative stress in the body, which would otherwise lead to the development of free radicals. So it stands to reason that the more blueberries you eat, the less likely you are to develop the chronic health problems commonly associated with free radicals.
Antioxidant-rich strawberries are good for both the liver and the heart. In a study published by ScienceDaily, individuals who consumed at least three servings of strawberries each day reduced their chances of suffering a heart attack by as much as 30 percent by the end of the study.
Although more common in Europe, bilberries can be found at select supermarkets in America as well. Like strawberries, a diet that includes bilberries can improve liver and heart health. Along with antioxidants, they also contain vitamin C and E, both of which can help with liver detox and reducing inflammation.
6. ACAI BERRY
Although grown natively in the Amazon region of Brazil, the acai berry is just as plentiful in America. It also contains an above-average antioxidant content, which makes it the ideal fruit for those who are interested in embarking on a liver detox journey. It is also an excellent source of fiber, which can improve digestive health while keeping you regular.
The anthocyanins, vitamin C, glutathione, and chelation found in cranberries are all equally effective when it comes to improving liver function. According to one article published online, vitamin C helps remove fat deposits from the liver, glutathione speeds up the detox process, and chelation allows the liver to rid itself of even more harmful contaminants, including metals.
8. RED GRAPES
While we may not always think of them as such, grapes are part of the berry family. And they offer their fair share of health benefits. According to one study, grapes (especially grape juice) can help reduce fat build-up in the liver, which not only helps with the detox process but also keeps the organ healthy. Also, the skin of red grapes is rich in resveratrol, which helps with inflammation.
9. CAMU CAMU
The Camu Camu berry is a sour and dark red berry that is native to the Amazon rainforest. Although this particular berry is not always readily available in America, it does offer numerous health benefits, including liver detox. Along with antioxidants and vitamin C, this dark red berry contains properties that support eye, gum, and skin health.
Goldenberries have a yellow-orange color that allows them to stand out from many other fruits in the berry family. And they are chock-full B vitamins, protein, and fiber, all of which can help regulate metabolism and boost energy. They also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
11. MAQUI BERRY
The maqui is a small purple berry that is native to Chile. Along with antioxidants that support a healthy liver, they contain heart-healthy flavonoids that have been shown to fend off cardiovascular disease. According to an article published by U.S. News and World Report, this small purple berry can minimize inflammation in blood vessels and also prevent arteries from hardening. The same article also states that the maqui berry can help regulate blood glucose levels.
Mulberries can do more than improve the health and function of your liver. With a taste similar to Mulberries can do more than improve the health and function of your liver. With a taste similar to that of blackberries, mulberries contain a high percentage of vitamin C, iron, and magnesium. They are also rich in polyphenol antioxidants and potassium. As far as health benefits, mulberries can help lower high blood pressure, protect against cardiovascular disease, improve liver function, and much more.
13. SEA BUCKTHORN BERRY
The sea buckthorn berry is about as close as you can come to a multivitamin if you’re not already taking one. This yellow-orange berry is packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, not to mention B-complex vitamins for good measure. Along with liver detox, consuming this particular berry helps strengthen the immune system, protect against cancer, and speed up wound healing. The flavonoids and carotenoids in this tart-tasting berry may also reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, according to several credible studies.
Native to China, bayberries support all-around good health, which includes a healthy liver, by offering ample amounts of vitamins A, C, and E. This dark red and slightly acidic berry is also an excellent source of folate.
Often grown in swamps and wet woods throughout North America, chokeberries are rich in antioxidants as well as manganese and vitamins A, E, C, and K. They also contain iron and folate. And because of their distinct and delicious taste, chokeberries are often used to make wine, tea, and syrups. Of course, the health benefits that come with consuming any of these offerings makes them that much more enticing.
All in all, the liver plays a critical role when it comes to keeping the body healthy. That said, eating berries, perhaps even a handful, each day is a great way to make sure it continues to function correctly.