If your liver is not doing well, there’s a good chance you aren’t either. Liver health and function plays an essential role in over 500 bodily processes, including keeping your body free from toxins. It is essentially your body’s engine, filter, and fuel source. When it’s not functioning correctly, your risk for serious illness can go way up.
You know I’m going to say it: eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes can promote liver health and functionality. But so can how you cook and season all the food you eat. So, if you want to give your liver a little boost, consider making garlic and extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) go-to staples.
Garlic is known for a host of health benefits. It’s typically touted for its allicin content, an antioxidant with several potential therapeutic uses. But for liver health, garlic might be beneficial as a source of sulfur and selenium. Sulfur may activate liver enzymes to help remove toxins, while selenium can help clean your liver so it functions better. After all, even filters need be cleansed.
Extra-virgin olive oil can also have some big benefits for liver health. EVOO is a fixture in heart-healthy eating plans, but research shows it also has specific perks for the liver. A compound called hydroxytyrosol, found in EVOO, has been found to reverse the signs of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in mouse models. NAFLD is a rather new health phenomenon, likely caused by high sugar consumption. It affects roughly 30-percent of U.S. adults and up to 70-percent of diabetics and obese people.
To get even more benefit from these liver-boosting foods, use them to cook cruciferous veggies and add in your favorite spices.
Garlic and olive oil can be used in countless marinades or sauces, or simply added to your skillet to boost flavor and enhance cooking. Garlic powder or minced garlic can be used in place of fresh garlic when needed and should be easy to fit into any daily eating routine.