11 The Best Foods For Your Healthy Liver

11 The Best Foods For Your Healthy Liver. The liver is the organ’s powerhouse. It performs a variety of important tasks, from processing protein, cholesterol and bile to storing vitamins, minerals, and even carbohydrates.

It also breaks down toxins such as alcohol, drugs, and natural byproducts of metabolism. Keeping your heart in good condition is necessary to protect health.

This article lists the 11 best foods to eat to protect your liver health.

1. Coffee

Coffee is one of the best drinks you can drink to boost your liver.

Research has shown that drinking coffee protects the liver from disease, even in those who already have problems with this organ.

For example, studies have repeatedly shown that drinking coffee helps reduce the risk of cirrhosis, or permanent liver damage, in people with severe liver disease (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

Drinking coffee can also help reduce the risk of developing a common type of liver cancer, and has a positive effect on liver disease and inflammation (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).

It’s even been linked to a lower risk of death in people with chronic liver disease, with the greatest benefit seen in those who drank at least three cups per day (4Trusted Source).

This benefit appears to stem from its ability to prevent the buildup of fat and collagen, two major markers of liver disease (2Trusted Source).

Coffee also reduces inflammation and increases the antioxidant glutathione content. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, which are naturally produced in the body and can cause cell damage (2Trusted Source).

While coffee has many health benefits, your heart, in particular, will thank you for that morning’s cup of coffee (5Trusted Source).


Coffee increases antioxidant levels in the liver, all while decreasing inflammation. It also helps lower the risk of developing liver disease, cancer, and fatty liver.

2. Tea

Tea is widely considered to have health benefits, but evidence has shown that tea may have specific benefits for the liver.

One Japanese study found that drinking 10 cups of green tea per day was associated with improvements in blood markers of liver health (6Trusted Source).

A smaller study of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) found that drinking high-antioxidant green tea for 12 weeks increased liver enzyme levels and may also help reduce oxidative stress and fatty deposits in the liver (7).

Furthermore, another review found that people who drank green tea were less likely to develop liver cancer. The risk was lowest for people who drank four or more cups per day (8Trusted Source).

A number of studies on mice and rats have also shown beneficial effects of black and green tea extracts (9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).

For example, one mouse study found that black tea extract reversed many of the negative effects of a high-fat diet on the liver, as well as improving blood markers of liver health (11).

However, some people, especially those with liver problems, should be careful before consuming green tea as a supplement.

That’s because there have been several reports of liver damage due to the use of supplements containing green tea extract (12Trusted Source).


Black and green tea may help improve enzyme and fat levels in the liver. However, exercise caution if you’re taking a green tea extract, as it may cause damage.

3. Grapes

Grapes, red and purple grapes, contain a variety of beneficial plant compounds. The most popular is resveratrol, which has a health function number.

Many animal studies have shown that grapes and grape juice can benefit the liver.

Studies have found that they can produce a variety of benefits, reducing inflammation, inhibiting damage and increasing antioxidant levels (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

A small human study with NAFLD showed that supplementation with grape seed extract for 3 months helped improve liver function (22).

However, because grape seed extract is present, you may not see a similar effect from whole grapes. More research is needed before when grape extract for liver is for sure.

However, mixed evidence from and several studies in humans prove that grapes are a friendly food.


Animal and some human studies show that grapes and grapeseed extract protect the liver from damage, increase antioxidant levels and fight inflammation.

4. Prickly pear

The prickly pear, scientifically known as Opuntia ficus-indica, is an edible type of cactus. Fruits and juices are the most commonly consumed.

It has long been used in traditional medicine as a treatment for:

  • ulcers
  • wound
  • fatigue
  • heart disease
  • A 2004 study of 55 people found that the extract of this plant helped reduce hangover symptoms.

Participants experienced less nausea, dry mouth, and not enough appetite. They were half as likely to experience chronic hangovers if they consumed the extract before drinking alcohol, which is detoxified by the liver (23).

The study concluded this effect was due to a reduction in inflammation, which often occurs after drinking alcohol.

Another study in rats found that consumption of prickly pear extract helped normalize enzyme and cholesterol levels when consumed along with pesticides known to be harmful to the liver. Subsequent studies found similar results (24Trusted Source).

A more recent study in mice attempted to determine the effectiveness of prickly pear juice, rather than its extract, in combating the negative effects of alcohol.

The study found that juice helps reduce the amount of oxidative damage and injury to the liver after alcohol consumption and helps maintain stable levels of antioxidants and inflammation (25).

More studies in humans are needed, especially using prickly pear fruit and juice, rather than extracts. Nonetheless, studies so far have shown that prickly pears have a positive effect on the liver.


Prickly pear fruit and juice may help with hangover symptoms by reducing inflammation. They may also help protect the liver from damage caused by alcohol consumption.

5. Beetroot juice

Beetroot juice is a great source of nitrates and antioxidants called betalains, which can promote heart health and reduce oxidative damage and inflammation (26).

It is reasonable to assume that eating beets alone would have similar health effects. However, more than one large study uses beet juice. You can make your own beet juice or buy beet juice from a store or online.

Several studies in rats have shown that beetroot juice helps reduce oxidative damage and inflammation in the liver, and also boosts natural detoxifying enzymes (26, 27, 28, 29).

While animal studies appear promising, similar studies have not been carried out in humans.

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


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

6. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mustard greens are known for their high fiber percentage and distinctive taste. They are high in beneficial plant compounds.

Animal studies show Brussels sprouts and broccoli sprout extracts help increase levels of detoxifying enzymes and protect the liver from damage (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).

A study in human liver cells found that this effect persisted especially when Brussels sprouts were cooked (30Trusted Source, 31Trusted Source).

A 2016 mouse study found that mice fed broccoli developed fewer tumors or fatty liver disease than their counterparts in the control group (32).

Human studies are limited. But so far, cruciferous vegetables look promising as foods that are beneficial for the freshness of the liver.

Try grilling it with garlic and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to turn it into a delicious and healthy dish.


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

7. Nuts

Nuts are rich in fats, nutrients – as well as the antioxidant vitamin E – and beneficial plant compounds.

This composition is responsible for more than one health function, especially for cardiovascular fitness, but also has potential for the liver (33).

A 2019 study found that a diet high in nuts was associated with a reduced risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (33).

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 (34).

While higher quality studies are needed, preliminary data prove nuts to be a necessary food group for liver health.


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

8. Fatty fish

Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats that help reduce inflammation and have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.

A 2016 conclusion found that omega 3 fatty acids helped lower liver fat and triglycerides in those with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (35).

Although consumption of omega-3-rich fatty fish appears to be beneficial for your liver, adding more omega-3 fats to your diet is not the only thing to consider.

The ratio of omega-3 fats to omega-6 fats is important.

Most Americans exceed the recommended intake for omega-6 fats, which are found in many vegetable oils. A very high omega-6 to omega-3 ratio may promote the development of liver disease (36).

Therefore, it is better if you reduce your intake of omega-6 fats.


Eating omega-3-rich fatty fish has many benefits for the liver. However, it’s just as important to keep your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in check.

9. Olive oil

Olive oil is recognized as a healthy fat due to its many health benefits, including its positive impact on heart health and metabolism.

However, it also has a positive effect on the liver (37).

One small study of 11 people with NAFLD found that consuming one teaspoon (6.5 ml) of olive oil per day increased liver enzymes and fat content.

It also increases protein content which is associated with positive metabolic effects (38).

The participants also had less fat accumulation and better blood flow in the liver.

Several recent studies have found similar effects of consuming olive oil on humans, including less fat accumulation in the liver, increased insulin sensitivity, and increased levels of liver enzymes in the blood (39, 40).

Accumulation of fat in the liver is a part of the first stage of liver disease. Therefore, olive oil’s positive impact on liver fat, as well as other aspects of freshness, make it a valuable member of a healthy diet.


Studies show that olive oil consumption helps decrease the levels of fat in the liver, increase blood flow, and improve liver enzyme levels.

10. Blueberries and cranberries

Blueberries and cranberries both contain anthocyanins, antioxidants that give berries their distinctive color. They have also been linked with many health benefits.

Several animal studies have shown that whole cranberries and blueberries, and their extracts or juices, can help maintain liver health (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

Consuming these fruits for 21 days protects the liver from damage. Additionally, blueberries help boost immune cell responses and antioxidant enzymes (17).

Another experiment found that a type of antioxidant commonly found in blueberries slowed the growth of lesions and fibrosis, the growth of scar tissue, in the liver of mice (18Trusted Source).

What’s more, blueberry extract has even been shown to prevent the growth of human liver cancer cells in test tube studies. However, further research is needed to determine whether this effect can be replicated in the human body (19).

Making these berries a regular part of your diet is a great way to help ensure your liver is supplied with the antioxidants it needs to stay healthy.


Berries are high in antioxidants, which help protect the liver from damage. They may even help improve its immune and antioxidant responses. Still, human studies are needed to confirm these results.

11. Grapefruit

Grapefruit contains antioxidants that naturally care for the liver. The two main antioxidants found in grapefruit are naringenin and naringin.

Several animal studies have found that both help protect the liver from injury (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source).

The protective effects of grapefruit are known to occur in two ways – by helping to reduce inflammation and caring for cells.

Research has also shown that this antioxidant can help reduce the growth of liver fibrosis, a dangerous situation in which too much connective tissue builds up in the liver. This is usually the result of serious inflammation (13Trusted Source, 1Trusted Source 4Trusted Source).

In addition, in mice fed a high-fat diet, naringenin decreased the amount of fat in the liver and increased the amount of enzymes needed to burn fat, which can help prevent excess fat accumulation (13).

Finally, in mice, naringin has been shown to help increase the ability to metabolize alcohol and counter some of the negative effects of alcohol (15).

So far, effects derived from grapefruit or grapefruit juice itself, not its components, have not been studied. In addition, almost all studies examining the antioxidants in grapefruit have been conducted on animals.

However, current evidence proves that grapefruit is a great way to keep your liver healthy and help prevent damage and inflammation.


The antioxidants in grapefruit protect the liver by helping reduce inflammation and increase its protective mechanisms. However, human studies, as well as those on grapefruit or grapefruit juice itself, are lacking.


Your liver is a necessary organ along with many important benefits.

Therefore, it is recommended that you do what you can to protect it, and the foods listed above have shown beneficial effects on the liver.

This includes:

reduce the risk of liver disease and cancer
increase the percentage of antioxidant and detoxification enzymes
offers protection from harmful toxins
Incorporating these foods into your diet is a natural and healthy way to support maintaining optimal liver function.

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