Unsung hero: Unveiling the power of liver-loving foods | Health - Hindustan Times

Unsung hero: Unveiling the power of liver-loving foods

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Apr 07, 2024 08:12 PM IST

Looking for a guide to healthy eating for liver health? Fitness experts reveal a list of foods that keep your liver happy and healthy

The key to a healthy liver lies in delicious choices every day but do you know how? Our bodies are incredible machines, constantly working behind the scenes to keep us healthy but some organs deserve a special shout out – the liver, for example as this unsung hero silently performs over 500 vital functions, from filtering toxins to regulating blood sugar.

Unsung hero: Unveiling the power of liver-loving foods (Photo by The Amino Company)
Unsung hero: Unveiling the power of liver-loving foods (Photo by The Amino Company)

So, how can we show our liver some love? The answer lies on our plates! In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Saravana Kumar Mohanraj, CEO and Co-Founder of OORLA, shared, “Many delicious foods pack a powerful punch when it comes to liver health. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are champions at detoxification because their sulforaphane content and healthy fats, like those found in avocado and olive oil, aid in absorbing essential vitamins and protecting liver cells but a rising star in the liver-loving world is Sivappu Kavuni Rice (Red rice).”

He explained, “Red rice, with its vibrant anthocyanin pigment, boasts a unique nutritional profile. It's a good source of fibre, which helps regulate digestion and keep toxins moving through the body. Additionally, red rice contains complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy, preventing the blood sugar spikes that can stress the liver. We all know about Quinoa, Millet, Ragi and Oats but what many people don’t about is Buckwheat also known as – kuttu. Whenever we are fasting our grandmother and mothers savour us with kuttu puff bread or halwa indeed there is food science behind it why waste the process of detox that’s why grains like buckwheat were chosen. It is rich in essential minerals such as phosphorus, and Copper and magnesium which plays crucial role in energy metabolism within liver cells.”

He added, “Phosphorus directly fluctuate and contribute in various enzymatic reaction and Copper is main source on powering factor to regulate and control biochemical pathways for overall liver health. So, by regulating blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of insulin resistance and fatty liver it checks all the pointers to maintain a good balance in both liver and body. So Next time you're building a meal instead of sowing the oats try to treat your body with buckwheat delights and consider giving your liver a high five with these delicious and functional foods. Remember, a healthy liver is vital to overall well-being, and with some planning, you can keep this essential organ functioning at its best!”

Bringing her expertise to the same, certified nutritionist Nupuur Patil said, “As a crucial organ responsible for filtering toxins and aiding in digestion, the liver plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall health. Supporting liver function through a balanced diet is essential for promoting overall well-being and preventing liver diseases. Incorporating leafy greens like spinach, and Swiss chard into your diet provides essential nutrients such as folate, which aids in liver function and repair. In addition, these greens are rich in chlorophyll, which helps to neutralize toxins and support detoxification processes. Besides leafy greens, adding cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage to your diet is a great way to boost liver health. These vegetables are abundant in compounds called glucosinolates that support liver detoxification enzymes.”

She suggested, “Another way to keep your liver in good shape is to include healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish like salmon and sardines as they have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce liver inflammation and improve liver function. A tasty way to take care of your liver health is to munch on berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries as they are rich in antioxidants, which help to protect liver cells from damage caused by free radicals. These fruits also contain fibre and vitamin C, which support digestion and immune function.”

The fitness expert concluded, “Besides, make the most of turmeric, an ingredient found in every Indian kitchen. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can benefit liver health. Adding turmeric to your diet, either through cooking or supplementation, may help reduce liver inflammation and prevent liver damage. Last but not least, drinking green tea has more to do than only helping in your weight loss journey. It has been linked to improved liver function and a reduced risk of liver diseases such as fatty liver disease. Green tea contains catechins, which have antioxidant properties that protect liver cells from damage.”

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