The Best Foods for Liver Health: A Complete Guide

In this video, the host discusses the importance of maintaining a healthy liver and shares the top seven foods for liver health. The liver plays a crucial role in detoxifying the body and breaking down toxins. The foods recommended for a healthy liver include cruciferous vegetables, eggs, sprouts (especially broccoli sprouts), beets, garlic, salmon (or other omega-3 fatty acid foods), and lemon. These foods are not only rich in nutrients but also have properties that support liver function, reduce inflammation, and help eliminate fat from the liver. The video also mentions the benefits of apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and milk thistle for liver health.

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Key Insights:

  • The liver breaks down toxins in two phases – phase one breaks down poisons and phase two adds nutrients to the new molecules.
  • Common toxins that the liver breaks down include plastics, pesticides, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, pollutants, and chemicals in the air, water, and food.
  • If the liver becomes inflamed or damaged, it can lead to symptoms such as itchiness, fatigue, belly fat, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, skin problems, and joint issues.
  • High fructose corn syrup, poisons like pesticides and heavy metals, medications, and certain oils like vegetable oils can be harmful to the liver.
  • Top foods for liver health include cruciferous vegetables, eggs, sprouts (especially broccoli sprouts), beets, garlic, salmon (or other omega-3 fatty acid foods), and lemons.
  • Other beneficial substances for the liver include apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and milk thistle.


Today we’re going to show you the best seven foods that you need to be eating to clean out your liver. Now, what many people don’t realize about the liver is they think it’s a storage place for toxins, when it normally does not store toxins. It gets rid of toxins. Now, toxins are stored in the fat cells, so if you have a fatty liver chances are you will have toxins stored in your liver. But if you don’t have fat on your liver, you’re not going to store toxins.

Now, before I get into the foods, I want to jump right into what the liver does. Okay, so number one, it helps detoxify the body. So let’s go to the whiteboard to explain that point.

Alright, check this out. We have the liver, and the liver goes through two different phases, actually three phases, but I’m going to focus on these two phases right here when it gets rid of poisons or toxins. Phase one is all about breaking things down, okay, turning poisons into a water-soluble harmless particle which is in the phase two. So, we’ve got this whole chemical reaction, there’s a lot of different chemical reactions that occur, not just one. So, phase one is breaking things down, and then phase two is about adding things to that new molecule. And you need certain nutrients on both of these sections. You have B vitamins, you need antioxidants, B12, folate, and a lot of other nutrients.

So, what is the liver breaking down? It’s breaking down plastics, pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, alcohol, caffeine, drugs, aspirin, Tylenol, corticosteroids, antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, recreational drugs, pollution, and the million chemicals that come with that, both in the air, the water, in your food. And then you have people that are smokers, or you get secondhand smoke, benzene, and hundreds of other different chemicals that’s going right through your body into your liver, that the liver is coping with and trying to get rid of. All these things, solvent and glyphosate which is in GMO food, this is like a real big one for a lot of people. So then a kind of phase three would be the elimination of this new compound that’s now a harmless particle. And it’s quite amazing that your body does this because your body is able to detoxify naturally, which is really cool.

Now, what happens if you get constipation? Well, everything backs up, so it’s very important to not let constipation go on and on and on, do something about it. I have a lot of videos on that. But there’s another condition that’s very common, but they’re not aware of it, and that’s bile sludge. There’s such a thing as bile sludge. And so you have the gallbladder, and you have all these tubes that kind of drain into the gallbladder and out into the small intestine. All these different tubes can get backed up with kind of a thickened bile material. And so one way to know if you have that problem is you have pain or tension or tightness on the right side up through here. It could be a fullness underneath your right rib cage. In which case you need to number one, take something called TUDCA, you can look that up, as well as follow the solutions that I’m going to get into later in this video.

Now, a couple of other things that can mess this process up. Let’s say you’re missing B vitamins, you don’t have the right nutrients that can slow things down. Or let’s say you have a fatty liver, that can decrease the function of the liver. Or if the liver is inflamed, or if you have scar tissue as in cirrhosis, all these things can slow down this process, as well as not consuming some of the foods I’m going to talk about. But the good news about the liver is that it’s one of the only organs that can regenerate very quickly. As long as you have some liver left, like 25%, and you change your ways, your liver can grow back into a normal liver. So that’s really exciting, but there’s always a point of limitation where there’s too much damage that can be done. This explains liver detox.

Alright, number two, it actually makes something called bile. Bile is very similar to like detergent or soap. It helps to extract certain nutrients in food that are fat soluble. Like the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin A, D, E, K1, K2. Also omega-3 fatty acids. Also, there are certain plant nutrients called phytonutrients, like lutein, for example, that’s really good for the eye. And so a lot of these phytonutrients in plants are also fat-soluble. This is why when you have a salad, it’s really good to add olive oil or some other oil to help extract these nutrients from the salad.

But bile has this unique property to extract these nutrients from your food. And bile is made from your liver and it’s stored in the gallbladder. And as a side note, all the extra cholesterol that your body makes, as well as gets from your diet, is extracted with the help of bile. Bile is also involved in helping you make your thyroid hormones work. So when we go through T4, which is an inactive hormone, to T3, which is the active form of the thyroid hormone, you need bile. And bile also helps us to ensure that there’s no microbes building up in our small intestine.

And one last little point about bile, which is interesting, guess what makes bile? Cholesterol. Cholesterol is the raw material that helps make bile, interesting.

Alright, number three, the function of the liver. Your liver makes certain hormones. Okay, now you’ve probably heard of growth hormone, that’s made by your pituitary, and that goes down to the liver, and then that activates another hormone that the liver makes called insulin-like growth factor number one, IGF-1. And you can think of IGF-1 as just basically an extension of growth hormone. So whatever growth hormone does, IGF-1 will do. So, it’s going to help you with fat burning, and it’s going to help you make proteins.

Now, as another part of this liver function related to hormones, it helps you buffer hormones. So if there’s too much estrogen in the body, or too much androgens like testosterone, your liver will help to regulate that. Also, if there’s too much stress hormone like cortisol, the liver will help you regulate that as well.

So whether the liver becomes fatty or inflamed or develops scar tissue as in cirrhosis, all sorts of symptoms can occur. And to help you understand the symptoms, let’s go back to my whiteboard.

Alright, these are the symptoms of the liver: itchiness, especially in your feet, fatigue or lethargy, belly fat, because the liver is filling up with fat and it’s spilling off into areas around the organs and in the organs in your abdomen. Diabetes and pre-diabetes and insulin resistance, which comes before both of those things. Hormonal imbalances, especially with estrogen, testosterone, which have all sorts of cascade issues from hair loss to menstrual cycle issues to menopausal problems. Many different types of skin problems occur because of the liver. Joint issues, especially arthritis, stiffness, and things related to the gallbladder, like belching, burping, bloating, gallstones, as well as hypothyroidism because we need a healthy liver to convert at least 80% of the thyroid from T4, the inactive, to T3, the active form of the thyroid hormone.

Now there’s a couple of little last things I want to mention. You have these liver enzyme tests: AST, ALT, ALP. If you ever get your liver tested and there’s a problem with one of these three high liver enzymes like AST, that means there’s damage from toxins like alcohol, medication, or some other toxin. Whereas if it’s a high ALT, that’s mainly damage from just having a fatty liver. And then if it’s high ALP, that could mean you have a blockage in your bile duct or bile sludge. So these are the main liver symptoms.

Now, I do want to touch on the bad foods for the liver before the good foods. So let me just quickly go through them. The high fructose corn syrup, okay, anything with high amounts of fructose is really bad for your liver because it creates all sorts of problems with insulin. It creates a fatty liver. So then we have various poisons for the liver. So poisons is a pretty large category. You have pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides. You have heavy metals, okay? All these things can be in our food supply. But you also have other poisons like medications. Yes, medications are also poisons, and so a lot of people develop complications from their medications that involve damaging the liver. Especially things like prednisone, which is a synthetic cortisol, just devastating to your liver. Then you have many others like antacids, antibiotics, vegetable oils. These are unsaturated oils like corn oil, like soy oil, cottonseed, canola, safflower, and too much sunflower and too much peanut oil are all high in something called omega-6, which are inflammatory, especially if they’re heated, as in fried foods.

You know, I see this a lot when you go to restaurants. They have these appetizers which you eat to stimulate your appetite, like maybe you weren’t hungry at all going to this restaurant, you need to stimulate your appetite, get the juices going. And you have things that are always involving these vegetable oils, like deep-fried onion rings or deep-fried cheese or deep-fried pickles or corn chips. Then you have things that are fried in the oil and sweetened, like the deep-fried chicken wings that they have. Then you have these veggie rolls which are deep-fried and then you dip them in some type of sugary sauce. Right? Then you have other things with the corn chips. You have all these different dips, all these wonderful appetizers are just terrible for the liver.

What’s also hard on the liver is when you have sugar with protein as in barbecue ribs. Okay, so that’s really hard on the liver. Ribs are fine as long as you don’t add the sugary type sauce with them. And then we also have the combination of like meat and starch. Right? Then you have steak and potato or steak and fries. Well, you should have the steak and the vegetable, but not the starch, and especially not the french-fried starch. All these things are really hard on the liver. The more cooked foods that you eat, the more canned foods you eat, the harder it is on the liver as well. So that means the body has to make enzymes and it kind of depletes the enzyme reserve. And so at least 50% of the time, you should be consuming some raw foods like vegetables, things like that.

And of course we have alcohol, sugar, refined foods like refined carbohydrates. Now, one point about the liver, if your liver is damaged or fatty, okay, and it’s swollen, that may refer pain to the right side of your back, a little bit lower right between the scapula and the spine, it’s called the rhomboid muscle. And you’ll have tightness in the back right through here. I used to have that for many years, I had no idea what it was, and I would go to the chiropractor and have millions of adjustments and it never got better. Well, that’s because it was my liver.

Now, if the gallbladder itself is congested, not necessarily with stones, but just with sludge, that creates tightness on the right part of your right trap right through here that can radiate up to your neck. And you’ll a lot of times get that massage for so many years without relief. Now, if the ducts, the little bile ducts between the liver and the gallbladder are kind of clogged because there’s sludge or stone, that can refer pain anywhere in this area because it can back up to the liver, as well as some fullness or tightness or pain underneath the right rib cage. Okay, so I just wanted to point that out.

Alright, so what are the foods that are best for the liver? Well, it would be those foods that provide detoxification, that provide lowering inflammation, that helps slow down the scarring process and the development into cirrhosis. Let’s start with number one, cruciferous vegetables. That would be the kale, the broccoli, the arugula, the cabbage, the beets, the Brussels sprouts, and there’s many more. So cruciferous vegetables not only have these enzymes to help this phase one, phase two detoxification process. But they also can trigger your own body’s production of these enzymes to help the detoxification process. Plus, they’re loaded with nutrients as well as hundreds of phytonutrients that are anti-inflammatory, that are anti-cancer, that are liver-protective, that help your blood sugars.

So if we take it one step further and we take cabbage and ferment it into sauerkraut, we have extra benefits of the probiotics in that product. So that’s going to help get rid of the fat from your liver, it’s going to reduce the inflammation on your liver, and the fiber itself can actually feed the microbes in your colon to help make more bile, which will then help you thin your bile and allow things to travel through the liver a lot better so it doesn’t back up. But sauerkraut is awesome for the liver because it’s easy to digest. It also is loaded with Vitamin C. I mean, I think one cup of homemade sauerkraut is almost 700 milligrams of vitamin C. That’s higher than anything else out there.

What I’ve been doing recently is not just having lettuce for my salad, I’ll alternate between cabbage, I can cut cabbage or coleslaw. And then other days, I’ll do arugula. So that will just give me extra benefits than just having the regular lettuce. And then sometimes, I’ll do a kale salad. Okay, kale is like just a powerhouse as far as phytonutrients. And some people steam it because sometimes it’s hard to chew and digest in a salad. What you might want to try is to take organic kale, raw put it into the freezer, freeze it, take it out, and then it breaks into these little crystals that you can then put into your blender, add some blueberries with some water, blend it up and drink your kale salad.

Number two food is eggs. Now, why are eggs good for the liver? Because eggs have the highest amount of choline, and choline is one of the most powerful things to strip fat from your liver. And it does a lot of other good things too, but it will also help you regulate cholesterol. But also, as far as the detoxification process, you need a high-quality protein, and eggs are at the top of the list to give you those amino acids that are necessary for detoxification. But as far as the protein goes, it is the highest quality protein that you can eat. And it’s very easy to digest, and it’s really easy on the liver compared to other proteins that are really hard on the liver. The worst protein that you can eat for the liver is the soy protein isolates. Also, whey protein is hard on the liver because these isolates are kind of a refined protein product. And anytime you eat something out of the normal complex, your body has a hard time with it.

Alright, number three, sprouts, specifically broccoli sprouts, but other sprouts are good too. So what’s so unique about the broccoli sprout is it has like a hundred times the amount of sulforaphane as adult broccoli. And sulforaphane is one of those powerful phytonutrients that is not only cancer-protective, but it helps with this phase one, phase two detoxification, turning poisons into harmless particles. So if you were to take just a small amount of sprouts and put them in your salad, or take like a half a cup of sprouts, put them in a blender with some berries and blend that down with water, you would have something that is very beneficial for your liver.

Alright, number four, beets. Beets have special properties that reduce inflammation in the liver, help to mobilize the bile release from the liver. Beets are also good to reduce fat on your liver, even though they’re a little bit sweeter. They also can help your blood sugars. So you could eat your beets raw, but it’s really hard to chew, so I would steam them, and you can add them with all sorts of recipes and stews, put them on your salad. It’s endless. Also, as a side note, don’t throw away the beet tops, okay? Because the beet tops have the most potassium of anything you can eat. So you want to chop those up, put those in your salad.

Alright, number five, garlic. Garlic is loaded with the sulfur that your liver needs to make those compounds in that phase one, phase two detoxification. Not to mention, it’s anti-inflammatory, it’s antimicrobial, so it does a lot for the liver.

Alright, number six, salmon or other omega-3 fatty acid foods. You can do sardines, you can even do what I like, is canned cod liver. Okay, it’s not just cod liver oil, it’s called liver. It’s quite good. But one recipe that I really like in my salad is to chop up cabbage and take a can of tuna and mix it with the cabbage, okay? So now we have the omega-3 and the cruciferous together. I’ll put some lemon, I’ll put olive oil, and I’ll make a great salad. Another recipe that I like is roasted Brussels sprouts with salmon. That’s a really good combination. We got the omega-3 and the cruciferous.

And number seven is lemon. Lemon is not only loaded with vitamin C, if it’s raw not pasteurized. But lemon can help reduce fat on your liver, lemon is anti-inflammatory, and it’s very sour. Anything sour or bitter is good for the liver.

So, basically seven foods, you could pretty much mix them all together and have one meal and that would be the most awesome meal for your liver.

Now, there’s other things that are good for the liver as well, like apple cider vinegar, of course diluted in water and drink that, great for blood sugars, great for your liver, especially for fatty liver. Then you have olive oil, which helps you extract fat-soluble nutrients from your salad, and it has anti-inflammatory properties. And you should really use the extra-virgin olive oil in all of your salads.

Now, this is not necessarily a food, it’s just an herb. But out of all the herbs, the top plant would be milk thistle. Now, milk thistle has fascinating properties related to the liver. It is liver protective. It actually protects the liver from poisoning and all types of poisoning, poisonous mushrooms, poison from a snake, poisons from Tylenol, alcohol, heavy metals, pesticides. So if you have anything wrong with your liver, you should probably be taking milk thistle as a routine thing, especially if you’re on medications because milk thistle can reduce the complications from medication.

Now, there’s some fascinating information that I did a video on relating to certain problems with your foot and how you can use that to determine the health of your liver. If you haven’t seen that video, you should really check it out. I put it up right here in the liver playlist.