A list of foods and toxins that damage the liver
There are many foods that are toxic to the body and can harm the health of your liver. Consuming the wrong foods, drugs or toxins causes inflammation and damage to the liver cells, which can lead to fatty liver disease, hormone imbalances, jaundice, belly fat, cirrhosis and liver failure.
In this article, we will share with you a list of the worst liver-damaging foods which you can avoid We explain how these affect the liver and what you can do to reverse any damage.
1. Sugary Foods: Eating sugary foods often causes insulin resistance in the body which damages hepatic stellate cells in the liver. This slows down liver function and stops it from being able to process fat property, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The foods containing the most sugar are fruit juices, doughnuts, cereal bars, soda, flavoured yoghurts, biscuits, ketchup and sweet sauces like BBQ or ketchup. Always check the labels for hidden sugars labelled as maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup and fruit concentrates. Cut back on sugary foods and consume foods high in potassium to reduce sugar cravings like kale, avocados, beet tops, arugula and spinach.
2. Alcohol is on top of Liver Damaging Foods: The liver’s main function is breaking down and getting rid of toxins in the body. When it filters out alcohol, poisonous by-products are created which inflame the liver cells. This causes fat to build up in the liver also known as Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (AFLD). The good news is that the liver can repair itself from alcohol damage when you cut out alcoholic drinks like beer, wine, lager, vodka, gin and other spirits. Alcohol causes a Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficiency, so we recommend taking nutritional yeast to replenish this nutrient. To quickly detoxify alcohol from the liver consume kale, parsley, mineral water and a little sea salt in a blended smoothie.
3. High Glycaemic Fruits: Those who consume too many high sugar fruits are more likely to suffer from a fatty liver, especially later in life. The sweeter fruits like apples, pears, grapes, oranges, bananas and mangos are very high in fructose. Fructose is a form of sugar that is metabolised through the portal vein and sent straight to the liver to convert into fat. High sugar fruits can cause as much damage as alcohol to the liver when eaten too often, especially fruit juices. Switch to lower glycaemic fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to prevent this from happening. These are lower in fructose and have more phytonutrients to protect the liver.
4. Trans Fats: Some of the worst liver-damaging foods are hydrogenated oils like vegetable oil, margarine and easy spreads, cottonseed oil and canola oil. These cause massive amounts of inflammation in the liver which can lead to fatty liver disease, inflammation and scar tissue known as cirrhosis. We recommend cooking your own healthy meals using extra virgin coconut oil. This is a superfood rich in MCT’s (Medium-Chain Triglycerides). These healthy fats are easy for the liver to process and are converted into energy quickly. Extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil and eco-friendly red palm oil are also excellent alternatives.
5. Refined Grains: Refined grains and flours are some of the worst foods which harm the liver as they cause a high spike in blood sugar and insulin. This promotes fatty deposits in the liver which blocks its natural functions. The worst foods are bread, doughnuts, pie crusts, pizza bases, cookies, crackers, biscuits, waffles, pancakes, cereal bars, pasta and rice. These foods are high in carbohydrates which have the same negative effects as eating pure sugar. You can replace grains with healthy fats like avocado and grass-fed butter to satisfy you and reduce cravings quickly. Healthy vegetables like kale, broccoli, peppers, bok choi, cauliflower, garlic, onions and cabbage are the best sources of fibre, so keep away from the grains.
6. Sugar-Free Soda: Fizzy drinks contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame which converts into toxic compounds in the liver. This can trigger fatty liver disease, weight gain, obesity, type 2 diabetes, sleep disorders and many more problems. Many of these drinks also contain “caramel colour” which forms sticky proteins that clog up the liver, pancreas, arteries and kidneys. These are known as A.G.E’s (Advanced Glycation End Products). Phosphoric acid within cola also blocks your body’s ability to absorb calcium and magnesium which causes mineral loss in the teeth and bones. Switch to a good quality carbonated mineral water with a little stevia and freshly squeezed lemon juice for a healthy alternative. The vitamin C in lemons helps to reverse damage caused by drinking soda. You may also take a supplement of benfotiamine to reduce damage from A.G.E’s.
7. Fillers: Pre-packaged and processed foods often use fillers, or bulking agents as thickeners or preservatives. You can find these on the food labelled as maltodextrin, dextrose and polydextrose. Maltodextrin is the most common form which is often added to ready meals, baby milk formulae, beef jerky, medications, vitamin supplements, soups, chips, dry rubs, dressings and sauces, beer, cakes and other puddings. This is one of the highest ingredients on the glycaemic index and causes a massive surge in blood sugars which damages the hepatic cells within the liver, causing insulin resistance and inflammation throughout the organ. Start cooking your own healthy meals using fresh ingredients and consume apple cider vinegar daily in a glass of water. This will strengthen the stomach and help in reversing damage caused by filling agents.
8. Soy Foods damage liver: Products contain soy can cause a range of different problems in the body. 80-90% of soy products in the USA are genetically modified (GMO) and contains herbicides like glyphosate that can cause liver disease. Soy is hidden in many different foods such as vegetable oils, protein bars, diet shakes, ready meals, vegetarian meat substitutes, soy milk and even some baby milk formulas. It is also considered an anti-nutrient as it contains phytates that block the absorption of proteins and minerals in the body.
To reverse damage caused by eating lots of soy, consume cruciferous vegetables to detoxify the liver. Boosting your zinc intake from pumpkin seeds is also very helpful. The Japanese often eat ‘Natto’ a form of fermented soybeans which are much healthier for the body and less likely to cause damage. As you can see there are many foods that are causing damage to the liver and there are also lots of natural foods that can be used to heal the liver. It is important to learn about which foods to avoid so that we can secure our long-term liver health, leading to a longer healthier and more enriched life. A healthy liver is able to filter 1.7 litres of blood every single minute and keep hormones like estrogen and testosterone balanced. We recommend consuming bone broth daily, as this supports liver function and triggers a boost in an antioxidant called glutathione in the body. Glutathione plays a key role in detoxifying and regulating the cells within the liver. Smoking, pollutants, medical drugs and the foods mentioned in today’s video all put stress on the liver, as it has to break down these chemicals and restore a healthy body. Luckily the liver has the ability to completely heal itself and reverse all damage when you consume the right foods rich in nutrients. Eating large amounts of leafy green cruciferous vegetables is the best way to detoxify the liver and trigger healing within the cells.