In order to live a long and happy life, it’s essential to keep your liver healthy.
It’s the second-largest organ in your body, and is responsible for a number of vital activities.
Important liver functions include:
- Metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and proteins
- Activating enzymes
- Storing vitamins, minerals, and glycogen
- Detoxifying your blood
- Producing and excreting bile
Suffice to say, if your liver is weakened, you’re going to have a bad time.
Symptoms of an unhealthy liver include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Easy bruising
- Darkened urine
- Yellowed skin
Awful stuff, right?
Thankfully, there are a number of smart lifestyle choices you can make to avoid most (if not all) of these horrors.
One such choice is eating liver-friendly food on a regular basis.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the 7 best fruits for your liver.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
It’s readily available at pretty much every convenience store.
Nonetheless, the humble apple is quite exceptional when it comes to liver health.
For one, the fruit contains plenty of protective polyphenols.
It’s also been found that pectin (a special type of fiber found in apples) lessened fatty liver disease in those eating a high-fat diet. (study)
Apples also contain malic acid — which gives some of them their sour flavor.
The vibrant green types (like Granny Smith) are richest in it.
But how does it help your liver?
Well, malic acid has been shown to be a good metal chelator.
Basically, it binds to harmful heavy metals that accumulate in your body (including your liver) and helps flush them out. (study)
Sounds pretty nice, right?
Yet another good reason to eat your daily apple.
In recent years, some unnerving research has come out regarding fat intake and liver health.
A notable study found that diets very high in monounsaturated fats may induce fatty liver disease over time. (study)
As long as you don’t overeat, though, you shouldn’t worry.
When consumed in moderation, avocado can do really good things for your liver.
This, in turn, may reduce your chances of developing liver disease.
In 2001, an interesting study was done on rats that had mild liver damage. (study)
The researchers fed the animals 22 different fruits and measured their effects.
They concluded that avocado had “extraordinarily potent liver injury suppressing activity”.
When they looked closer, 5 beneficial fatty acid derivatives from the fruit were singled out.
Blueberries are a well-known health food.
You’ll often find them among the top mentions of “healthiest things you can eat”.
Luckily, it’s not just hype.
In fact, they might just be one of the most affordable “superfoods” around.
Blueberries are good for your body in many ways, including helping out your liver.
For instance, they contain quite a bit of vitamin C — 9.7mg per 100 grams (16% of the daily recommended value).
Some research suggests that the vitamin can reduce oxidative stress and damage to the liver (study).
And then there’s the effect blueberries have on hepatic fibrosis (when your liver accumulates excessive scar tissue).
Hepatic fibrosis is often caused by repeated damage from poor diets or too much alcohol.
According to research, blueberries may alleviate hepatic fibrosis and help you avoid these scary conditions (source).
Grapefruit is another hard-hitter when it comes to liver health.
This is mostly due to its powerful antioxidant activity.
Two flavonoids, naringin and naringenin, have been shown to be responsible for most of it.
They protect the liver cells from oxidation and reduce inflammation of the organ.
Just like blueberries, this makes grapefruit helpful in preventing hepatic fibrosis (study).
But that’s not all.
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found something even more interesting. (study)
Grapefruit juice fed to rats had a positive effect on their hepatic detoxification enzymes.
In plain English:
The citrus fruit significantly helped with cleansing their livers.
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Grapes were considered a delicacy in ancient times.
And it’s easy to see why:
They’re simply one of the most palatable fruits in the world.
Due to this, though, many people seem to think that grapes aren’t nutritious.
Sure, they’re not at the top of the list in terms of micronutrients per gram.
Still, they’re not anywhere near useless.
For one, they can do wonders for your liver health.
This is mainly because they have good levels of antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation.
If you go for the red and purple variants of the fruit, you’ll also get plenty of resveratrol.
This plant compound has been shown to have several health benefits, especially for your liver. (scientific review)
Lemons are one of the fruits with the most citric acid.
This is used in countless homemade beauty scrubs and cleaning agents to great effect.
Luckily, though, their benefits don’t end there.
Lemons are highly beneficial for your insides as well.
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that citric acid could help treat toxic and inflammatory conditions in liver tissue (and the brain). (study)
Like blueberries, lemons are also very high in vitamin C.
In fact, 100 grams of the fruit will give you about 77mg of it — 128% of the RDV.
As mentioned earlier, studies indicate that vitamin C may reduce oxidative stress to the liver.
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7. Prickly Pear
Last but not least, we have the prickly pear.
It’s definitely more obscure than the others on this list.
However, it’s actually among the most powerful when it comes to liver health.
Prickly pear, also known as cactus fruit, has long been used in Native American traditional medicine — most often to treat burns, ulcers, and open wounds.
In recent decades, other potential uses have been documented by modern science.
Based on the research, prickly pear seems to be effective at lessening harmful effects of alcohol — especially when it comes to the liver.
One study found that a prickly pear extract could significantly reduce hangover symptoms. (study)
Another concluded that prickly pear juice could lessen liver damage and oxidative stress after alcohol consumption. (study)
Additionally, the cactus fruit is very rich in magnesium — 85mg per 100 grams (21% of the RDV).
In a scientific review from 2017, high magnesium intake was associated with a reduced chance of mortality from liver disease. (scientific review)
Though the exact mechanisms remained unclear, it doesn’t hurt to get some more of the essential mineral.
Those were the 7 best fruits for your liver.
As you can see, there’s plenty of variety here, and none of the mentioned fruits are particularly expensive or hard to find.
If you eat all of them on a regular basis, you may experience a great boost in your liver health.
It’s really easy to do:
- An apple or two
- A handful of blueberries
- A cup of grapes here and there
- A glass of grapefruit or prickly pear juice
- A couple of lemon slices
- Some avocado toast
And you’re set!
Enhancing your organ’s health naturally is really that simple.
When you’re out shopping for groceries, keep this list in mind — your liver will thank you for years to come.