Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!


Health Monster

How to Detox Your Liver the Natural Way: A 5 Step Guide


You’ve all heard the promises of common detox diets out there today. “Shed 5 pounds in a day” or “Cleanse your body with this juice!” are some of the most common ones seen and heard of in our culture. Clearly, people want to lose weight or want to cleanse their bodies of who knows what. That’s no news, but the truth is, keeping your liver free of toxins as much as possible will lend you some health favors.

Your liver is your go-to guy (or gal) for keeping you well. It actually performs over 400 functions in your body!!! It sifts through every single thing that comes into your body and uses what it can and gets rid of what it can’t, so it’s important to keep things coming in that your body can use, rather than things it has to filter out because it recognizes them as harmful invaders.

When your liver is overwhelmed with burden to constant remove instead of use, you’ll feel:

  • sluggish
  • tired
  • may gain weight
  • suffer headaches
  • have odd digestion
  • have pain in your right side
  • may have skin discoloration

No fun, right? Optimizing your diet with fresh, plant-based foods is a great place to start to keep your liver clean and healthy, but other than that, some other important things can help keep your liver free from toxic overload.

Here are five realistic (non-diet) ways to detox your liver, whether you’re coming into a healthy lifestyle the very first time or you just need a regular tune-up pre-holiday party season:

1. Kick the Booze

Listen, no matter what those health claims around red wine may say, all booze is bad news for your little liver. It doesn’t like any of it, even the kind that’s packed with more antioxidants than the rest. Sorry merlot! Alcohol is a toxin in any form and your liver will use a large amount of energy trying to get rid of the alcohol so it can purify your blood. During this process, it can use up a good bit of metabolic energy, which often leads to weight gain, sluggishness, fatigue, and yes, sleepiness. Plus, not all beer and wines are vegan anyway, so why not just avoid all the bad stuff in one step?

2. Flush It With H20 (and Add Some Lemon!)

Your liver likes to be clean (much like you do!) and what’s better than keeping it clean with fresh, alkalizing water? Water contains natural minerals when it comes from a healthy source (not from chlorinated tap waters), so use spring or well water when you can, or check with your city’s water to see if it’s environmentally safe (some areas are better than others). Also, use a water filtration system that removes the carbon and chlorine particles when possible. Add a squeeze of lemon to your water to add even more alkalizing and cleansing properties. Lemon and all citrus fruits contain Vitamin C and minerals that boost bodily functions and enhance the cleansing process, sweeping out wastes. Flushing your liver is like giving your body a good pre-wash so your blood stays at optimal pH levels. Aim for as many glasses a day as you can or drink caffeine-free herbal tea as a second option.

3. Eat The Best Foods Possible

You needn’t count your calories to care for your liver but you do need to eat high-quality foods. This means eating organic, fresh foods whenever possible such as leafy greens packed with  magnesium, chlorophyll, Vitamins A and C, along with fresh vegetables and fresh fruits when possible. Buying organic is important, but is especially important for your liver since pesticides, herbicides and fungicides toxify the liver and can even cause cancer. If you can’t afford everything organic, buy what’s on sale and do what you can. It really is worth your effort! These foods provide pure nutrients for your liver to cleanse and rebuild the blood to provide you with more energy and a healthy body. Organic fruits and vegetables also contain higher amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and sulfur, which all boost liver detoxification and cleansing. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, collards, apples, onions, garlic, and squash are all great choices. Also see: 10 Foods to Cleanse and Care for Your Liver.

4. Eat the Right Fats

Your liver is responsible for producing bile that breaks down fats, so one area of your diet you want to be sure you don’t forget about is the type of fats you eat. Eating healthy fats like almonds, coconut, walnuts, hemp, chia, and flax, along with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, olives, and avocado are all the best sources of fat for your diet. Avoid animal fats that lead to artery-clogging inflammation and avoid vegetable oils (like corn and soy) at all costs.

5. Choose Smart Supplements

It’s also important to choose your supplements selectively. Don’t just swallow a pill that promises good health. High-quality B vitamins (choose a plant-based brand) and selenium are important since they help metabolize substances in the body that help keep your liver healthy. Herbs such as milk thistle and artichoke leaf also help cleanse the liver. You can purchase a whole foods, plant-base multivitamin, B supplement, or buy a specialized liver support formula. While not 100 percent necessary, certain B vitamins and herbs like those mentioned here have been found to support the liver outside a healthy diet.

Your liver has two stages of detoxification, known as Phase 1 and Phase 2. All five of these tips will aid in both steps of detoxification without you feeling sick and like someone stole the life out of you in the process. There’s no need to go on crazy cleanses. Take care of your body with a whole foods, no junk, and booze-free vegan diet, and be sure you exercise and get some fresh sunlight whenever you can.

Oh, and though it goes without saying, cut the smoking and the late nights out with no sleep too- your liver’s not a huge fan, we promise!

 Image Source: Trevor Leyenhorst

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

12 Foods to Help You Survive Winter Allergies, Colds and The Flu


Carb up! Here Are The Healthiest Carbs You SHOULD Be Eating


How to Take Care of Your Thyroid on a Plant-Based Diet


10 Powerful Foods That Can Change Your Health in a Short Amount of Time

10 Powerful Foods That Can Change your Health

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

65 comments on “How to Detox Your Liver the Natural Way: A 5 Step Guide”

Click to add comment
fast and train
3 Months Ago

There are some positive sides to detox diets, but you shouldn\'t detoxing for long period of time. It could be fatal to your health. Our body has self-detox system already.

22 Oct 2016

Properly down long juice fasts are fine. yes, water alone is dangerous.

Heather Rasche
11 Months Ago

Chhyna Mae heres a good start . I didnt forget about you my love. Sry my hands are always super full but i will get you more info today like promised :)

Chhyna Mae
04 Jan 2016

Thank you!! No worries!

Sue Palencia
11 Months Ago

Livers don't need detoxing. They do it naturally.

22 Oct 2016

This is a very outdated proclamation with the immense planetary toxicity we all are taking in. Even newborns have hundreds of chemical poisons which do not just go away naturally.

Alexandria Mercedes
11 Months Ago

Sasha Drljevic lol

Jazmyn Rusnack
11 Months Ago

Ethan Rusnack

Ethan Rusnack
02 Jan 2016

Brandon FormosaAndy MillerDarren J Martin

Darren J Martin
02 Jan 2016

Jazmyn Rusnack

Mal Denken
11 Months Ago

Just don't put "toxic" stuff in the body, and call it "detoxing". Everything else the liver takes care about! ;-)

Lee Cashman
11 Months Ago

Why do you think so many health issues exist? Because peoples Kidneys, Livers and GI Tracts are messed up from drinking too much alcohol and eating junk food. Your liver has to filter your blood and all the crap from foods we ingest so of course it can became stressed and not function properly causing health issues. Eat clean whole foods and take herbs that support your liver such as turmeric and milk thistle.

Amy Auld
11 Months Ago

Henry Hailes a good read

Carl Prakaashana
11 Months Ago

If detox worked there would be no dialysis wards.

Jennifer Burger
11 Months Ago

"A simple 7-day detoxification program resulted in a significant reduction in participant symptomology. The tendency toward improvement in liver detoxification measures is consistent with the hypothesis that improved liver detoxification capacity may contribute to well-being." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10895516

Drew Geller
02 Jan 2016

I just read the full PDF article. It had a low sample size and and no placebo control group. Furthermore, all the laboratory values that were measured were not statistically significant between the before and after measurements. The diet they had the patient on was a healthy diet, but I would say that their research did not support the use of the 7 day fast or the use of the dietary supplement in question.

Drew Geller
02 Jan 2016

Keep in mind, a low fat, healthy diet is appropriate for all well people and those with liver disease.

Jeffrey A Coffman
02 Jan 2016

Not to mention the article is 15 years old. Anything over five, unless it's earmarked as a sentinel study, is outdated.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×