Liver health might not be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about making healthier lifestyle options, but perhaps that’s something to reconsider. This one organ affects many other aspects of our health ranging from blood, digestive, heart, and adrenal health. Our liver is responsible for getting rid of toxic wastes and filtering out what it doesn’t need before it releases our blood back into our bloodstream. Think for a moment about your liver as a water filter. You wouldn’t pour sludge down the filter when you know it would get clogged, right? Well, your liver shouldn’t have to bear a burden of trying to filter out sludge either. Everything that enters your mouth eventually ends up in your digestive system and your blood. Stop and consider your last meal. How do you think it could have possibly affected more than just your appetite?
Our bodies break down our food into cellular fuel for our blood so the nutrients in our food (if there are any depending on what we choose) can take care of us the way nature intended. Processed foods, especially refined options, don’t satisfy the body the way real foods do. Man-made foods also harm our health over time, especially in the liver due to the way it has to process and filter what we eat. It particularly doesn’t enjoy when we ask it to filter chemicals, refined sugar, hard to digest ingredients or alcohol.
But, before you think about all the processed foods you’ve eaten and how toxic your liver might be, consider this too: nature gave us the exact foods we need to heal and take care of our liver without us having to invest in fancy detox products or liver cleanse supplements. One of these foods is the humble beet.
What’s So Great About Beets?
Beets contain an array of nutrients that make them especially beneficial for detoxification organs in the body. This includes the liver, digestive system, and kidneys. Beets stimulate lymphatic flow, they aid in helping increase oxygen by cleansing the blood, and they contain assist with cleansing in every way you can imagine. For your liver, beets are used to break down toxic wastes to help excrete them from the body faster. They do this by improving enzymatic activity and stimulating bile flow. Beets are also a terrific source of fiber and Vitamin C, which naturally cleanse the digestive system.
How to Use Beets to Benefit Your Liver
The best way to use beets to benefit your liver is to simply eat them on a regular basis. Though you can juice with them and add them to smoothies, if you’re particularly brave, you can also easily benefit from them by just roasting some for dinner a few nights a week. Or, roast a large pan of beets on the weekend and eat them throughout the week. They taste delightful as they sweeten in the fridge over time, and they almost develop a caramelized flavor to them. To roast them, simply place on a lined or greased pan (use coconut oil for best results) and add a little pepper, lemon zest, or other seasonings you might like. Roast at 375-400 (depending on the strength of your oven) for around 45 minutes until the edges start to crisp up.
Much like sweet potatoes taste when roasted, beets should be slightly crisp on the outside and gushy and soft on the inside! They go nicely over salads instead of meat and pair wonderfully with kale, hemp seeds, and a lemon and apple cider vinegar dressing. Or, mix up a bunch of root veggies such as sweet potatoes, winter squash, onions, carrots, and beets for an even more liver-enhancing meal. Each of these contain fiber, detoxifying properties, and are excellent sources of nutrition.
If you do enjoy juicing, you can combine a beet with a head of romaine, lemon, ginger, a carrot, and a cucumber for an ultra cleansing, homemade energizing drink that will feel amazing…and be a beauty to enjoy as well!
To learn more ways to benefit your liver, see: 5 Natural Health Remedies to Benefit Your Liver and 10 Foods to Care For and Cleanse Your Liver. Do you use beets, and if so, share your favorite recipe!
Lead image source: Swong95765/Flickr