Our livers are of utmost importance when it comes to our health. Everyone wants to know how to cleanse and detox their liver, and even just care for it more often on a day to day basis. This is a great thing! We should give our livers a little more love through our diets and lifestyle choices. Processed foods, nicotine and other drugs, alcohol, sugar, and a host of animal-based food products can all cause harm to the liver. But a healthy diet, regular exercise, proper sleep and using natural products in our homes versus chemical products can all help us achieve a healthier liver more naturally.

Since our liver filters everything we eat to distribute it into the bloodstream and organs, we need to be sure we don’t put too much strain on it. A whole foods, plant-based diet is one of the best ways to care for your liver with fruits, vegetables and leafy greens being the most nutritious choices of all. With spring time approaching us quickly, it’s time we work some seasonal fruits and vegetables onto our plates more often. Many of them even come with specific liver-boosting benefits, which is like Mother Nature telling us this time of year is a nice time for a reboot!

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Here are some cleansing fruits and vegetables to eat more of right now:

1. Artichokes

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Darya Pino/Flickr

Artichokes are fantastic for boosting liver function, detoxifying harmful agents from the blood, they improve elimination (also important for overall health), and are packed with fiber and even a little protein! Use them either fresh and either steam them, roast them whole in the oven, or go the easy route and buy jarred artichokes packed in water (not oil) to use on salads or in dishes of your choosing. They’re also a nice veggie to dip into hummus or salsa for a change of pace.

 

2. Arugula

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thebittenword.com/Flickr

All greens are great for your liver, including arugula, a delicious tiny green to enjoy this time of year. It’s pungent, a bit spicy, and such a great salad addition. It also can be added to entrees in place of spinach for a nice change of flavor. Arugula helps with digestion, has been shown to fight cancer, and is rich in chlorophyll to fight inflammation.

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3.  Asparagus

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Such a yummy vegetable, asparagus couldn’t be any easier to enjoy or any better for us! It’s full of fiber and cleansing properties, offers 4 grams of protein in just a cup, has a large amount of the B vitamin folate, and is rich in antioxidants, chlorophyll, and even libido-boosting properties. Asparagus also contains a vast array of nutrients that specifically help with fighting off toxins and overall acidity. Try it in some of our delicious recipes!

 

4. Fennel

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Fennel is such an overlooked vegetable. It might look scary, but it’s so good for you! If you problems with digestion or just general indigestion, fennel can help you out dramatically. It contains enzymes that don’t just break down your food, but also break down toxins and prepare them for elimination. Fennel is also a good source of vitamin C, a critical vitamin needed for liver function and immunity. You can “shave” the bulb of fennel into salads for a sweet touch and use the stems to juice with or chop and use anywhere you’d use celery. Another popular choice is to roast the whole fennel bulb for an hour in the oven, just like you would onions, sweet potatoes or other healthy veggies. It also makes for an incredible addition to a variety of vegetable soups since its sweetness increases once cooked.

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5. Pineapple

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Not that we need another reason to eat this healthy fruit, but it never hurts to learn a few more. Pineapple’s enzyme content, specifically bromelain, is the reason why it’s so good for your liver. These enzymes help break down toxins in the body to prepare them for elimination and as a result, you feel better and digestion even improves. Its high vitamin C content is also beneficial for your liver and can improve your overall immune function. Best of all, pineapple is also high in potassium which helps flush wastes from the body and supports overall water balance.

 

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Other spring fruits, greens and vegetables good for your liver include: Swiss chard, beets, green snap peas, chives, cucumbers, spinach, kale, berries, basil, apricots and broccoli. These healthy foods’ natural beauty should tell us how great they are for us. Give your liver more live-giving foods, not harmful foods it can’t use properly to give you what you need for good health and a better chance at a long life.

So what are you waiting for? Head to the produce section and get started!

Lead Image Source: Mango Sorbet With Banana and Pineapple