Understanding that the liver is an organ that plays a large role in many bodily functions -- primarily detoxification -- will help you rule out some foods. Alcohol is one of the big no-nos, especially considering that alcohol abuse is a common factor in many cases of liver failure.
Other foods to avoid during the liver cleanse include anything with too much fat, cholesterol, processed sugar or sodium. It's components like these, which are often found in junk food, fast food and processed food, that don't contribute many nutrients to your diet. Red meat, deli meat, soda and caffeine are a few particular items to avoid [source: Waltz].
But forget what you can't have -- what can you eat? Like any health-conscious diet will suggest, foods that treat the liver well are rich in nutrients. To aid the liver in carrying out its processes, you should consider foods that are high in fiber, vitamins C and E, and zinc. In addition, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables are also highly recommended [source: Waltz].
There are also foods that will help you maintain your liver's health after you've completed the cleanse. Aim for a diet rich in fruit and vegetable juices, artichokes, beets, carrots, wild greens, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage [source: Lisanti].
Visit the next page to learn more about your liver and the cleansing process.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Hoffman, Matthew. "The Truth About Natural Liver Detox Diets (Liver Cleansing)." Web MD. 7/30/09. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.webmd.com/balance/natural-liver-detox-diets-liver-cleansing?page=2
- Lisanti, Dr. Fred. "Spring Liver Cleansing." Integrative Med Solutions. 2/25/09. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.intmedsolutions.com/2009/02/spring-liver-cleansing-basics.html
- Liver Doctor. "The Liver and Detoxification." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.liverdoctor.com/index.php?page=liver-detoxification
- Morgan, KD. "What is a Liver Cleanse?" Wise Geek. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-liver-cleanse.htm
- The Natural Path. "Liver Cleanse." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.the-natural-path.com/liver-cleanse.html
- Waltz, Dr. "Cleansing and Supporting the Liver." The Herbal Encyclopedia. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.naturalark.com/liverc.html
- Weight Loss Guide. "Liver Cleansing Diet." (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.weightlossnutrition.org/liver-cleansing-diet/
- Willis, Carol. "The Willis Protocols." Medicine Garden. 2005. (Accessed 3/20/09) http://www.medicinegarden.com/health/willis_liverCleanse.html