14 Foods That Cleanse the Liver

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM Published on , Last Updated on October 5, 2015

Modern society is a sad state that produces many over-processed livers. When we overeat or eat processed or fried foods, and, anytime we are exposed to environmental pollutants or stress, the liver becomes overworked and overloaded. When the liver is taxed, it can’t process toxins and fat in an efficient way. There are many foods that can help cleanse the liver naturally by stimulating its natural ability to clean toxic waste from the body.

GHC youtube Video

14 Foods that Cleanse the Liver
Video Length: 5 minutes

In the past, I have discussed my favorite cleansing foods. This list is a little more specific and focuses mainly on foods that can help cleanse your liver. In addition to taking a liver-cleansing supplement, and performing at least two liver and gallbladder cleanses per year, eating the following foods is the best way to keep your liver healthy and functioning the way you need it to. I would encourage you to incorporate these liver cleanse foods into your weekly diet.

1. Garlic


Just a small amount of this pungent white bulb has the ability to activate liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also holds high amounts of allicin and selenium, two natural compounds that aid in liver cleansing.

2. Grapefruit

High in both vitamin C and antioxidants, grapefruit increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver. A small glass of freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice will help boost production of the liver detoxification enzymes that help flush out carcinogens and other toxins.

3. Beets and Carrots


Both are extremely high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene; eating beets and carrots can help stimulate and improve overall liver function.

4. Green Tea

This liver-loving beverage is full of plant antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function. Green tea is not only delicious, it’s also a great way to improve your overall diet. Learn more about the benefits of green tea.

5. Leafy Green Vegetables

Leafy Greens

One of our most powerful allies in cleansing the liver, leafy greens can be eaten raw, cooked, or juiced. Extremely high in plant chlorophylls, greens suck up environmental toxins from the blood stream. With their distinct ability to neutralize heavy metals, chemicals and pesticides, these cleansing foods offer a powerful protective mechanism for the liver.

Try incorporating leafy greens such as bitter gourd, arugula, dandelion greens, spinach, mustard greens, and chicory into your diet. This will help increase the creation and flow of bile, the substance that removes waste from the organs and blood.

6. Avocados

This nutrient-dense super-food helps the body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.

7. Apples


High in pectin, apples hold the chemical constituents necessary for the body to cleanse and release toxins from the digestive tract. This, in turn, makes it easier for the liver to handle the toxic load during the cleansing process.

8. Olive Oil

Cold-pressed organic oils such as olive, hemp and flax-seed are great for the liver, when used in moderation. They help the body by providing a lipid base that can suck up harmful toxins in the body. In this way, it takes some of the burden off the liver in terms of the toxic overload many of us suffer from.

9. Alternative Grains

It’s not only that you need alternative grains like quinoa, millet, and buckwheat in your diet, it’s that if you’ve got wheat, flour, or other whole grains in your diet, it’s time to make changes. Your liver is your body’s filter for toxins, and grains that contain gluten are full of them. A study last year found that persons who experienced gluten sensitivities also had abnormal liver enzyme test results, and that’s just one of many.

10. Cruciferous Vegetables

Eating broccoli and cauliflower will increase the amount of glucosinolate in your system, adding to enzyme production in the liver. These natural enzymes help flush out carcinogens, and other toxins, out of our body which may significantly lower risks associated with cancer.

11. Lemons & Limes

Lemons and Limes

These citrus fruits contain very high amounts of vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesizing toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver.

12. Walnuts

Holding high amounts of the amino acid arginine, walnuts aid the liver in detoxifying ammonia. Walnuts are also high in glutathione and omega-3 fatty acids, which support normal liver cleansing actions. Make sure you chew the nuts well (until they are liquefied) before swallowing.

13. Cabbage

Much like broccoli and cauliflower, eating cabbage helps stimulate the activation of two crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins. Try eating more kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut.

14. Turmeric

The liver’s favorite spice. Try adding some of this detoxifying goodness into your next lentil stew or veggie dish for an instant liver pick-me-up. Turmeric helps boost liver detox, by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.

Tips For Doing a Liver Cleanse

Other liver cleanse foods not listed above include artichoke, asparagus, kale, and brussel sprouts. Eating the foods listed above is a great way to help keep your liver functioning properly. However, for best results, I recommend performing a liver cleanse. Performing a liver cleanse at least twice a year will eliminate any foreign substances that may be trapped in your liver.

  • http://dodhisattva.wordpress.com Dodee

    Excellent Dr. Group. Thank you!

  • Bran

    Can’t say that I agree with number 9. Grains wreak havok on the body, reducing the body’s ability to process vitamin D (1). They cause injury to gastrointestinal tract (2). I know you tout the B-vitamins in grains, however, grains also contain phyates, which in fact reduce absorption of minerals in humans(3). There are plenty of dietary choices in which you can receive B-vitamins, without the harmful physiological effects of grain consumption.

  • Sakimoto

    What about coffee? There are a lot of studies that say coffee is good for the liver and gall bladder (among other things). Or is that just hype? If so, how do you determine if it is hype and the ones you did list are not?

  • Shirley

    Thank you !!!! This is a big eye opener . For so long all of us always try to look for the best way to keep our bodies healthier but so many companies only offer their products but never on the wedsite they tell you any real info or advice for healthy matters.
    But Dr Group is really clear and specific with issues and solutions about body cleansing facts and advices !!! Thank you again for been a big help in our health !!!

  • Armando Rocha

    Good starter info, although there are many, more vegetables and fruits that help cleanse the system overall. Anything you put in your body, and if you consume that particular food will eventually effect every single cell of your body, keeping a slightly alkalized pH balance will cleanse the body naturally. Most of the foods listed above will help alkalize the body’s pH level except most teas.

  • Free Articles

    Thanks for the great info. I am heading to whole foods now to pick up what I need to start my first liver cleanse.

  • Janice

    Coffee is good but as an enema only. Coffee enemas with organic coffee.

  • Christina

    Question, what do you recommend eating in place of whole wheat bread?

  • http://www.keystoahealthylife.com Mary

    Great article ! I especially like the avocados, with the mention of the nutirent glutathione, to clease out the harmful toxins.

  • healthylife

    I have been doing some research on Turmeric and I was happy to see that you gave a good discription of what Turmeric does in your body. It has many amazing properties and it is an ingredient in our product both my husband and I take daily. It is Protandim and it consists of 5 herbs and turns your genes on to clean up your body.

  • WebLearnder

    Besides all the above foods, I have discovered that ‘Goji Berries’ are also pretty good for blood/liver. They have very high antioxidant levels, more than apples & oranges. Also they contain some key amino-acids beneficial for the body.

    So, google for ‘goji berry’ for more info. You shall find out. :-)

  • courtney

    some kind of multi-grain, multi-seed, or sprouted grains bread would do the job just fine. :)

  • Mukesh

    I want to know drinking plain soda water regularly is harmful or not

  • G Doyle

    I just want to say Thanks. I just wanted to know what food works and here they are. I wish I could find a list of food’s not to eat with out hearing a promising lengthy video that turns out to be a sales pitch. LOL
    I will add an amazing discovery. I found I can turn on my tread mill AND my TV at the same time. An easy hour long walk is saving my life.
    Good luck to everyone on their journey to better health.

  • Anita Jo Lenhart

    soda water is not good for your bones over the long hall: avoid carbonated beverages. Edgar Cayce said they were poison.

  • Aisa

    A Chinese doctor told me that I needed to cleanse my liver yesterday. I already knew I had to. Although other docs at free clinics tell me my liver is working properly another told me about lesions on my liver and I was an alcoholic for many years and started getting boils and edema. I know my liver is overloaded and needs a fresh start. I want to cleanse but its great to have a list of foods that can help keep it clean. I will try it all and also take milk thistle. I also don’t think grains are all that good for people or for liver function. I’ll use them sparingly in regards to my liver. Sugar is my cross to bear. Lol. Thanks for this post.

  • Tom

    Besides all the above foods, I have discovered that many other fruits are also good for the liver. For quick results, I have had the best luck with all natural, liquid liver cleanse supplements. Thanks for this great article.

  • Heath

    When doing a liver cleanse do you really need to do the coffee enema and is that safe to do at home or are there any clinics willing to do a liver cleanse safely for you instead x

  • lakshmi70

    thanks for such an informative page

  • Valerie

    I am a 37 yr old female who has had my gallbladder removed a few years ago. Could you please give me some advice on ways I can detox and get my liver healthy. I have been on strong painkillers recently for a operationand I suffer with migraines. I am determined to do whatever it takes to get healthy as always thought I could eat what I wanted without effect until I find myself in the toilet paying the price. Any help would greatly be appreciated.

  • http://aol KIM

    use milk thistle liver cleanser
    detoxify and support from nature’s secret.
    I use this myself, it works, you will actually feel better just after a couple of weeks, take one or two a day. order it online.

  • http://facebook Theresa

    Great article! Thanks for all the healthy tips ! :-)

  • Dr. J

    If you’re in that rough of shape, you need to see a physician. For advanced liver disease, supplements can sometimes do more harm than good. You may need some more heavy-duty help with medications. At least get your liver function tested for peace of mind.

  • Dr. J

    Can you provide any scientific proof regarding your statement that “These natural enzymes… significantly lowers our risk of cancer”?


  • http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Sunny-Side-Up-Coops/234738163293821 Kristen

    I read an article about a Fatty Liver, it described me to a T! I was exhausted, and falling asleep at work, I couldn’t remember anything, my muscles ached, I had allergies, I couldn’t loos weight for anything (60+ lbs overweight)..
    I was just a mess. I have been a vegetarian for over a year and couldn’t understand why I was such a mess until I read this article and decided to modify my diet.

    I start my day with 1oz aloe leaf juice and honey, then 30 min later I drink a tea made with milk thistle, basil, turmeric, wheat grass & dandelion. It tastes awful so I only have 1 oz 3x a day. Then later I enjoy cabbage soup, and some fresh juiced green apple juice & lots of water . In the afternoon I snack on raw cabbage leaves at my desk and celery. For dinner I might eat tomatoes from our garden and red onions or something green and fresh. I am 7 days into my cleanse and my face feels amazing, so soft. My muscles feel better not stiff anymore, my allergy symptoms are almost 90% gone, I can focus better and normally I would want a nap by now but I feel like going outside to paint the deck! Now I feel like I can work in the garden for some exercise maybe now I’ll start loosing some weight! I’m going to stick to the foods that cleanse the liver, no more carbs for me. Now that I think I know what’s wrong with me I feel free!!! Woo Hoo!!!

  • Arjan

    I feel it should have been added that grapefruits are best not eaten by women. as some studies have found it slows down the production of the CYP3A4 enzyme, thus increasing estrogen production and increasing the chance of breastcancer.

  • Teri

    Want science “doc” – read the JAMA June 2000 – it says that doctors (and their science) are the #3 leading cause of death in the USA. Imagine if all their venues where doctors “practiced” their brand of science were considered – no doubt doctors are the #1 leading cause of death in the USA. Go Science. As for me, I prefer to go God-made foods and supplements derived from God-made plants – I’m pretty sure God knew what he was doing when he created foods – they have tons of healing properties – each one of them – and were created to be synergistic with humans and health – unlike science – chemicals made in the lab to suppress symptoms rather than help the body heal. Take a look at the stats since modern medicine started using their “science” on people about 150 years ago – there’s more obesity, more cancer, more autism, more heart disease, more drug-resistant bacteria, etc. NICE SCIENCE DOC – keep up the horrible science of disease care – it works quite nicely for one group of people only – those that perpetuate it and profit from it. As for me, I use my brain and common sense and eat organic food and take supplements accordingly. I stay the heck away from doctors as I want to live as long as I can as healthily as I can and science has proven that to do that one needs to RUN AS FAST AS THEY CAN AWAY from the medical establishment and their brand of “SCIENCE.” Stick with God-made stuff, no science needed, it’s a given… If you have a brain.

  • Teri

    The study you are referring was in an email chain letter and was a real study that involved 36,000 women who ate grapefruit every other day. It has since been thrown out as invalid, did you not get a follow-up email on that? lol, probably not. A more recent study, which followed more than 77,000 women over the course of many years, found no rise in breast cancer related to either grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

    Experts at the American Cancer Society said that there was insufficient evidence to raise alarm, but that women with concerns could cut back on grapefruit.

    If you’ve already abused your body for years and have signs of elevated insulin levels as a result (such as obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol), then you would want to limit your fruit intake as a whole including grapefruit.

    Preventing cancer cannot possibly be as simple as “cutting back on grapefruit” or doing any other ONE thing. It has to be a multi-level approach that involves shifting your lifestyle to one that promotes your self-healing abilities.

  • Arjan

    Don’t be so sure. It can get you killed.
    The CYP3A4 system works on the estrogen levels, increases it. That is considered a fact in most of the medical world. Start thinking from there.

    “Preventing cancer cannot possibly be as simple as “cutting back on grapefruit” ”

    That’s not what my response suggests.

    And btw: lol? Really?

  • Teri

    The medical world has a horrible track record – hello. Why would anybody believe them?! Doctors and their brand of science kill more people than cancer and heart disease does every year. The medical system is imploding on itself as we speak… due to their failures and fraud science.

    Grapefruit, when eaten in its whole, fresh form, actually contains many beneficial bioflavanoids and nutrients. For instance, grapefruit contains:

    * Enzymes that impact the way your body deals with sugar making it less likely to be laid down as fat. This may be helpful in preventing obesity and diabetes.

    * The flavonoid naringin, which is metabolized into naringenin, an antioxidant reported to help lower cholesterol levels and fight hepatitis C.

    * Lots of vitamin C, which promotes healing, lessens damage caused by free radical molecules, and may help reduce gum disease.

    * Lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that is known to reduce your risk of prostate cancer.

    * Compounds that boost the activity of liver detoxification enzymes, which help to clear cancer-causing toxins from your body.

    Be afraid of Grapefruit? Really? As I stated, the only reason to stay away from grapefruit would be if you have symptoms that you’ve already abused your body and would need to stay away from all sugars, fruit sugars included.

    Other than that – GRAPEFRUIT ROCKS!

    PS: It’s true – preventing breast cancer is not about avoiding grapefruit – duh! What I said is totally relevant and besides I can say whatever I want in my reply.

  • Starr

    I love your knowledge and the unabashed way in which you express it. Very well written!!! Also, I wanted to make a suggestion, there is a very good documentary that was put together by Foster Gamble (from the Family of the well known Proctor & Gamble). He and his wife did 10 years of research and it mentions what you stated within the documentary, and a whole bunch more. it’s called; “Thrive”….The Planet is waking up. It is fantastic, and I’ve done my own research for about 5 years, and this documentary encompasses all the issues in one movie. Really excellent. In it he mentions how Doctors have about one hour of nutrition. It is a laughable, yet sad thing. We are what we eat, and anyone who wants to demonize a grapefruit may also believe that a big mac is going to help them detox. I loved your responses. Way to go!!!!

  • Sally Morgan

    Hi All. I have been reading Dr Tim Noakes book “Challenging Beliefs” and he is hugely critical of the “Science” we have had drummed into us since the 1950 and even before. He says “follow the money trail” and you will see why we are being fed such utter rubbish. The dietary companies “looking after us” are sponsored by Coca Cola, Keloggs etc. As he says “the single greatest change in dietary patterns over the past 150 years is not that humans are eatingh more calories or more fat calories – it is that we are eating ten times as much sugar as did our great-great-grandparents, few of who suffered from obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease”. We eat too much sugar and to too many refined carbohydrates!!

  • Zachary

    Where the hell is milk thistle?! The reason it says to avoid bleached flours is due to a toxic halogen called bromine present.

  • fred

    I had a doctor give me a injection in my nerve that my migraine always pumped from and since that day i cry with joy never a headache again “intractable migraine with aura” I was on 90mg a day of oxycodone and thats no way to live unless your dying

  • Didi

    speechless! It sounded as if you at least had a bit of a handle on some good nutritional facts until you whip out your imaginary friend as rationale to bash doctors. No wonder you need to be angry at someone. You have been brainwashed to believe crap all your life! go watch Fox news and save the rest of humanity your fundy opinions

  • Keith

    Wow! I am tired after reading the 14 foods! and blog

    Can some non profit please simply publish an alphabetic database
    listing all foods along with any known good and bad effects?????

  • http://globalhealingcenter.com Kat

    I took the liver and gallbladder health test and I got “Medium health risk” but I’m only a tween. Does the diagnosis still apply to me?

  • http://globalhealingcenter.com Kat

    -___- You’re an idiot, the FOX news channel is full of lies and propaganda.

  • Healthas2020

    Dr. Group,
    I was diagnosed as diabetic 11 years ago and didn’t really know what to do about it. For the last 1.5 years I’ve been on an alkaline diet and stop taking my Glipizide pills of 5mg twice a day.
    I use grapefruit with cinnamon, lemon, 2grams of Vit C and apple cider vinegar with water first thing in the morning to help cut down my blood sugar levels. My eye site has never been better since I wear glasses and I am energized after my breakfast of Quinao, fruit and Hemp Granola. I don’t get the loss of energy and I watch my PH. I also eat a half a grape fruit by itself 3 times a week. I appreciate your site as the information is insightful. Thanks, David

  • fathead

    provide some examples please.

  • Omerica

    stupid kids…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/peach2702 Jennifer Carr

    Fantastic response. And so true. It’s not health care it’s sick care – more people need to wake up and stop depending on people who are on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies. Why do so many people put so much faith in a bunch of textbook taught pill pushers? Why dont we all wake up and listen to the healing potential in our bodies and our inner voice that tells us inherently what we need to do to reverse sickness? Amazing. Wake up, world.

  • Ghenz

    Hi Im Ghenz 19 years old from philippines i just wanna ask if you can help me guys in my health problem in my liver because my liver has been deep cut (laceration) into to its IVA part and also my gallbladder has been damaged .. how can it be cured thx ..

  • http://www.facebook.com/dropinit6 Mary Peachy Omye

    love the wise man Edgar Cayce

  • http://www.facebook.com/dropinit6 Mary Peachy Omye


  • helth life

    thanks very usfull msg

  • http://twitter.com/amrita_kp amrita parmar

    that’s amazing, but also sounds so gross. don’t think I could handle that much healthiness in my diet. 😛

  • http://www.facebook.com/hesmarimeyer Hesmari Meyer

    anyone please help i need a eating plan
    i am daibetic and am over weight and lost m galbladder

  • Josh

    I drink maybe 3-5 times a year pretty heavily. Just at party’s but never do I casually drink. When I drink, I DRINK! Would something like this help my liver? I also never really eat fast food or greasy foods and I am mostly a vegetarian. Would a liver cleanse help heal my liver or reverse the effects?

  • ghc_health

    Thank you for your post! The liver and gallbladder are never 100% clean since their intended function is to metabolize harmful and potentially toxic material. While these foods can help clean the liver, there is years of build up and most people will require a minimum of 3 cleansing sessions followed by periodic liver cleanse once or twice per year for maintenance.

    If you find that you have any questions please feel free to contact the Global Healing Center and we will be more than happy to help you.

    Take care and have a great holiday weekend!

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