Our liver health is important for our overall health. Failure to do its numerous functions may increase our risk of liver disease, metabolic disorder, and even type 2 diabetes. Luckily, there are certain foods that have beneficial effects on this organ and can protect it against various diseases (1).
How Garlic Benefits Liver Health
Garlic is an herb that has been a part of the kitchens for centuries. It possesses beneficial properties and is rich in Vitamins C, K, Folate, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.
When garlic is chopped, crushed, or minced, its sulfur compound called allicin is converted to the active ingredient allicin. Allicin in garlic may offer a variety of health benefits, such as better blood pressure control and prevention of atherosclerosis (2 ). It is also a powerful antioxidant, antibiotic and anti-fungal substance, with numerous benefits to liver health. Aside from this, garlic also has significant levels of amino acids and proteins that may also help to protect the liver from natural and environmental toxins (3).
A study revealed that garlic also exhibits hepatoprotective (liver protection) effects, which stimulate the liver to activate the enzymes that can flush out harmful substances (4).
According to a 2002 study in the “Journal of Nutrition,” daily use of fresh garlic extract reduces levels of pre-existing elevated VLDL and triglyceride fats formed in the liver. VLDL (Very-low-density lipoprotein) is made by the liver. It facilitates the movement of fats in the bloodstream. However, increased levels of VLDL as well as other cholesterols may damage our liver and increase our risk of various heart diseases (3).
Moreover, researchers of a study published in Advanced Biomedical Research found that receiving 400 mg garlic powder daily could reduce body weight and fat mass among subjects with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disorder (NAFLD) without disturbing lean body mass and total body water. This is beneficial, as being overweight or obese is a contributing factor to NAFLD (5).
To help achieve a healthy liver, we can have 1 clove of garlic in the morning every day. Also, adding 1-2 teaspoons of minced/chopped/pasted garlic in cooked food daily may have beneficial effects. Add chopped fresh garlic to cooked meals at the end of the cooking process to retain the enzymes and nutrients.
Some other best foods for our liver health are as follows:
- Green tea