The Unusual Food You Should Try Eating To Help Your Liver

You might know that your liver is responsible for removing toxins from your body, but it does so much more than that. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, it helps break down fats, a process that gives you energy, and it also helps regulate your blood sugar levels. It even acts as a storehouse, saving vitamins and minerals until your body needs them.

If you want to help your liver with its many functions, you have several options. According to WebMD, you should avoid drinking too much alcohol because that will damage cells in the liver. Alcohol abuse can also cause swelling and scarring, which can lead to cirrhosis. In addition, you should be careful with the medications and herbal supplements you take that may be too risky for your liver health. For example, acetaminophen, kava, comfrey, cascara, chaparral, and ephedra can potentially damage your liver, per WebMD. However, you can eat healthy foods to give your liver a boost.

Prickly pears promote liver health

One of the best foods you can eat to help improve the health of your liver is the prickly pear or the prickly pear cactus. Despite its strange-sounding name, it is your liver's friend. Data from 2014 published in the journal Molecules showed that when rats consumed prickly pears, it protected their livers from inflammation and oxidative stress. Another 2012 study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that the prickly pear protected against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by decreasing oxidative stress. 

Prickly pears have other benefits, too. According to Healthline, their fiber content might help regulate blood sugar, meaning that it could help manage any complications you may have with diabetes. In addition, because they contain vitamins E and C, they can give your hair a nice luster and improve your skin. Another positive benefit about the fruit is that it binds to dietary fat, which might help you lose weight.