Did you know that your liver is responsible for several vital functions in the body? Well, it is. These vital functions include: cleansing the blood, producing the important digestive liquid, bile, and is instrumental in storing energy in the sugar called glycogen. If your diet is high in alcohol and fat, it can significantly inhibit the function of your liver that eventually would lead to several health conditions including fatty liver disease. However, eating certain Asian foods may help improve your liver function while contributing to your overall health as well.
Miso is a natural detoxifier that helps stimulate digestion and activate the liver as well as the gallbladder, according to some experts. The liver is the major site of detoxification that benefits from the probiotic properties of miso. In addition, miso also helps in stimulating the digestive juices, including bile, to enhance the function of the liver while also aiding in blood cleansing. It is recommended to consume one bowl of miso soup a day to garner the benefits to the liver, blood and immune system. However, those on a low sodium diet, may want to consume miso moderately, as some miso pastes are quite salty.
Tofu is a soybean curd, frequently used in Asian cuisine, most notably Japanese, Chinese and Korean. It is about 88% water, 6% protein and 3% fat, according to Robert Ronzio in his book "The Encyclopedia of Nutrition and Good Health". The protein found in tofu helps to rebuild a damaged liver and provides nutritional factors that enhance the function of the liver. Tofu both digests and absorbs easily into the body and by being naturally low in fat, makes it favorable for a balanced diet.
The liver uses cholesterol to produce bile acids that help digesting and absorbing fat. Choosing to eat bok choy (Chinese cabbage) binds to some of these acids causing the liver to use more cholesterol reserves and reducing your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to David Rakel in his book "Integrative Medicine". Being a part of the cruciferous family, bok choy also contains high concentrations of indole-3-carbinol that can increase the activity of certain detoxification enzymes thereby fortifying liver function.
What kind of foods do you eat to keep your liver healthy? Share with us in the comments below.