Love Your Liver with these 4 Foods

Apr 10, 2013 | Tags : Detox, digestion, nutrition, | 2 Comments

Today, let’s hang in some Left Brain Wisdom and examine some ancient seasonal wisdom to give the liver a little TLC (our organs need a little love, too!)

In ancient Chinese medicine, each season is governed by two different interrelated organs in the body.  Spring is governed by the liver and gallbladder.  Today we’ll focus specifically on the liver.  

The food we ingest can affect the liver one or two ways.  It can:  1.)  Block or congest the natural processes of the liver, or 2.) Support the natural flow of the liver.


Pathways of Elimination

The liver’s primary purpose is to convert fat-soluble toxins into water-soluble waste so your body can send them on their way via sweat, urine, and bowel movements.  Yes, Spring is all about detoxification (Have you noticed this theme in the last few newsletters?)

We can support the bodies’ natural pathways of elimination nutritionally with key liver-friendly foods.  Here are 4 of them…


1.) Daikon Radish

The daikon radish is a long, white, bitter root that you can grate right into your salad. In macrobiotics it is known as the “great fat dissolver,” supporting the breakdown of  fat & mucus.

Use: Grate raw daikon radish right onto your salads or add chunks to soups, stir-frys, or baked roots

2.) Cilantro

The green leafy herb, contains a compound, linalool, that works to cleanse the liver. Cilantro is also known to help sweep heavy metals out of the body. It took me a while to really appreciate this one as I have memories of my mother using cilantro in EVERYTHING. Yet, wisdom prevailed and here we are ☺

Use: add cilantro to smoothies, any green, grain, or bean salad, or soup

3.) Millet

This mild and nutty gluten-free grain is one of the only alkaline-forming grains. Easy to prepare and easy to digest.

Use: Feel free to use millet as a breakfast grain, as a substitute for croutons in a salad.

4.) Cauliflower

Part of the Brassica family, cauliflower improves the liver’s function in detoxification by increasing toxin-neutralizing bile.

Use: Here’s a great recipe for Millet Mash, a combination of millet and cauliflower.

Using the “add in” method, you are able to upgrade your diet without feelings of deprivation. Over time, adding in whole foods can help balance the body enough that it begins to crave more naturally supportive foods.

To healthy, happy livers!


P.S. Registration is open for Empower Your Eating: 6 Weeks to a Hot & Healthy Body Image. If you want in, register here.




Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing with whole foods: Asian traditions and modern nutrition (3rd ed). Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.

Vitta, A. (2013). Woman Code (1st ed.) New York: Harper One Books.

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Comments (2)
Stephanie Squibb Apr 11, 2013

Grateful for your wisdom on detox. Cilantro finds it's way into every dish lately, now I realize my body must have been craving it to detox. We have company coming all spring. I like to offer food that nourishes and helps with jet-lag. The tendency is to overeat and indulge when one is on 'vacation'. Indulging takes me out of the present, for sure. So thank you and be well. Namaste dear friend~ stephanie
admin Apr 14, 2013

Stephanie, thanks for this. I've been getting cilantro in quite a bit, too. It always reminds me of my mothers homemade chicken soup when I was growing up that I have grown to appreciate over the years. And yes, vacation can be tricky in terms of food - sometimes better to avoid a 5 day food coma (maybe one is okay ;) xo Laura
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