6 Foods to Support Liver Function & Hormone Balance — Leah Brueggemann | Hormone Health (2024)

Did you know that your liver is directly related to whether or not your hormones are balanced?

We typically associate the liver with detoxification, but its role goes far beyond that! It has many functions, from filtering toxins and hormones, to producing blood plasma proteins, and even aiding digestion by creating bile for the breakdown of fats in the small intestine.

When it comes to hormone balance, your liver is responsible for detoxifying and eliminating used hormones from your system. Although your liver doesn't produce hormones itself, its contribution to managing hormonal balance is significant. The liver's primary task is to break down and metabolize hormones once they've served their purpose in your body. You've probably heard about the liver's role in detoxifying estrogen, which is so important given the havoc that excess estrogen can wreak in our bodies!

However, when your liver isn't operating at peak efficiency, it may not process estrogen (or any other hormone) at its usual rate. This means that poorly metabolized hormones can be reabsorbed into your body, creating even more issues, especially related to excess estrogen.

Liver Detoxification

The liver's detoxification process occurs in two phases:

Phase One:

In the initial phase, your liver employs enzymes and vital nutrients to transform harmful substances, which we'll simply refer to as "toxins" for now. These toxins can include things like drugs and food additives. During this stage, the liver works to neutralize and break down these toxins.

It's important to note that as we reach the midway point between Phase One and Phase Two, the reactivity of these toxins actually increases. This can potentially pose problems if the liver isn't able to smoothly transition to Phase Two detoxification.

Phase One relies on essential fat-soluble nutrients, encompassing fat itself, B vitamins, fat-soluble A and D vitamins, antioxidants, milk thistle, calcium, gluten in fruits, root vegetables, and folic acid. All these elements are indispensable during this initial phase of detoxification.

Phase Two:

In the final phase of detoxification, Phase Two takes over to complete the process. Here, the toxins are further converted into a water-soluble form, making them ready for removal from the body. Amino acids, the fundamental building blocks of proteins, play a crucial role in Phase Two. They attach to the toxins, further neutralizing them and preparing them for elimination. These detoxified toxins ultimately depart the body through two main routes: some exit through the digestive tract with the assistance of bile, while others are excreted through the kidneys in urine.

In Phase Two, we transition to water-soluble nutrients that aid in the final steps of eliminating waste. Phase Two draws its strength from amino acids, proteins, glycine, glutamine, tarin, and sulfur. Think of bone broth, gelatin, eggs, and fish as excellent sources of these Phase Two nutrients.

The key to supporting your liver is nutrient-dense foods.

Your liver operates as a natural, self-regulating detoxifier, so there's no need for elaborate detoxes or fad cleanses. However, it is essential to support your liver function through diet and lifestyle. The liver also plays a pivotal role in maintaining blood sugar balance, which is why it is so, so, so important that you nourish your body with the right foods!

The key to supporting your liver is good nutrition. As we learned from the phases of detoxification above, optimal nutrition enables your liver to execute its filtering role effectively. If your liver isn’t getting the fuel it needs to operate well, it won’t be able to keep up with the demands of detoxification, resulting in symptoms like acne, excess estrogen, digestive issues, fatigue, etc.


So to keep our liver functioning at top performance, we need to nourish it! Here are some of my favorite, simple, yet powerful foods that you can incorporate to start supporting your liver function and balancing your hormones today!

Bitter Greens

Bitter greens are amazing at helping support our liver. They are high in fiber, as well as promoting a natural detoxification in our liver.

Lemon Juice

Lemons are extremely supportive for our liver. One of the best things you can do for your liver is to drink a big glass of water right when you get up with some freshly squeezed lemon juice in it.

Milk Thistle

Whether sipped as a tea or taken in tincture form, milk thistle is incredible for reducing liver inflammation and promoting cell repair.

Dandelion

Yes, I am talking about the weed that is overflowing your backyard. Dandelion helps to detoxify your liver, and can even help with skin problems. Want to know the best part? Dandelion has been known to help you sleep! My favorite way to include dandelion in my diet is by drinking dandelion root tea.

Beets

Beets are quite a treat for your liver. Not only do beets reduce oxidative damage, but they have also been shown to reduce inflammation in the liver! Beets also stimulate lymphatic flow in your body. And if that wasn’t enough of a reason, beets are also commonly used to break down toxic waste in your body and help you excrete it from your body faster—perfect for supporting your liver function!

Aloe

Aloe Vera Juice is hydrating and rich in phytonutrients, and these qualities make it a great option to add to your diet. Your liver functions best when it is nourished and hydrated. Aloe is also amazing if you are experiencing any gut issues.

Eating a nutrient-dense diet is the number one and most important thing you can do to support your liver. Beyond incorporating these foods into your diet, it’s important to focus on our foundations as well. Eating the rainbow, balancing your blood sugar, managing stress, and getting quality sleep all have a huge impact on your overall health, including your liver health.

If you’re ready to learn even more about how you can support your liver, be sure to check out this blog post and podcast for even more helpful tips!

The recommendations presented in this blog are not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified doctor. Before making any changes to your diet and lifestyle, please consult with your health care provider.

Some of these links contain affiliate links.

6 Foods to Support Liver Function & Hormone Balance — Leah Brueggemann | Hormone Health (2024)
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