Top 5 foods that support liver health

In collaboration with Andréanne Martin.

As discussed in a previous article, the liver provides more than 500 vital functions for the body.1 Among these, elimination of toxins, synthesis of essential molecules, and finally, storage of vitamins and energy (in sugar form).

Statistics show that liver diseases are on the rise.2The trend can be reversed, changing some of our lifestyle habits including diet. The consumption of alcohol, refined sugars and saturated fats are food choices that affect liver health.1

Overall, the Mediterranean diet3 is to be favored for its important content in fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and good fats, all equally beneficial. More specifically, here is the “Top 5” food to consume for optimal liver health.


Number 1: Whole Grain Products

Multigrain bread, quinoa, whole grain pasta, brown rice, hulled barley, oatmeal, etc.:

These foods have one thing in common: they are high in fiber. Foods high in fiber can down the storage of sugar in the liver, thus avoiding overloading it and gradually leading to the liver disease that we know. They also prevent constipation, are involved in the control of blood glucose and cholesterol, clean the liver of toxins and provide a sense of satiety helping us better control the amount of food absorbed.

Fibers are the main food for gut microbiota that is to say all bacteria that inhabit the digestive tract. These have a great influence on physical and mental health.

In order to benefit from the nutritional intake of fiber, a minimum consumption of 30g per day is recommended, and according to the evidence, this minimum daily recommendation could soon reach 45g. Thus, it is better to begin to achieve this goal now, for example by replacing his white bread with whole grain bread, or by substituting quinoa for white rice.

Number 2: vegetable proteins

Vegetable proteins are a good alternative to animal proteins because they are very low in “bad fats”, partly responsible for inflammatory processes that are harmful to maintaining the integrity of liver functions. Studies confirm that hepatic steatosis can be caused by alcohol abuse, but also by being overweight.4

A diet richer in vegetable proteins and therefore in fiber limits the portions consumed and ensures a more adequate weight management.

Number 3: colorful plants

Broccoli, spinach, beets, grapefruit, orange, etc.:

Vegetables and colorful fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, but especially antioxidants. As a result, they reduce inflammation and provide better protection against diseases, including those that can affect the liver. The new Canadian Food Guide recommends eating half a plate of vegetables at every meal, especially those that are colored.

Number 4: Foods without added sugars6

The accumulation of fat in the liver is obtained by overconsumption of sugar or calories that may account for excess weight in the abdomen. Thus, reading the list of ingredients of each product consumed becomes an indispensable asset for liver health. To ensure that foods with added sugars are limited, the words “sugar”, “glucose”, “glucose-fructose”, “syrup of …”, and sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol etc., should be identified.

If the list of ingredients contains one of these words from the earliest mentioned elements, it is better to find a substitute.

Number 5: coffee

What’s more reassuring than knowing that your morning coffee has other benefits than to help you wake up. Indeed, consuming coffee in moderation (one to two cups per day) would also be beneficial for the liver, since it would reduce its rigidity.7

Consequently, this flexibility protects your organ against lesions such as fibrosis, and regardless of your health condition and external factors.

Small amounts of tea can have the same effect.

In conclusion, our behavior and food choices influence the maintenance of the health of organs and their propser functionning. Setting realistic goals and accurately monitoring can be valuable in preserving our health. Start with an increase in the consumption of colored fruits and vegetables, opt for cereal products.

Liver recipes


[Servings: 4; Preparation: 10 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes

2 ½ cups of water

1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained

1 cup spinach

1 lawyer, diced

¼ cup cranberries

½ cup chopped walnuts

1 green onion in slices

Fresh coriander

¼ cup of olive oil


1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


1. In a saucepan, pour the water and add the quinoa. Cover and bring to a boil.

2. Simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until completely absorbed. Let cool then.

3. In a bowl, combine quinoa, spinach, diced avocado, cranberries, chopped walnuts, sliced ​​green onion, and fresh coriander.

4. Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then mix.


[Servings: 4; Preparation: 10 minutes; cooking time: 20 minutes

Tzatziki sauce:

1 cup of natural Greek yogurt

½ grated cucumber

¼ cup chopped mint leaves

Lemon juice to taste

Pepper to taste

Tofu and pita:

1 block (454g) of firm tofu cut into thin slices

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 C. soy sauce tea

½ red onion cut into thin slices

3 tomatoes, sliced

1 cup spinach

4 whole wheat pita breads


Tzatziki sauce:

1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.

Tofu and pita:

2. In a skillet, brown the tofu slices in the oil over medium heat.

3. Remove from heat and drizzle with soy sauce. Mix well.

4. Garnish pita breads with tofu, onion, tomatoes, spinach and tzatziki sauce.


[Servings: 4; Preparation: 10 minutes]

1 small tray (142g) of spring mix salad

1 can (540ml) of legumes

1 can (341ml) whole grain corn

4 boiled eggs, cut into slices

2 tbsp. tablespoon of olive oil

1 C. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Steps :

1. In a large bowl, combine salad, legumes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

2. Add the sliced ​​eggs to the salad.


  1. Article Echosens : « Conséquences d’une mauvaise alimentation sur la santé du foie »
  2. Article Echosens : « La santé du foie par la nutrition »
  3. Kastorini CM, Milionis HJ, Esposito K, Giugliano D, Goudevenos JA, Panagiotakos DB. The effect of Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome and its components: A meta-analysis of 50 studies and 534,906 individuals. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011;57(11):1299-1313.
  • McCarthy E.M. , M.E. Rinella M.E. The role of diet and nutrient composition in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Acad Nutr Diet.Volume 112, Issue 3, March 2012, Pages 401-409
  • Guide alimentaire Canadien

  • McCarthy E.M. , M.E. Rinella M.E. The role of diet and nutrient composition in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. J Acad Nutr Diet.Volume 112, Issue 3, March 2012, Pages 401-409
  • Coffee and herbal tea consumption is associated with lower liver stiffness in the general population: The Rotterdam study3

Alferink L.J.M., Fittipaldi J., Kiefte-de Jong J.C., Taimr P., Hansen B.E., Metselaar H.J., Schoufour J.D.,Darwish Murad S.

(2017)  Journal of Hepatology,  67  (2) , pp. 339-348.