10 super foods to cleanse your liver and lungs

Include these foods in your diet plan from today.

Lungs and liver are vital organs in your body that need attention and care. Often with our sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits we forget the damage we do to these vital organs. However, locally grown super foods come to our rescue instantly. Super foods are thought to be nutritionally dense containing vitamins and minerals that help in warding off diseases and hence are good to live a longer and healthier life. They are mostly plant-based foods but may also include some types of fish and dairy. There are super foods that specifically cleanse and enhance the functioning of one s liver and lungs which are the most vital organs for survival, says Mr. Luke Coutinho, M.D. - Alternative Medicine & Holistic Nutritionist.

Here is a list of foods that he suggests to nurture your lungs and liver:

1. Betacarotene rich foods: The orange antioxidant pigment found in orange or red coloured fruits and vegetables, cuts the risk of lung cancer. They also have glutathione that helps in the detoxification of liver. Examples of such foods are beetroots, carrots, tomatoes, red bell peppers, dried apricots, pumpkin and cantaloupe melon. Here are 10 red coloured foods that are effective in weight loss.

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2. Vitamin C rich foods: Fruits containing vitamin C boost the production of enzymes that help in liver detoxification cleansing it naturally and helping in effective transportation of oxygen throughout the body by the lungs. Popular choices of such super foods are grapefruit, kiwifruit, guava, citrus fruits like lemons, lime and oranges, strawberries, pineapples, red and green capsicum and Brussels sprouts. Here are 15 other ways vitamin C can keep you fit and healthy.

3. Green Leafy vegetables: One of the most powerful super foods in cleansing the liver and lungs are dark green leafy vegetables as they can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced. Since they are high in plant chlorophylls, they help in detoxification of the blood which happens in both liver and lungs. They have a distinct ability for heavy metal detoxification thus maintaining the protective mechanism of the liver. As they are rich in magnesium and potassium they promote lung health. The best foods in this category include spinach, lettuce, cabbage, mustard greens, spring onions, wheatgrass, kale, dandelion, mint and coriander leaves. Here are seven more reasons to eat green leafy vegetables.

4. Turmeric: It is an ancient Ayurvedic spice most commonly used in Indian and South Asian cooking which has been proved to possess healing properties due to its active ingredient Curcumin. It is believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and immune building, anti-cancer, anti-cholesterolemic and hepatoprotective properties. It promotes the secretion of bile from the liver which helps digest food and breaks down fats in the body. It also reduces the inflammation of the liver cells in fatty liver disease. Studies have shown that Curcumin present in turmeric helps to remove the plaque build up in the lungs caused due to excessive smoking, reducing the risk of lung cancer in chain smokers.

5. Ginger: It is another common ingredient which is quite helpful for stimulating digestion and circulation. Its digestive enzymes serve to cleanse the toxin build up in the liver. The healing and detoxifying properties of ginger are due to its high concentration of gingerol. It helps the lungs function more efficiently by eliminating the air pollutants from the air passages.

6. Garlic: It is loaded with sulphur, allicin and selenium that aid in activating liver enzymes essential for flushing out the toxins from the body. It is also considered to be effective in improving asthma and can help reduce the risk of lung cancer thanks to its anti-inflammatory and immune building properties.

7. Cruciferous vegetables: Eating cruciferous vegetables increases the production of glucosinolate in the body helping to eliminate toxins through the liver and lungs. These include cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts. Here are more reasons to eat cruciferous vegetables.

8. Green Tea: it is rich in antioxidants known as catechins especially EGCG (epigallocatechin)-- it is a compound known to support the liver by increasing its enzymatic activity. It also helps to maintain lung health due to its cancer fighting properties.

9. Omega 3 rich foods: Omega 3 foods are shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels which is one of the liver functions. They can also protect the liver from damage caused due to obesity and insulin resistance. They can also help make the respiratory system stronger proving beneficial in various respiratory diseases. These foods include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, flaxseeds, Chia seeds, soybeans, spinach, fatty fish like Salmon, Mackerel, Trout and oysters.

10. Apples: They are high in pectin, vitamins, flavonoids and chemicals essential for the detoxifying activities of the liver. Flavonoids also help in maintaining a healthy respiratory system.

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