GreenSmoothie.jpgCleanses, detox programs, and weightless plans run the gamut at this time of year. We are all feeling the waistband sitting a bit more snug after the indulgent festive period. So some may be looking to cleanse the system to reset for the New Year.

It is important to know that many fad cleanses and detoxes don't always live up to the hype. And in some cases, they can do more damage than good for the body. Always do your own research and consult your healthcare professional before embarking on any drastic lifestyle or diet changes.

Our bodies are amazing, and our humble livers work to detoxify the body constantly. 

Remember - food is a forgotten medicine and our bodies run on the fuel we give it, so if you want to boost your liver health, try adding the following foods to your meals.

Beetroot and Carrot - the fresher and rawer the better. These vegetables are high in betalains, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, and reduce oxidative damage. Studies have shown that consuming beetroot juice also increases natural detoxification enzymes in the body. Try these in a daily juice or freshly grated into a colorful salad!

Leafy green vegetables - We know they're good for us for a whole host of reasons! For your liver, leafy greens like lettuce, kale and spinach, soak up environmental toxins from the bloodstream. And the warm summer months are a great time to enjoy fresh green salads!

Coffee and Tea - Rejoice! Your morning cuppa joe helps increase antioxidant levels in the liver! The most benefit comes from black coffee though. Green tea and black tea are also packed with antioxidants, but green tea is the more potent!

Blueberries - antioxidant powerhouse - blueberries also increase immune cell response - and so have been shown to protect the liver from damage.

Apples - an apple a day keeps the doctor away! Well maybe not, but they do contain pectin, which help the body cleanse the digestive tract, which in turn supports the livers function!

Turmeric - this humble spice is becoming a health powerhouse. It helps boost the liver by assisting enzymes actively flush out dietary toxins.

Cruciferous vegetables - Broccoli and Brussels sprouts fall in this category. They are high in fibre and increase the levels of detoxification enzymes in the body. And Brussels sprouts have been shown to still provide strong benefits when consumed after cooking.

Nuts - They are high in good fats, and vitamin E, and studies have shown people consuming nuts have improved liver enzyme levels.

Water - while not necessarily specific to aiding the liver, hydration is key to a healthy body. Good hydration supports kidney function, and enables to flush out toxins regularly.

Your liver is a key part of your body's protection against toxins, and many of us may be feeling a little sympathetic towards our livers for their hard work over the holiday period.

So take the time this new year to give your liver a little thanks! Your body will thank you for it!