Spring Into Liver Lovin’ Time!

February 21, 2014
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Give this incredible organ the respect it deserves.

Next month heralds the return of spring. Spring is traditionally the time in which the liver needs to be nourished according to traditional Chinese medicine.

I’ll admit it…I’m in awe of the liver.

As far as I’m concerned, this amazing organ nestled away in the right side of the abdomen has more than earned its name, which is derived from an old English word for “life.”

The liver is your key to life, even possessing the unique ability to regenerate itself. Although your liver may need up to two years for this regeneration process, you can rebuild this vital organ with the right diet and detox plan.

These liver-loving nutrients will keep it running smoothly and promote its detoxification—for optimum weight loss and health.

Sulfur-Rich Foods

One of the processes by which the liver eliminates toxins is known as sulfation—so called because sulfur is an indispensable part of the procedure. These foods make toxins easier to eliminate.

My favorite sulfur-rich foods include:

  • Garlic (at least one clove, minced, preferably raw)
  • Onion (1/2 cup cooked)
  • Eggs (2)
  • Daikon radish (1/4 cup sliced, either raw or cooked)

Onions and Garlic can be added to almost any food—raw, steamed, or sautéed. Daikon radish goes a step further—it also aids in the digestion and metabolism of fats. That’s why in Asian cuisine, you’re always served a bit of daikon with any fatty or hard-to-digest food. This long white radish, with its crisp texture and somewhat pungent taste, also acts as a diuretic and decongestant.

I like to use it as a relish by placing ½ cup shredded daikon radish in a bowl and sprinkling it with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh parsley—making 4 servings. It’s a fantastic way to dress up fish, lamb, or beef.

Eggs are rich in the amino acids methionine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, and taurine. Your liver needs these acids to successfully complete phase 2 of its detox process. And eggs offer the lechithin your liver needs to produce that beautiful bile.

Liver Healers

The most powerful liver healers include:

  • Artichoke (1 small or 4 cooked hearts)
  • Asparagus (1/2 cup cooked)
  • Beets (1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw)
  • Celery (2 medium stalks)
  • Dandelion root tea (1 to 2 cups)
  • Whey (1 to 2 scoops)

Artichokes, especially the hearts, contain powerful antioxidants known as flavonoids that protect the liver’s cells and tissues. Artichokes are also good for the secretion of bile, which helps the body better digest and assimilate fats. The artichoke is a close relative of milk thistle, queen of the liver protectors, which offers major defense against free radicals and is especially good for people with compromised immunity or alcohol-related liver problems.

But unlike milk thistle, which is highly allergic producing for many that are also reactive to ragweed, most individuals tolerate artichokes exceptionally well.

Asparagus contains high amounts of vitamin A and potassium, another mineral on which the liver depends during detox.

Beets are full of betaine, which helps protect the liver against the damaging effects of alcohol. Betaine also thins the bile and helps it move freely within the bile ducts. Though I’m not a beet lover myself, when they’re grated and sprinkled over a salad they can be quite delicious.

Dandelion root stimulates liver function. It also contains inulin, a fiber-like substance that functions as a prebiotic—an element that helps nourish the friendly bacteria in the gut. As if that weren’t enough, the humble dandelion root is also good for lowering blood sugar.

Try Roasted Dandelion Root Tea—which many Fat Flushers use in place of an organic cup of coffee—or Dandelion Root Capsules. I love the tea mixed with chocolate whey as a kind of mocha-chocolate treat.

Whey is a rich source of the amino acid L-cysteine, which, like vitamin C, is the precursor to glutathione. Remember, the liver’s own two-phase detox process uses up huge amounts of glutathione, so it’s up to us to replenish it daily. Whey also contains methionine, glycine, glutamine, and taurine—amino acids that are crucial to the liver’s phase 2 detox process.

I recommend Fat Flush Whey Protein because it’s 100% natural. It’s also lactose, hormone, pesticide and chemical-free, and is derived from disease-free herds. It has no added sugar and is only sweetened with stevia, a natural herb.

Did you know that most U.S. cows produce milk with A1 protein, a genetic mutation? Some researchers have linked whey from A1 protein cows to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and digestive problems.

Fat Flush Whey Protein contains non-mutant A2 protein that has not been associated with any of the problems that A1 protein has. Easy to digest, A2 protein also contains the amino acid proline—which fights aging by supporting collagen formation.

Optimize Liver Support

If you’re not a fan of any of these foods, you can always opt for Liver-Lovin Formula, a unique blend that is used on the Fast Track Detox Diet. It contains the following nutrients:

Artichoke (300 mg) – a well-known liver healer, loaded with antioxidants to help move toxins through the liver’s detox pathways and boost bile production.
• Chlorophyll (500 mg) – rich in purifying magnesium to further enhance elimination.
• Taurine (250 mg) – an amino acid that boosts the liver’s production of bile to aid in fat digestion and absorption.

Giving your liver special nurturing during the upcoming spring season will nourish your detox pathways, support the purification of your blood, and energize and soothe your nervous system.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. kathleen

    Another great article, Ann Louise! A good reminder about our liver. Right now I am working on rebuilding this marvelous organ by eating my favorite liver-loving foods such as beets, eggs, garlic and onion. Thank you, Ann Louise for the info!!

  2. Beth

    Ann Louise, has your whey protein been tested for heavy metals?

    • Team ALG

      Each and every batch of the Fat Flush Protein powders are third party tested for quality and purity (including heavy metals). The standards set by UNI KEY Health are much more stringent than even those set by the FDA.

  3. Susan Cannell

    Can we use pickled beets, asparagus and artichokes too? Does provide the same healing effect?

    • Team ALG

      Lactofermented versions of these foods would be a wonderful option. Any sort of heating above 150 degrees F will begin to degrade glutathione levels in these powerful foods, so while they are nutritious in many ways, the liver supportive qualities decrease as food is cooked.

  4. Katie

    I’m interested in your sentence that states, ‘I love the tea mixed with chocolate whey as a kind of mocha-chocolate treat.’

    Please share on how this is done, please.

    Thank you.

    • Team ALG

      Simply brew a cup of the roasted dandelion root tea, then you may blend it in a blender or shaker bottle with one scoop of the Fat Flush Chocolate Whey Protein. Wonderful as a hot or a chilled beverage.

  5. Cynthia Bobick

    In your FatFlush Diet Book is the Whey Protein still as good as the new Whey Protein

    • Team ALG

      The Fat Flush Whey Protein formula has not been altered. Are you referring to the Fat Flush Body Protein? This formula is made with brown rice and yellow pea protein, so it is a vegan alternative to the Whey. They can be used interchangeably.

  6. Jennifer K

    Can the liver-loving formula cause your bowel movements to be green?

    • Team ALG

      Yes, that is common! It is due to the chlorophyll in the formula. It may take a week or two, but your body should normalize with continued use.

  7. Amy

    Hi –

    Would taking the supplement MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane,) which includes a vegetable sulfur blend, detox the liver?

    Thank you!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This