09/09/2013 02:29 EDT | Updated 01/23/2015 10:59 EST

Foods For Liver: 12 Ways To Get A Clean And Healthy Organ


When you think of major organs, you probably think of your heart and lungs, but your liver is both huge and essential, and doesn't often get the credit it deserves. With a proper diet, we can give our liver a boost to help it do its job properly.

The liver weighs, on average, just over a kilogram — making it our largest internal organ — and it performs more than 500 life-giving functions in our bodies. The liver is important for functions as varied and important as removing harmful and poisonous substances from our blood, storing and exporting fat, regulating hormones, and producing bile for digestion.

"The liver is a key organ for detoxifying our bodies, ridding them of anything that could be considered harmful," says Selene Vakharia, a holistic nutritionist and living consultant. "If our livers aren't healthy or functioning properly, the toxins that should be eliminated could end up staying in our bodies and cause damage."

What's especially amazing about the liver is that it can regenerate itself, which is why living liver donations are possible. When a portion of a living person's liver is donated, the donor liver will regrow to the original size and the transplanted liver will grow to the right size for the recipient.

Here are a dozen tips for supporting your liver heath — and as a result, the health of the rest of your body — through your diet.

Photo gallery 12 Things You Can Do For Your Liver See Gallery