The liver is your body’s primary processing organ. By absorbing nutrients, thousands of enzymes in the liver work in sync to eliminate harmful toxins. Once the toxins have been processed and made safe by the liver, the kidneys, lungs and bowels eliminate them.

Diet is crucial in maintaining a healthy liver but a good detox can really support its important functions. A liver detox is fairly straightforward. A week to nine days is the optimum time to get your liver back on track and in that time you will feel – and see – the results.

Liver detoxes are all about nutritious, liver-boosting meals and super foods rather than fasting or liquid detoxing.

So, which foods are best for cleansing the liver?

Cruciferous vegetables – otherwise known as super veggies – are superb choices. These are: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, watercress, kale and cabbage. These vegetables contain vitamins and minerals as well as phytonutrients, natural chemicals found in plant foods.

Other than cruciferous vegetables there are several key foods for a liver cleanse, these are:

Avocados. Containing a whole host of super-food properties – monounsaturated fats, phytosterols and antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C – avocados also help the body produce glutathione, which assists the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.

Milk thistle. Stimulates the production of new liver cells.

Green tea. This tea is encouraged during most detoxes as it contains antioxidants known as catechins, a compound known to assist liver function.

Garlic. Containing allicin and selenium, two compounds that promote liver cleansing, it also acts as a stimulant to liver enzymes that are essential for flushing out toxins.

Grapefruit. Filled with vitamin C and natural antioxidants – a glass of grapefruit juice in the morning helps to flush out carcinogens and other toxins. Generally increases the natural cleansing processes of the liver.

Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. These healthy vegetables all help stimulate the activation of crucial liver detoxifying enzymes that help flush out toxins.

Carrots and beetroot. Packed with plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene, carrots and beetroots help to improve overall liver function.

Turmeric. Great in curries and hot-pots, this liver-loving spice is packed with detoxifying goodness. It can boost a liver detox by stimulating enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens.

If a liver becomes unhealthy from an overload of toxins, it can’t properly screen and sieve out harmful substances or hoard vitamins A, D, K, and B12 as it needs to. After following a liver detox, you can expect higher energy levels, better digestion, improved skin tone, and reduced stress.

If you lead a very busy life, a detox which cuts out a significant amount of food (like the lemon detox) is going to be very hard – and potentially dangerous. Energetic people with busy working days can truly benefit from a liver detox as you can cleanse and recharge without sacrificing normal routine and energy-giving foods.

A liver cleanse twice a year is suggested by many health professionals and nutritionists.