The liver is our largest internal organ, responsible for filtering a host of toxins and waste matter we are exposed to in modern life. It is at the frontline of detoxification, receiving blood from the stomach and small intestines and preparing its contents to be circulated through body (like nutrients) or safely eliminated (like chemical additives, pollutants, heavy metals, alcohol and drugs). It also excretes natural waste products that would be harmful if they built up in the body, like ammonia from protein digestion¹.
Beets support the liver in a few different ways. They boost enzymes to make glutathione, a powerful antioxidant², as well as other liver enzymes that play a key role in detoxing³ ⁴. They also stimulate bile flow, which carries the waste products out of the liver and back into the intestine to be pooped out and away. Furthermore, the fiber in beets physically “sweeps” the digestive tract of waste, optimizing elimination.
If you’re not already including beets into your diet, you should, and here is a gorgeous recipe to help you do so:
- Golden Beet and Avocado Tartine
2 golden beets
2 chioggia beets
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
White balsamic vinegar
2 ripe avocados
Squeeze of lemon
4 slices quinoa-flax bread or other seedy bread
Microgreens, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Coat the beets in olive oil salt and pepper, and rub into the peels of the beets. Place each color beets in tin foil or in two separate baking dishes. Cover ¾ of the way with a water bath/lemon juice/white wine, and bake for 2 hours or until the beets are tender.
- When the time has lapsed, let the beets cool until you can hold them and then with gloves or paper towels brush off the skins; if they don’t come off easily they are not finished cooking. Slice the beets into coins, and season with salt.
- Toast the bread.
- Mash the avocado with lemon, salt, and pepper, spread onto the toast.
- Place the beets on the toast and garnish with microgreens. Enjoy!
- How does the liver work? Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006- Available at URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279393/
- Clifford T, Howatson G, West DJ, Stevenson EJ. The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease. Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822. doi: 10.3390/nu7042801
- Krajka-Kuźniak V, Paluszczak J, Szaefer H, Baer-Dubowska W. Betanin, a beetroot component, induces nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2-mediated expression of detoxifying/antioxidant enzymes in human liver cell lines. Br J Nutr. 2013 Dec;110(12):2138–49. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513001645. Epub 2013 Jun 17.
- Szaefer H, Krajka-Kuźniak V, Ignatowicz E, Adamska T, Baer-Dubowska W. Evaluation of the effect of beetroot juice on DMBA-induced damage in liver and mammary gland of female Sprague-Dawley rats. Phytother Res. 2014 Jan;28(1):55–61. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4951. Epub 2013 Mar 1.