The Process of Detoxification: The Liver

Toxins are inevitable in the environment, but the consumption and usage of toxic products and processed food can increase the toxicity in our body even more over time. Toxins can impact the body, mind, and inner happiness which can lead to pain, disease, and health disorders. Toxins affect cellular respiration and cause acidity in the blood.

“Toxins also deplete your energy and cause your body and breath to stink, not to mention their role in causing toxemia, or the ‘dirtying’ of your blood.” (1)

This can be resolved by detoxing with fresh fruit which oxygenates the cells and helps to alkalinize the blood.

The vital organ of detoxification is the liver which busts the toxins out of the system before they can do further cellular damage. The two stages of liver detoxification involve, firstly, synthesizing the toxin into a water-soluble form. Toxins have a devious habit of absorbing and integrating with fat stores causing cellular damage. This form is easier to eliminate, and, then, further enzymes and conjuncts are added in a second phase to aid the elimination process. This second phase is especially important to prevent cellular damage which can still occur in a water-soluble form.

Both of these phases are supported by the intake of various nutrients which support the processes of liver detoxification.

“A variety of macronutrients and micronutrients
are required on a continuous basis to construct the multitude
of enzymes for the various oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis,
and conjugation pathways, as well as the provision of
enzymatic cofactors, phytochemical antioxidants, and fiber.” (2)

The foods that help with detoxification are mostly in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables. As well as antioxidants to prevent cellular damage, the fibre helps with more rapid elimination of these toxins from your system.

Some pathways of detoxification in the liver include glucuronidation, sulfation, and methylation which occur in the conjugation phase. Below is a list of some fresh foods that help these processes:

Glucuronidation: beta-carotene rich foods (carrots, squash, sweet potato, pumpkin, collards, red potatoes, red peppers, spinach, mustard greens, chard, dandelion greens, canteloupe, romaine lettuce), quercetin-rich foods (onion, kale, apple, cherry, brocoli), chrysin and luteolin-rich foods (broccoli, celery, rosemary), glucaric-acid rich foods (grapefruit, cherries, tomatoes, apple, alfalfa sprouts, cauliflower, cherries, apricot, spinach, oranges), citrus foods, curcumin, watercress

Sulfation: spinach, onions, cabbage, sprouts, leeks

Methylation: folic acid (potato, sweet potato, spinach, beetroot, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, asparagus, banana, orange, peach)


Additionally, as well as these conjugation processes, there are various other foods which act as chelators that help elimination and limit absorption. These include sulphur-rich foods like allium and brocoli, cilantro, cholerella, and fibre from grains and fruit.

Further herbs for an exceptional liver detox: burdock root, cascara sagrada, prodigiosa, tiya, dandelion root, yellow dock, sarsaparilla, garlic, gentian, marshmallow, milk thistle, turmeric, bearberry, yellow dock, blue vervain

In conclusion, the liver performs an immense role in the detoxification of toxins and heavy metals from the body, but there are many other organs that aid detoxification including the brain, lungs, kidneys, skin, lymph, and colon of which I will explore in further posts.


(1) Bollinger, T., 2016. The Truth about Cancer. 1st ed. London: Hay House.

(2) Cline, J., 2015. Nutritional Aspects of Detoxification in Clinical Practice. Alternative Therapies, 21(3), pp.54-62.

Published by Fly High And Eat From Trees

I am a spiritual vegan on a plant-based journey!

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