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The #1 Best Vegetable for Your Liver, Says Dietitian

Care for your liver health with this versatile veggie.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

We're all well aware of our liver, but many of us don't know much about it. Chances are you've heard of the association between drinking alcohol and your liver health, but there is much more to it than just processing the happy hour drinks you consume!

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the liver actually serves over 500 functions in the body. The main function, that many people know of, is that the liver produces bile, which helps flush out toxins. The liver also helps break down fats in order to aid in digestion, helps with the production of cholesterol and management of excess glucose, and helps regulate and manage blood clotting.

As you can see, your liver is incredibly important, which may have many of us asking, "how can we keep our liver healthy?" One of the main ways you can care for your liver health is through your diet. Incorporating fiber-heavy foods like whole grains and legumes, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and veggies, while limiting your consumption of added sugars, alcohol, and fried foods, can be a great way to eat for a healthy liver.

If you're looking to incorporate some liver-healthy foods into your diet, vegetables are a great place to start. According to our medical expert Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and author of The First Time Mom's Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility, although all veggies are good for your health and liver, broccoli is one of the best you can eat for your liver health!

Continue reading to learn about how broccoli can help support your liver and other areas of your health. Then check out 6 Best Teas to Boost Metabolism and Lose Weight.

steamed broccoli

What is it about broccoli that makes it so healthy for your liver? According to Manaker, it's all in the compounds this delicious vegetable contains.

"Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that can support liver health with its natural compounds, including Diindolylmethane and glucoraphanin," says Manaker. "Compounds like these found in broccoli have been linked to having anti-cancer properties and supporting the natural detoxification process the liver offers."

Diindolylmethane and glucoraphanin are compounds found not only in broccoli but in most cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, kale, and cabbage as well. Their antioxidant activity is helpful in caring for your liver health and can contribute to the overall health of your body as well.

If you want some inspiration for how to cook broccoli for your next meal, try one of these 20 Cozy Broccoli Soup Recipes or a healthy, 15-minute stir fry recipe.

Samantha Boesch
Samantha was born and raised in Orlando, Florida and now works as a writer in Brooklyn, NY. Read more about Samantha