Research done at the University of Monastir in Tunisia measured the effects of olive oil on protecting the liver from the ravages of a toxic herbicide.
The herbicide (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) is known to cause free radical damage and oxidative stress to liver cells. Eighty healthy rats were separated into two groups. One group was given the herbicide while the other group was given both the herbicide and olive oil.
Interestingly, every rat that received only the herbicide showed signs of significant liver damage. The group that received both the olive oil and herbicide showed a significant increase in antioxidant enzyme activity and a decrease in liver cell damage.
The results pointed to the protective benefits of a healthy, digestible oil such as olive oil on the liver. Without enough good oils, the liver seemed to be unable to protect itself from a toxic herbicide.
However, there are plenty of bad fats that will congest the liver. The fats that are bad for the liver are the ones sold in clear plastic bottles in the grocery store. These highly processed oils have been bleached, deodorized and scrubbed clean of any nutrients and slowly congest the liver. The problem is that these oils are pretty much found in any food that has been cooked and packaged.
As a result, many folks are walking around with a congested liver and do not tolerate fats of any kind very well. The answer to this is not to just avoid fatty foods. As you can see from this study, good fats are the fuel for the liver to be able to do its job. I remember one of my teachers always saying, “The number one cause of gallbladder disease is a no fat diet.”
The liver is a slimy, oily organ and it needs good oils in order to function, especially in the toxic world we live in. Make sure you are getting good quality oils in your diet daily from nuts, seeds, fish, and high quality fish oils.
Bonus: Beets, leafy greens, fenugreek tea, cinnamon and turmeric are some good foods and spices to add to your diet to help decongest the liver.