Winter is over and we can now enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. This is an excellent idea, considering the fact that our liver, probably overworked by all the fats ingested in the last months, needs a little Spring detox…
The liver is a voluminous gland located in the upper right area of the abdomen. It plays an important role in digestion and metabolism. It processes the blood filled with nutrients coming from the intestines and uses a part of them to produce bile, cholesterol and numerous proteins from blood plasma. Other substances are stored there, like vitamins, iron and glycogen, a type of glucose (sugar) reserve. Additionally, the liver destroys the toxic substances (including alcohol), bacteria and damaged cells circulating in the blood. Lipids (fats) and alcohol are harmful for the liver, and their frequent and regular consumption can lead to serious diseases. Some kinds of food, however, are known to help getting rid of toxins.
The artichoke is the flower bud of a garden plant, native of the Mediterranean Sea. The artichoke is widely cultivated in Italy, Spain and France, which together represent over 80% of world production. It is also cultivated on a large scale in the western United States, particularly in Castroville, California.
The artichoke is an excellent source of potassium, magnesium and folic acid. It contains substances that are said to stimulate the secretion of bile. It is also credited with a number of medicinal properties: it is said to be a good appetite stimulant, blood cleanser, antitoxin and diuretic. Excellent for the liver, the therapeutic effects of the artichoke are maximized by infusing the plant’s large indented leaves.
Black radish is also used to treat liver problems, dyspepsia and cholelithiasis. This root plant is believed to have originated in the eastern Mediterranean region. Particularly popular in Eastern Europe, it is almost as pungent as its close relative horseradish. Black radish is rarely consumed as it is. Drained black radish is often seasoned with shallots and sour cream or added to salads; it is also good with a rémoulade sauce. Cooked black radish tastes somewhat like rutabaga and can be added to soups, stews, omelets and tofu.
Like all citrus fruits, lemons are very rich in vitamin C. They also provide potassium and folic acid. Among their numerous other medicinal properties, lemons are said to be diuretic and tonic, and to alleviate intestinal problems. The essential oils of the lemon are made up of 95% terpene and have expectorant properties.