When you’re concerned with the health and function of your liver, the last thing you want to do is put a larger toxic load into your body. In contrast, nourishing your body with clean, liver-supportive nutrition can boost your body’s natural detoxification systems. Drinking a liver detox smoothie as a meal replacement can be a beneficial part of a liver cleanse protocol or just a healthy part of your daily routine.
Metabolic Detox Complete is a naturally-flavored powder (it comes in vanilla or chocolate) that contains a full-spectrum daily multivitamin/mineral supplement. Its formula is designed specifically to boost liver health and your body’s natural detoxification pathways. You can mix it with water for a quick and easy shake, or it can be blended into any smoothie recipe for added nutrition.
Scroll to the bottom of this article for a smoothie recipe that compliments the flavor and nutritional power of Metabolic Detox Complete. In between, we have described some of the best nutrients for liver support and where to find them.
Apart from supplements, whole, organic foods are an excellent source of detox-supportive nutrition. Just make sure to purchase them from a reputable source and wash them well to remove added toxins that may be present on skins or peels. Even “organic” farms occasionally spray natural or “organic” herbicides and pesticides that can add to the toxicity of a food.
Metabolic Detox Complete: Liver Detox Nutrition
In the liver, you can break the detoxification process down into two phases. Phase I involves enzymatic modification or breakdown of toxins into compounds that Phase II will eliminate. Since these compounds include free radicals that can cause cellular damage, it is important to both support and control Phase I, so it does not out-pace Phase II. During Phase II, Phase I metabolites will be conjugated so they can be eliminated in urine or bile.
Phase I Detox
The Phase I enzyme cofactors selected for the Metabolic Detox Complete formula include B-vitamins (folate, niacinamide, B-6, B-12), zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper [1,2]. Nutrients that control Phase I end-products include antioxidant vitamins C, E, and A, green tea, silymarin (from milk thistle), and NAC [1-3]. If you’d like to read more about the benefits of silymarin and NAC to the liver, check out another blog post about liver-supportive nutrition here.
Phase II Detox
Phase II conjugation falls into six categories, and each requires nutritional support.
- Pantothenic acid, thiamine, and vitamin C support acetylation of organic compounds containing nitrogen.
- Glycine, glutamine, and taurine support amino acid conjugation.
- Calcium d-glucarate supports glucuronidation, which neutralizes numerous drugs, hormones, and pollutants.
- NAC, vitamin C, and silymarin support glutathione conjugation of free radicals.
- B-6, methionine, B-12 (as methylcobalamin), folate (as methylfolate), and choline, all support methylation. Methylation is a process necessary for the metabolism of neurotransmitters and detoxification of synthetic compounds and many pharmaceuticals.
- Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), taurine, methionine, and NAC all support sulfation, which helps eliminate toxic compounds such as acetaminophen, food additives, and heavy metals [1-3].
Metabolic Detox Complete is more than a supplement; it is a meal replacement. Plant-based protein, fiber, beneficial fats, and complex carbohydrates will satisfy your feelings of hunger and the full-spectrum multivitamin/mineral formula will meet your mealtime nutritional needs.
An added benefit is that Metabolic Detox Complete contains no major allergens. In addition to its use for detoxification, it can be used as part of an elimination diet protocol to restore gastrointestinal health.
Liver Detox Smoothie
When it comes to liver health and detoxification, antioxidants are key. Antioxidants can prevent or repair damage caused by toxins and free radicals, reduce inflammation, and promote the regeneration of liver cells . Of course, not all antioxidants work exactly the same way, or in the same tissues, so including a broad range of antioxidants in your smoothie will provide greater benefits to the body.
The more berries the better, but blueberries and acai are two excellent sources of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are antioxidant pigments that give berries their rich colors. A recent animal study showed that blueberry extract, consumed regularly, effectively reversed some age-mediated degradation of the liver . Specifically, blueberries improved glycemic control, lipid metabolism, metabolic imbalance, and liver function, while reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver of aged rats .
Another source of anthocyanins, cranberries have been demonstrated time and again to benefit liver function [6,7]. Researchers suggest that cranberry may ameliorate some consequences of a high-fat diet and help to prevent the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease . Just make sure when buying cranberry juice that you’re buying the real thing, not a cranberry juice cocktail made mostly of sugar.
Kale is a cruciferous vegetable that does really well chopped and stored in the freezer. In a smoothie, it adds a lot of nutrition without changing the taste significantly. Cruciferous vegetables contain many bioactive compounds that boost the detoxification process of environmental carcinogenic compounds .
One such compound is known as sulforaphane. Sulforaphane can not only slow tumor growth, but it also has preventative effects against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease . Until recently, these effects were not well understood. In vitro and in vivo studies both show sulforaphane consumption can reduce weight gain associated with a high-fat diet, alleviate insulin resistance, decrease serum triglycerides and total cholesterol, and prevent lipid deposition and apoptosis in the liver .
Nuts, such as almonds are a potential allergen, so omit almond butter if using this smoothie as a part of an elimination diet.
If you can eat nuts, however, they are an excellent source of not only antioxidants, but also healthy fats, vitamin E, and other beneficial plant compounds. Together, this nutritional composition is beneficial to the liver and cardiovascular health . In spite of their fat content, those who eat more nuts are less likely to develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease than those who eat fewer nuts [10,11].
Almonds, specifically, have been shown to provide benefits whether you eat a little or a lot every day . And, even though they are a source of fat, consuming them is not associated with weight gain .
To be honest, we’re adding this fruit for taste and texture. Bananas are creamy and pretty high in natural sugar, so it replaces the need for a sweetener, and adds fiber and a spectrum of vitamins and minerals to the drink.
While bananas are low-fat, they are high-calorie (for a fruit) and deliver a moderate glycemic load. So, if you are watching your carbs or sugar intake, feel free to omit the banana from your smoothie.
Liver Detox Smoothie Recipe (1 meal replacement)
- 1 scoop Metabolic Detox Complete (vanilla or chocolate)
- 1 small banana (or half large)
- ½ cup frozen chopped kale
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 cup (8 oz) cranberry juice
- Water to adjust consistency
Liver Detox Smoothie Instructions
- Add all ingredients (save water) to a blender.
- Blend until smooth, or add water a tablespoon at a time until you achieve your desired consistency.
- Serve immediately.
- Cline, John C. “Nutritional aspects of detoxification in clinical practice.” Altern Ther Health Med 21.3 (2015): 54-62.
- Percival, Mark. “Phytonutrients and detoxification.” Clinical nutrition insights 5.2 (1997): 1-4.
- Henning, Susanne M., et al. “Variability in the antioxidant activity of dietary supplements from pomegranate, milk thistle, green tea, grape seed, goji, and acai: effects of in vitro digestion.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 62.19 (2014): 4313-4321.
- Ali, Syed Saqib, et al. “Understanding oxidants and antioxidants: Classical team with new players.” Journal of food biochemistry 44.3 (2020): e13145.
- Albrahim, Tarfa, and Mona Alonazi. “Effect of Blueberry Extract on Liver in Aged Rats.” Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity 2022 (2022).
- Masnadi Shirazi, Kourosh, et al. “Effect of cranberry supplementation on liver enzymes and cardiometabolic risk factors in patients with NAFLD: a randomized clinical trial.” BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies 21 (2021): 1-8.
- Shimizu, Kahori, et al. “Cranberry attenuates progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease induced by high-fat diet in mice.” Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin 42.8 (2019): 1295-1302.
- Zhang, Zhenzhen, et al. “The role of cruciferous vegetables and isothiocyanates for lung cancer prevention: current status, challenges, and future research directions.” Molecular nutrition & food research 62.18 (2018): 1700936.
- Li, Jinwang, Siyu Xie, and Wendi Teng. “Sulforaphane attenuates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by inhibiting hepatic steatosis and apoptosis.” Nutrients 14.1 (2021): 76.
- bing Chen, Bing, et al. “Association between nut intake and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease risk: a retrospective case-control study in a sample of Chinese Han adults.” BMJ open 9.9 (2019): e028961.
- Zhang, Shunming, et al. “Association between nut consumption and non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease in adults.” Liver International 39.9 (2019): 1732-1741.
- De Souza, Rávila Graziany Machado, et al. “Nuts and human health outcomes: a systematic review.” Nutrients 9.12 (2017): 1311.