Every day your liver processes and disarms hundreds, if not thousands of toxic compounds that make their way into your body. While many of these toxins are unavoidable (like those found in the air due to pollution), many are a direct result of our own choices—in diet, alcohol consumption and use or application of chemical substances.

The liver has a big job in neutralizing these harmful compounds.  But the good news is that certain foods—like earthy, crimson-hued beets—can make your liver’s load a little lighter.

Beets for Detox: The Red Root with Powerful Cleansing

A recent study published in the journal Carcinogenesis found that beet fiber increases the activity of two important antioxidant enzymes in the liver, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase.

Because the liver is the body’s primary detoxification center, free radicals are generated when toxic substances are broken down and eliminated. Glutathione peroxidase and glutathione-S-transferase serve as the body’s antioxidant defense system, acting as bodyguards for liver cells.

Detoxify Deliciously with Crimson-Hued Beets

The earthy flavor and unique texture of beets makes them a culinary standout in any dish. Roast beets and slice over fresh organic mesclun, chop and sauté with greens or puree baked beets and pears for a sweet and delicious side dish. Or grate raw over your favorite salad.

A note of caution: Beets are high in sugar, containing roughly 10 grams per cup, and should only be used for juicing in small amounts for healthy blood sugar balance. In addition, juicing removes the beneficial beet fiber which was found to have the beneficial effects in this study.