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11 Green Smoothie Recipes for Fatty Liver


Robyn Openshaw, MSW - Jan 03, 2020 - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links


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If you’ve just been told you have fatty liver, you may be feeling confused about the diagnosis, especially if you have no symptoms. This article will help you get a better view of what this condition is all about, along with which green smoothies and other foods that support your liver health to include in your diet.

In This Article

What is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver disease is medically known as “hepatic steatosis.”  It’s exactly what it sounds like — too much fat built up in the liver. 

You may expect liver issues from a heavy drinker (that condition is known as alcoholic fatty liver disease, or AFLD), but fatty liver disease can happen to teetotalers too (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD).

The famous Dr. Max Gerson believed that the liver is the body’s most important organ, with over 500 jobs to do for you. Its main jobs are to help process the food that we eat and filter out any toxins. These toxins can include chemicals on our food (pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc.) and chemicals in our food (like in highly processed packaged goods) that our bodies don’t recognize. 

It also has to filter out environmental toxins like pollution, as well as chemicals in our beauty care and home cleaning products. 

The liver is also critically involved in metabolism, converting carbs into glucose, making bile, breaking down fats, and storing energy in the form of glycogen to burn when you aren’t eating.

So if there are any issues affecting the liver, a whole lot of other processes can be thrown off, too.

[Related: Could Toxicity Be Why I’m Sick?]

Symptoms of Fatty Liver Disease

People with fatty liver disease do not typically have any symptoms, but it is not uncommon to experience1:

  • Abdominal pain or discomfort, particularly on the upper right side
  • A feeling of fullness in the same area
  • Fatigue

If the condition progresses, it can cause scarring on the liver (liver fibrosis, or cirrhosis in severe cases). This scarring can bring on the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Jaundiced (yellowed) skin or eyes
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen area
  • Mental confusion
Fatty liver can lead to more serious conditions like liver fibrosis and cirrhosis.

Risk Factors For Fatty Liver Disease

How would you know if you have fatty liver disease if you don’t have symptoms? There are risk factors that your functional medical practitioner may want to monitor, so that if you do have the condition, you can treat it before it gets worse.

  • Obesity
  • Insulin resistance
  • High resting blood glucose, prediabetes, or Type 2 Diabetes
  • High blood triglycerides
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High cholesterol
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Sleep apnea
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypopituitarism

The Mayo Clinic notes that these first four risk factors are potential causes as well, as they appear to promote the deposit of fat in the liver.2 When we over consume calories, or we don’t metabolize fat properly, what our body can’t use is converted into fat that’s stored in the liver. We can only store so much! Toxic stored fat levels lead to inflammation and scarring.

The Best Foods for Fatty Liver

The ideal diet for fatty liver is going to be filled with natural, whole, unprocessed foods, especially vegetables! These whole foods will give you lots of nutrients that support your body’s natural detoxification systems, so your liver can do its many jobs more thoroughly and easily.

Some of these whole foods are specifically supportive of the liver. The following contain nutrients like Vitamin C, B vitamins, choline, and more that support liver function:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Bananas
  • Spinach
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, etc.)
  • Avocado
  • Apples
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley

Green Smoothie Recipes for Fatty Liver

Using the foods above, we can make some super liver-loving smoothies that taste great and get your detox organs functioning they way they should. Sip on these for better health:

All recipes are from the Big Book of Green Smoothies.

1. Green Machine
This is a great basic smoothie to start with if you’re not used to blending up your greens. Spinach is pretty mild, and the small amount of broccoli sprouts won’t take over the flavor (though they’ll offer plenty of great nutrients!). Both spinach and bananas contain B vitamins, which promote healthy liver function by helping to break down fat.

Ingredients
Large handful of baby spinach
1 handful lettuce (whatever kind you have on hand)
½ handful broccoli sprouts
1 carrot
2 tbsp nuts or seeds
2 bananas
Cold water

Directions
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.

Detox Banner | Detoxifying Drinks: What Works? What Doesn't? Green Smoothie Girl

2. Green Beauty Cilantro Shake
Cilantro lovers will appreciate the medicinal qualities of this zesty blend! The leafy green contains linalool, which is a plant compound that helps protect the liver from damage3. This recipe blends cilantro with flavorful citrus fruits, and I recommend keeping the peels on to take advantage of their limonene, which aids in liver detoxification4. Just make sure you wash them first and use a sturdy blender!

Ingredients
1 bunch cilantro
½ unpeeled grapefruit
½ unpeeled navel orange
½ cup pineapple
1 tbsp honey (adjust to taste)
1 tsp blue-green algae flakes (optional)
Water as needed (to blend)

Directions
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.

3. 4-3-2-1 Smoothie
Parsley is a wonderful ingredient for the liver. Not only does it have plenty of detox-supporting Vitamin C, but it also stimulates bile5. Bile is what helps our bodies break down fats so we can use them as energy. Parsley also helps extract heavy metals from the body6, which can take some stress off the liver.

Ingredients
4 kale leaves, coarsely chopped
⅓ bunch parsley
2 celery ribs, chopped large
1 apple, cut into wedges
Juice of ½ lemon
2 cups water

Directions
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. You may need to add more water to reach your desired consistency. Feel free to add a teaspoon or two of honey for sweetness if the apple is on the tart side.

Photo of 4-3-2-1 green smoothie recipe being poured from blender into glass with apples and parsley surrounding from
The parsley in my 4-3-2-1 smoothie performs important functions to help detoxify your liver.

4. Chocolate Morning Delight
I love this recipe with creamy avocado, though it’s great with bananas too for extra sweetness! Avocado is a good source of choline, a mineral that helps break up fat and move it through the liver7. Here’s a good tip: if you want to increase the liver-love factor of this smoothie, try using cooled milk thistle tea as a base instead of plain water.This is an herb known to help regenerate the liver, especially helpful if there has been damage from scarring8.

Ingredients
4 cups baby greens, frozen greens, or other dark green lettuce
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup water, plus more for desired consistency
4 oz frozen blueberries
4 oz frozen cherries
½ ripe banana or ½ avocado
2 tbsp flax seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla

Directions
Combine water with banana (or avocado), flax seeds, maple syrup, cacao, and vanilla in a high-powered blender. Blend until the flax seeds are ground and mixture is smooth and thick. Add cabbage and greens and blend, adding more water as needed. Add frozen berries and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

5. Bok Choy Cooler
Did you know bok choy is a cruciferous vegetable? That’s right! And it supports the second phase of liver detoxification, which gets toxins out of your system9. If you have trouble finding spirulina and maca powders, they can be optional, but they add a nutritious boost to this already nourishing smoothie. Ginger gives it that special kick, good for lowering inflammation around the body.

Ingredients
1-2 cups bok choy leaves
1 whole English cucumber
10 parsley, basil, or mint leaves
1 tsp spirulina
1 tsp maca powder
2 pears, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1-2 inch piece fresh ginger
2 cups water, plus more to desired consistency

Directions
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and puree until smooth.

6. Muddy Buddy Smoothie
This is another tasty smoothie recipe that supports phase two liver detoxification, more so if you opt for using almonds and almond milk. Cashews lend themselves to a creamy texture, but almonds will do the same if you soak them for a few hours first. Plus, you get Vitamin B2, which helps rid the liver of toxins10.

Photo of chocolate brown Muddy Buddy green smoothie with striped straw inserted and bananas and avocados surrounding it from
The almonds in my Muddy Buddy Smoothie supports detoxifying your liver with their Vitamin B2.

Ingredients
2 large kale leaves
1 large frozen banana
½ avocado
¼ cup cashews or soaked almonds
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp flax seeds
Water or almond milk to desired consistency

Directions
Add all dry ingredients, then pour in water or almond milk until it reaches about one inch above the mixture. Blend well and enjoy.

7. Lemon-Lime Coconut Smoothie
There are a few ways to work with this smoothie. I like to plan ahead and separate the coconut water and meat beforehand. Then I’ll freeze the coconut water into ice cubes to use in the smoothie later! If you can’t find a fresh coconut at your local market, see if they carry coconut meat in the produce or freezer section. Also, if you have a high-powered blender, you can go for that limonene boost and use whole lemons and limes. Since the peels can be a bit bitter, you may need to adjust the stevia to your taste level.

Ingredients
2 cups spinach
Meat of 1 young Thai coconut
½ avocado
½ cucumber, chopped large
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
⅓ cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
5-6 ice cubes
Stevia, to taste

Directions
Open the coconut and put its water in a bowl. Scrape out coconut meat and add to blender. Add all ingredients and puree until smooth, streaming in the coconut water if mixture is too thick.

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8. Chocoholics’ Choice
Another fabulous chocolate smoothie, one that would also be particularly delicious using cold milk thistle tea as a base. The almond butter here offers its B2 benefits, along with healthy fat that helps slow down the absorption of natural sugars in the fruit and dates. This means you’ll have super long-lasting energy throughout the day, more than enough to put towards an exercise routine that can help lower your risk factors for fatty liver!

Ingredients
3 cups ice cold water
2 large swiss chard or collard greens leaves
Red leaf lettuce, added until blender mixture reaches 6-cup line
½ vanilla bean, or 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 Granny Smith apples
2 mangos, peels and pits removed
2 bananas, frozen in chunks
½ cup almond butter or ⅔ cup raw almonds
8 pitted dates
¼ cup cacao nibs or raw cacao powder

Directions
If using almonds instead of almond butter, puree them with the three cups of water first. Then add chard, lettuce, and vanilla bean to the mix and puree again. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours and shake well before serving.

9. Dandelion Doodleberry Juice
Fun fact: bitter greens are really helpful to your liver! Dandelion root is a popular herb for liver health as well, but here we’re using the bitter greens as a veggie base for our smoothie. This detoxifying blend includes several of the supportive ingredients we talked about earlier, making it a powerful way to kick start your fatty liver diet for the day.

Photo of Dandelion Doodleberry Juice green smoothie recipe with green smoothie in glasses with raspberries on top and surrounding from
The dandelions in my Dandlion Doodleberry Juice smoothie kick start your fatty liver detoxification.

Ingredients
4 cups dandelion greens
2 ¾ cup water
2 large stalks celery
¼ whole lemon, including peel
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled
Spinach, added until blended mixture reaches 6-cup line
2 apples
1 pear
1 banana, frozen in chunks
Frozen berries added and blended until container is very full

Directions
Blend first six ingredients until smooth. Add fruit and blend until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours and shake well before serving.

10. Blast of Broccoli
Feel free to use either broccoli or broccoli rabe for this cruciferous cooler. One thing I like to do is save broccoli stems in the freezer if I’m only using the florets for a recipe. Then I’ll use them for smoothies like this! If you want to use broccoli rabe, you can typically find it at Italian or Asian markets. It’s a little more bitter, but either way, the flavor punch from all the tart and sweet fruits will balance it out nicely.

Ingredients
2 ¾ cups water/ice
⅔ tsp stevia
2 cups broccoli (florets and/or stems) or broccoli rabe
Spinach, added until blended mixture reaches 5-cup line
1 orange, peeled and quartered
2 cups pineapple, chopped
2 bananas, frozen in chunks
2 cups frozen mixed berries

Directions
Blend first four ingredients until smooth. Add fruit and blend again until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 24 hours and shake well before serving.

Learn more about how to support your liver and other detoxification organs in my video masterclass, free for a limited time!

Read Next: 15 Post-Workout Green Smoothies for Faster Recovery

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.
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Sources

  1. “Fatty Liver Disease.” Cleveland Clinic. January 29, 2019.
  2. “Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.” Mayo Clinic. August 22, 2019.
  3. Altınok-Yipel, F. et al. “Hepatoprotective Activity of Linalool in Rats Against Liver Injury Induced by Carbon Tetrachloride.” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2019 Apr 1:1-7. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000581. 
  4. Jing L. et al. “Preventive and ameliorating effects of citrus D-limonene on dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia in mice with high-fat diet-induced obesity.” European Journal of Pharmacology. 2013 Sep 5;715(1-3):46-55. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2013.06.022. Epub 2013 Jul 6.
  5. Hanan S.A. et al. “Hepatoprotective effects of parsley, basil, and chicory aqueous extracts against dexamethasone-induced in experimental rats.” Journal of Intercultural Ethnopharmacology. 2016 Jan-Feb; 5(1): 65–71. Published online 2016 Jan 27. doi: 10.5455/jice.20160124113555
  6. Aga M. et al. “Preventive effect of Coriandrum sativum (Chinese parsley) on localized lead deposition in ICR mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2001 Oct;77(2-3):203-8.
  7. Elsawy, G. “Effect of Choline Supplementation on Rapid Weight Loss and Biochemical Variables Among Female Taekwondo and Judo Athletes.” Journal of Human Kinetics. 2014 Mar 27; 40: 77–82. Published online 2014 Apr 9. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2014-0009
  8. Federico, A. et al. “Silymarin/Silybin and Chronic Liver Disease: A Marriage of Many Years.” Molecules. 2017 Jan 24;22(2). pii: E191. doi: 10.3390/molecules22020191.
  9. Hodges, R.E., Minich, D.M. “Modulation of Metabolic Detoxification Pathways Using Foods and Food-Derived Components: A Scientific Review with Clinical Application.” Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2015; 2015: 760689. Published online 2015 Jun 16. doi: 10.1155/2015/760689
  10. Mahabadi N. et al. “Riboflavin Deficiency.” StatPearls. July 3, 2019.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.

Posted in: Green Smoothies, Health Concerns, Recipes

One thought on “11 Green Smoothie Recipes for Fatty Liver”

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  1. Diane says:

    Wait! Wait! I bought the Big Book of Green Smoothies and marked the 10 smoothies you recommended for fatty liver disease (which I suffer from) BUT your article said 11 top smoothies for fatty liver disease. You only told us 10!! Waiting patiently for number 11 smoothie recipe.
    thanks for all you do
    I enjoy following you and putting in to my life some of your wonderful suggestions!!!

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