BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – On a sweltering day in Louisiana, it’s tempting to beat the heat with an extra-large milkshake or frozen coke.

While the occasional sweet treat is fine, there are other summertime snack options that not only taste great but have a positive impact on one of the body’s most vital organs, the liver. 

It’s easy to take the liver for granted. But as the body’s largest glandular organ, it simultaneously performs over 200 important functions, meaning it plays a major role in keeping us healthy and active. 

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the liver helps the body maintain a healthy level of blood sugar by supplying glucose to the blood when it’s needed and removing glucose when there’s too much. 

So, what kinds of foods are good for the liver?

Research indicates that you can beat the heat and promote liver health with these three refreshing summertime treats:

#1

Iced Coffee Without Milk, Cream, or Sweeteners 

Research reveals that drinking two to three cups of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee per day can protect the liver from damage caused by too much alcohol or an unhealthy diet. Some research even indicates the habit might lower the risk of liver cancer. Just be sure not to add anything fatty or sugary to the iced coffee.

#2

Almond, Berry Yogurt Parfait

Enjoying a cooling blend of unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt layered with fresh blueberries, blackberries, and almond slivers is a treat the liver will love. Studies show that blueberries and blackberries contain polyphenols, which appear to protect liver cells from damage. In addition to this, almonds are fantastic sources of vitamin E, a nutrient that research suggests may help protect against fatty liver disease.  

#3

Apple and Spinach Salad

Snacking on a blend of fresh spinach leaves, crisp green apple slices, walnut slivers, and feta cheese that’s been topped with a sugar-free herb vinaigrette salad dressing will stave off hunger and give your liver a boost. Research indicates that foods like spinach, apples, and walnuts are all good for liver health.

There are a host of other cool and refreshing snacks that help this vital organ, including fresh fruit smoothies, tuna salad sandwiches (minus the mayo), and pineapple fruit salad.

Click here for more information regarding the liver from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).