What is good for the gallbladder – 7 best foods according to scientists

The gallbladder is an organ that provides storage and excretion of bile necessary for adequate digestion of food. The leading factor affecting its functional activity is the diet.

It is necessary to select products correctly in order not only to preserve the motor evacuation ability, but also to ensure reliable protection of the gallbladder wall from any damage.

Eating certain types of food can disrupt the fine line between excessive stimulation and suppression of bile secretion, which entails a large complex of disorders. First, dyskinesia develops according to the hyper- or hypotonic type, cholelithiasis. Then the processes of digestion and assimilation of nutrients in the intestine are disrupted. The final stage is long–term drug therapy or removal of the gallbladder.

Therefore, the diet should be balanced, contain a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables, as well as vitamins and trace elements (C, B, magnesium, etc.). Some data show that it is useful to add more vegetable proteins to the diet (tofu, legumes, nuts, lentils). They are a full-fledged alternative to red meats.

Below is a list of foods that are most useful for the gallbladder with a detailed description of the characteristics and links to scientific research.

1. Turmeric

The spice contains a large amount of curcumin, which has been used since ancient times as a powerful anti-inflammatory and lipid-lowering agent. Curcumin stimulates the formation of bile in hepatocytes, increases the tone of the gallbladder and greatly facilitates its emptying.

The effect of curcumin on the smooth muscles of the gallbladder has been studied in detail in a large number of studies .

For example, scientists from Indonesia came to the conclusion that only 20 mg of curcumin reduces the volume of the gallbladder by 3 times, and the effect persists for 2 or more hours. Activation of the peristalsis of the organ has a beneficial effect on the evacuation of bile, which is very useful for patients with chronic cholecystitis or biliary dyskinesia of the hypomotor type.

In addition, the use of turmeric helps to prevent the formation of cholesterol stones.

Turmeric can be added to any dish, it improves not only taste, but aesthetic qualities, giving a bright honey color. An alternative option is to use plant–based teas.

Turmeric is indispensable for people with chronic gallbladder diseases and weakness of the motor activity of the biliary tract. Also, the use of spices reduces the risk of urolithiasis.

2. Nuts

Nuts have a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect, which is realized at the level of the entire human body.

Nuts also protect the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract from mechanical damaging factors, bacterial flora and other pathogens (it is microorganisms that cause inflammation of the gallbladder).

Selected scientific papers note a slowdown in apoptosis (the programmed process of cell death) and a decrease in the risk of malignancy in various parts of the gastrointestinal tract against the background of regular addition of nuts to the diet.

Spanish scientists noted a decrease in the concentration of C-reactive protein and inflammatory mediators (interleukin-6) by 35% and 90%, respectively. This circumstance is important for people suffering from autoimmune pathologies of the gallbladder or having chronic cholecystitis with frequent episodes of exacerbations.

Nuts can be used as breakfast, snacks or as a food supplement. The most useful are:

  • Almonds;
  • Brazil nut;
  • Hazelnuts;
  • Cashews;
  • Walnut;
  • Cedar nut;
  • Pistachios.

Peanuts should also be included in this group. Although it belongs to the Legume family, it has physical and organoleptic characteristics similar to nuts.

Recall that in the last article we reviewed 13 foods that improve digestion .

Nuts contribute to the suppression of inflammatory processes in all organs of the gastrointestinal tract and the prevention of cancer.

3. Cabbage

White cabbage is able to bind toxic metabolites in the lumen of the gallbladder (including excess cholesterol) and remove them into the lumen of the digestive tube along with bile. At the same time, reverse suction is not observed.

Sea cabbage contains large amounts of organic iodine, which is necessary for adequate contractile activity. As a result of its use, there are no periods of increased or decreased motility, and the work of the gallbladder acquires a well-coordinated character.

Spinach, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli , according to scientists , also contain substances that are sequestrants of bile acids, which prevent the reuptake of cholesterol.

Cabbage is recommended for people with hypotonic disorders of the biliary tract. It is best to use a vegetable boiled or steamed.

Various types of cabbage improve the smooth muscles of the gallbladder and help protect the mucous membrane from harmful factors.

4. Lemon

Proven that lemon enhances the effect of local factors of immunity , as well as the resistance of the mucous membrane of the gallbladder to increased pressure inside the lumen of the organ.

Additional feature – citrus helps to normalize the microflora and improve the functioning of the stomach and of the intestine . All this prevents the vertical migration of pathogenic flora.

In addition, lemon is widely used in folk medicine as a means to "cleanse" the gallbladder. But such methods have no scientific justification.

Lemon protects the wall of the gallbladder from additional destruction in the presence of inflammatory processes and prevents the development of complications.

5. Olive oil

Olive oil contains a large amount of antioxidants that slow down the destruction of cells in the body, reduce the risk of developing tumors and improve digestive processes .

Olive oil helps to reduce oxidative stress provoked by free radicals, which is extremely often observed in the phenomena of stagnation of bile in the biliary tract.

The Spanish study showed that olive oil reduces the risk of formation of mixed gallstones, one of the components of which is cholesterol. The effect is due to increased lipid secretion and activation of smooth muscle motility.

Olive oil is necessary for rapid recovery in the presence of disorders of the gallbladder, prevention of cancer and gallstone disease.

6. Milk thistle

Milk thistle significantly increases the rate of excretion of digestive secretions from the lumen of the gallbladder and reduces the risk of stone formation.

Also milk thistle can be applied for the treatment of any pathologies from the side of the biliary tract, proceeding according to the hypotonic type.

The plant helps to delimit the foci of inflammation in the gallbladder, improves the biochemical properties of bile, normalizes the daily rhythm of secretion.

There was also a decrease in the severity of pain in the right hypochondrium (biliary colic) when adding the plant to food on a regular basis. Milk thistle is recommended for inflection of the gallbladder

Milk thistle is necessary to increase the tone of the gallbladder and reduce the risk of formation of stone substrates.

7. Artichoke

No study has examined the effect of a vegetable on the intensity of stone formation in the lumen of the gallbladder.

However installed that artichoke increases the rate of excretion of bile into the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. There was a positive trend in relation to hypotonic cholecystitis. A few hours after consuming the product, pain decreases and the volume of the organ decreases.

Artichoke is recommended to be steamed, grilled or marinated. When used in the form of a dietary supplement, you should consult a specialist.

Artichoke has a choleretic effect, dilutes and removes excess accumulated bile from the lumen of the gallbladder.

Other products

In addition to the above, to provide the gallbladder with all the necessary substances, you should consume more of the following products:

  • Sweet pepper;
  • Citrus fruits;
  • Whole milk and lactic acid products;
  • Tomatoes;
  • Fish and shellfish;
  • Beans;
  • Lentils.

What &171; does not like&187; gallbladder from food

Some foods adversely affect the functioning of the gallbladder and lead to a large list of disorders.

It is necessary to exclude substances that accelerate motility and bile excretion in excessive amounts, limit foods rich in animal fats, and avoid a number of toxic components.

It is necessary to limit the intake of such harmful products:

  1. Alcoholic beverages. Alcohol causes spasm of the bile ducts and destruction of the epithelial cells of the inner lining of the gallbladder.
  2. Fried, fatty and spicy substances (lard, pork meat, seasonings). All this increases the activity of the gallbladder, causes its excessive contractions, while the liver does not always have time to allocate enough digestive juice to compensate for motor activity.
  3. Medicines.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and penicillin antibiotics with toxic effects are especially dangerous. Therefore, you should not self-medicate.
  4. Refined products (sugar, white bread). Have a direct cytotoxic effect, disrupt the coordinated work of various parts of the gallbladder.

General diet rules (Table)

To prevent disorders of the gallbladder, it is recommended to follow the following principles of diet:

  1. It is necessary to eat food fractional (5-6 times a day) in small portions, maintaining the qualitative composition of each meal.
  2. The recommended content of proteins, fats and carbohydrates per day should be 80-100 g, up to 90 g and about 350 g, respectively.
  3. The daily volume of liquid is at least 2 liters, and the amount of salt is up to 10 g.
  4. Preference should be given to heat-treated and soft foods, try to exclude spicy, fried, salty foods, spices with a strong odor.

Below is a table of the main substances that are allowed and prohibited to be used for the treatment and prevention of diseases of the biliary tract.

Type of products Preference should be given Should be limited as much as possible
Flour products Wheat or rye bread, preferably in dried form (in the air, in a toaster, etc.). Fresh black bread, pastry products.
Meat and meat products Any varieties boiled or steamed. Fried and fatty meat with lots of veins, tendons, and skin. Canned food, duck meat.
Cereals, vegetables. You should choose buckwheat or oatmeal with the addition of carrots. Garlic, sorrel, onion, mushrooms.
Soups Soups-mashed vegetables with milk. Meat and mushroom (saturated) broths.
Drinks Weak tea, cocoa. Coffee, any alcoholic and carbonated drinks.
It is additionally recommended to add vitamin complexes containing vitamins A, B, E, C, folic acid to the diet.


Thus, it is possible to ensure reliable prevention of various disorders of the gallbladder without the use of medications. It is enough just to correct nutrition, and healthy food will do all the most difficult work on its own.