Our liver plays critical roles for maintaining general health and wellbeing. Interestingly, the liver is the second largest organ in the body. It is a large, meaty organ located in the right upper part of your abdomen, just below your diaphragm.
According to the director of clinical liver research of John Hopkins – Saleh Alqahtani, “the liver plays over 500 roles in the body,” some of which include:
- Removal of toxic substances from your body, like drugs, alcohol, and chemicals
- Production of bile, which helps digest fat
- Regulation of hormone
- Production of proteins that help fight off infections
- Storage of important vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E, and K, and Vitamin B12
- Regulation of blood cholesterol level
- Storage of excess sugar in form of glycogen
Why You Need to Keep your Liver Healthy
Everything you eat or drink passes through your liver. This organ is a key player in your body’s metabolic and digestive processes. Hence, it is a no-brainer that you need to treat your liver right for it to stay healthy and perform its functions optimally.
Unfortunately, the accumulation of toxins can affect the functioning of your liver. Also, when your liver is overburdened, it may become unable to metabolize nutrients and fats properly, slowing down metabolism and putting you at risk of serious health issues as well as lethargy and weight gain.
Liver Diseases are often described as “Silent Killer” because they might persist for a long period. However, with regular investigations, these diseases might be detected in time and managed.
But you know the saying, “prevention is better than cure” – the best way to fight liver disease is to prevent it in the first place. Hence, we’ll show you the best measures to achieve liver wellness.
How to Keep Your Liver Healthy
Here are some simple measures you can adopt to help keep your liver in good health for optimum functioning:
Eat a Balanced Diet
One of the common causes of fatty liver disease is high levels of cholesterol and fat in the blood. Your diet plays a crucial role in keeping your liver healthy.
Reduce your consumption of saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and trans fats in your diet. Saturated fats are loaded in deep fries, dairy products, and red meats. Hydrogenated and trans fats are commonly found in processed foods.
Your liver may store excess dietary fat and this fat buildup may eventually result in fatty liver disease.
So here’s what to do to keep your liver healthy – Eat more high-fiber foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. And for proteins, choose more white meat, fish, nuts, and beans. Cut down on red meat or avoid it completely.
You may also add an all-natural blend of hepatoprotective ingredients in the form of supplement to your diet. Products, such as Liver Cleanse Capsule, contain natural liver-healthy superfoods that supply the liver with necessary nutrients to stay healthy.
Limit your Alcohol Consumption
Your liver is responsible for clearing chemicals and toxic substances out of the body. It breaks down a small amount of alcohol every hour, but taking too much of alcohol can damage your liver cells, leading to inflammation and cirrhosis (scarring of the liver).
Hence, to keep your liver healthy, it is advisable that you limit your alcohol consumption - men should have at most two standard drinks, while women shouldn’t take more than one.
When we say a standard drink, it is equivalent to:
- A small shot of whiskey,
- One ordinary beer, or
- One glass of wine
However, talk to your doctor, you may need to quit alcohol completely.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is a good way to keep your liver healthy. When you exercise, you get rid of stress on your liver and boost energy levels. This helps prevent obesity, which is one of the risk factors for liver disease.
It is recommended that you aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly. You may decide to go swimming, take a walk, ride on a bike, hike, or do anything that suits you best. And shun a sedentary lifestyle.
Everyone should get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, which are two common viral liver infections. You may contract Hepatitis A through water and contaminated food – Hence, you should avoid eating raw or contaminated shellfish or seafood.
You may also contract Hepatitis B through contaminated blood, needles or sex. So, it is advisable that you practice safe sex.
To be on the safer side, it is better you discuss with your doctor about the Hepatitis vaccines.
Be Careful with Fad Diets and Weight Loss Pills
Many over-the-counter drugs for weight loss may contain toxic ingredients which can cause damage to your liver. Some common drugs you should avoid include cascara, kava, pennyroyal, ephedra, skullcap, and chaparral.
Also, fad diets for weight loss put unnecessary pressure and stress on your liver. Most of these diets lack essential nutrients and offer more damage than good, especially to your liver. So be careful about diets that promise speedy weight loss in an unrealistic amount of time.
If you need to keep your liver healthy, then focus on eating healthy, exercising, and other natural weight loss measures.
Follow Direction on All Medications
Drug abuse is a major cause of liver damage. When you take higher doses, use wrong drugs or combine more drugs without any medical guidance, you put your liver’s health at risk of damage.
Never mix drugs and alcohol either at the same time or some hours apart. You should always talk to your doctor about any over-the-counter medications or herbal remedies you’re using.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Being obese puts you at risk of fatty liver damage. Hence, always work to maintain a body mass index (BMI) of between 18 and 25. You can try online tools that help you do the calculations.
However, the best way to maintain a healthy weight and reduce your chances of suffering non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is to exercise and eat a well-balanced diet.
You can discuss with your doctor about setting a weight goal that will help you stay in good shape and keep your liver healthy.
Research shows that drinking coffee may help lower your risk of getting liver disease, including scarring and cancer. Some studies suggest that it might help slow those conditions in people who have them already.
You may consider taking instant, filtered, or espresso – all forms seem to work fine. But keep in mind that coffee cannot take the place of a balanced diet, plenty of water, a healthy weight, and regular exercise in maintaining a healthy liver.
Your liver is one organ you just cannot kid with – It is the center of metabolism and the manufacturing hub of our system. That’s why it is important that you take good care of this organ.
Unlike many other organs that come in pairs, you only have one liver, and if it’s not working right, it can result in big problems for you. You might become sluggish and less energetic and this can take a toll on the next stage of your life.
Follow the tips highlighted above and your liver will thank you daily.
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