5 Ways To Show Your Liver Some Love
- 3 mins read
- Health Conditions
- Written by: Dr. Jatin Bhide
Because life depends on the liver
The liver is a very important internal organ that processes nearly everything we eat, drink, breathe in, or even rub on our skin! Hepatocytes, the cells of the liver, determine which nutrients should be processed by the body, which need to be stored, what needs to be eliminated, and what needs to reenter the bloodstream. This way, the liver helps the body fight off infections and toxins, regulate hormones, manufacture proteins, control blood sugar, help the blood to clot, and much, much more. The liver also produces an important digestive juice called bile, which helps the digestion of fat from the food we eat.
While the liver does so much to help improve the health of the body, we too need to know how to improve the health of the liver. Due to its complex nature, the liver is prone to over 100 forms of disease that in some cases can be avoided through good habits and a basic healthy lifestyle.
Restrict your alcohol intake
Alcohol abuse is one of the major causes of liver problems in the modern world. The liver can only process or break down a small amount of alcohol every hour. Frequent consumption of alcohol causes swelling, scarring, or damage to the liver cells. This leads to a condition called alcoholic liver disease or worse, Cirrhosis of the liver, which can be lethal.
Eat a healthy diet
The liver stores excess dietary fat, and this fat build-up can eventually lead to fatty liver disease. It is important to eat a healthy and nutritious diet and cut down on fatty foods and junk food. Limit your sugar intake and avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup which is generally found in processed foods as it can damage the health of your liver. Eat high-fiber foods such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. For proteins, choose more fish, beans, and nuts, and cut down on red meats.
Do not pop pills
Be careful with the medicines that you take frequently as all medicines get metabolized by the liver. Popping pills frequently can harm your liver in the long run. Commonly consumed drugs like cholesterol-lowering drugs (Statins) and Paracetamol can cause liver damage if consumed in excess. Some OTC preparations or herbal supplements are also known to cause liver damage or even failure when taken in large quantities.
Get vaccinated to promote liver care
Vaccinate yourself against hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis A is contracted from contaminated food and water and hepatitis B, from sexual contact, contaminated blood, and needles. Consult with your doctor before taking the vaccine especially if you’re pregnant or if you have certain allergies.
Get regular exercise
Regular exercise is vital for a healthy liver. Exercise increases energy levels, decreases stress on the liver, and helps to prevent obesity. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight and reduce abdominal obesity which is a clear indicator of a fatty liver. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of exercise, such as brisk walking, per week.
Last but not the least, be sure to stay hydrated at all times to keep your liver in good shape!