Liver Health 101
Keeping our liver healthy and functioning correctly is so important if you want to live a long and healthy life. The liver is one of the largest organs in the body and works to fight infection and remove toxins from the body. It also helps to thicken our blood and keep our cholesterol under control. Unfortunately, millions of people are suffering from liver disease around the world. Liver disease can cause cirrhosis, which damages the bile ducts in the liver, and can lead to needing a liver transplant or death. So we want to do everything we can to keep our liver healthy!
Read on for tips for a healthy and happy liver.
Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods are full of many ingredients and chemicals including bad fats and oils that are unhealthy for your body. You should read the label of any processed food you do buy so you know exactly what is in the product. It’s a good idea, as this article explains, that you avoid processed food which are low fat or 99% fat-free. These are often made palatable by removing the fat and sugar, but are harder for your liver to process! Therefore, you should make your own food from scratch using fresh ingredients. You then know exactly what is going in your food. It will help ensure you eat healthier in general if you are making your own food. You are also likely to make smaller portions rather than overeating on the high fat, high sugar, high salt processed foods.
Drink lots of water
Drinking water removes any waste in the body and is ideal for transporting essential nutrients throughout the body. If you don’t drink enough water, your liver will struggle to remove the toxins in your body, and it will make blood harder for it to filter. Therefore, you need to try and drink at least 100-120 oz. of water a day. Staying well hydrated will ensure your liver can function correctly and it can detoxicate your body. Take water with you in your bag when you are out, as it will remind you that you need to have a drink!
Drink coffee in moderation
You might be surprised to know that drinking your daily coffee can help prevent you from getting liver disease. As discussed in this informative article by The Alternative Daily, a study has found two cups of coffee a day can reduce your risk of getting cirrhosis by up to 43%. Therefore, you could drink coffee on a daily basis to help prevent your liver from getting this disease. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should have a coffee full of sugar–stick to black coffee with non-dairy milk to ensure you stay healthy while protecting your liver.
Eat organic foods
Organic food has fewer chemicals that your liver has to work to remove from your body. It has no added hormones or antibiotics. As described in this article, by going organic you will avoid pesticides and other synthetic chemicals which place a heavy burden on your liver. While organic food may be more expensive, in the short term, they will help you to avoid the doctor in the long term.
Avoid prolonged use of painkillers
You can also keep your liver healthy by making sure you avoid prolonged use of painkillers in your life. When you are taking too many painkillers, your liver can struggle to remove toxins from your body. Also, the acetaminophen found in painkillers can cause liver failure if you are are taking too many pills. Therefore, you need to make sure you are only using painkillers while your body needs it. Only stick to the recommended dosage that your doctor suggests. You should talk to your doctor if you are struggling to come off the drugs. We’ve talked previously about the other dangers of prolonged use of taking painkillers.
Eat turmeric and walnuts
Turmeric and walnuts are ideal for cleansing your liver and helping it to function properly. Walnuts contain high levels of I-arginine which can help detoxify the liver, and keep the blood flowing. Turmeric is also one of the greatest foods for maintaining a healthy liver. It protects the liver against toxic damage and can even boost bile and help damaged liver cells. Therefore, you should be adding these both to your diet!
Go green (tea)
Green tea eliminates liver fat and ensure the liver is functioning correctly. It can also protect the liver against toxins which can cause harm to your body. As well as helping your liver, it’s also great for weight loss. It has virtually no calories, so it’s good if you want to stay healthy, but want something different than water!
Eat more fruit
Apples and grapefruit both contain nutrients which are ideal for optimal liver function. Apples contain nutrients which help to release toxins and clean the body. Grapefruit is full of antioxidants which also helps the liver clean the body. You could also try grapefruit juice which helps to boost the liver’s detoxification enzymes.
Use organic oils
Use organic oils such as olive, coconut, or avocado in your cooking and salads. Avoid seed based oils like corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, which are high in Omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Also, when buying products, check labels to see what oils are used.
Drink lemon water
Lemons are full of vitamin C, which can help to remove toxins from our body. Add lemon to your diet by drinking fresh lemon juice every day, and adding lemon to your cooking will make the flavors pop and give your liver an added boost.
Add garlic to your diet
Garlic is great for your liver as it has allicin and selenium, which both work to cleanse your liver. It also can help to flush out any toxins in your body. It has the added benefit of keeping those vampire frenemies away too.
Try and do at least 20 minutes of exercise every day to help you to keep your body functioning properly, and at an optimal weight.
Cut back on alcohol
Consuming too much alcohol is one of the most common ways you can end up with liver disease and cirrhosis. It can cause damage to your liver cells, and reduces the liver’s ability to remove toxins from your body. Stick to the recommended daily amount (1 glass per day for women, 2 for men) or abstain if you want to stay healthy. If you feel like you are developing a problem with alcohol, talk to your doctor or attend a 12 step meeting for help.