21 Ways to Improve Your Liver Health

21 Ways to Improve Your Liver Health
There is no organ that can multitask as good as the liver. It is a powerhouse of an organ accomplishing myriad roles ranging from bile production, blood detox and aiding in digestion to protein synthesis, breaking down hormones and much more - the liver does it all. That is why liver health is so vital to the overall well-being of an individual. Earlier, the most common cause of liver disease was excess alcohol consumption. But that remains no longer the top contender. A host of lifestyle habits contribute to it as well. Thus, to avoid these issues it is best to learn about some ways to improve liver health. Read on to find out what they are:
  • Limit Alcohol: Needless to say, this still tops the list of things you need to work upon for better liver health. As per health experts, limits placed on alcohol are up to two drinks for men and one drink for women per day. Also remember, standard drink quantity varies as per the type of alcohol consumed. One should try and restrict themselves within these limits. If possible, minimize or even quit it.
  • Exercise: Stretching your limbs is never a bad idea. It is a precursor to a healthy body. Exercising reduces excess fats from the body leading to a better functioning liver. It also de-stresses and enhances energy levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of workout all 5 days of a week. Something as simple as a brisk walk works as well!
  • Watch the scale: One of the fastest growing forms of liver disease is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The basic cause of NAFLD is obesity. So if you are on the heavier side of the weighing scale, watch out before it is too late. Reducing weight substantially reduces the risk of NAFLD.
  • Balanced Meal: The kind of food you eat is like a one stop solution to preventing many of the diseases and keeping the associated parts of the body healthy. It is best to avoid high calories, refined carbs and saturated fats. Raw or undercooked shellfish may cause trouble. Include fiber, dairy and good fats in your daily meals. Emphasize on keeping yourself hydrated.
  • Stay Away From Toxins: Toxins including aerosols, insecticides, additives and chemicals, are bad for your liver health as they injure liver cells. Avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. While using aerosols, keep a mask on and ensure the room is well ventilated.
  • Fasting: It may sound weird but fasting helps the liver get rid of its existing burden and provides solace to an overworked liver. The liver is the only organ that can self-regenerate. As you reduce the burden of daily load, it detoxifies itself. Since detoxification also needs energy and nutrients, drink fresh vegetable and fruit juices every 3 hours when fasting. This provides minimum required calories and avoids fatigue. Try to fast when you are at ease and not in a rush to complete deadlines. Also, if you have any pre-existing health condition, talk to your doctor before embarking on the fast journey.
  • Take a Break: As much as the term ‘burnout’ is popular, it is much needed to take a break before it actually happens. Take a break physically and mentally from all things routine. Relax your body and mind- hike, go for picnics, sing, give time to your hobbies, anything that takes your mind off stress and gives you a chance to free yourself from the shackles of daily mundane jobs.
  • Avoid contaminated needles: Ensure to use a safe needle for any kind of injection to be administered. Although it is rare for such a mishap to occur in a hospital, if it does, follow up immediately. Needles used for tattoos and body piercings need to be sanitized as well.
  • Safe Sex: Risks of Hepatitis B and C increase if you are not vaccinated and involved in unsafe sex or sex with multiple partners. Take precautions accordingly.
  • Remain Vigilant while on medication: Follow doctor prescription closely. Do not take any medication in excess or wrongly as that harms the liver. Do not mix medicines and alcohol.
  • Get jabbed: Take your dose of vaccine against Hepatitis A and B after consulting your physician. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for Hepatitis C as yet.
  • Coffee is good: Coffee is one of the best drinks that is credited with promoting a healthy liver. Coffee prevents the buildup of collagen and fat, the two enemies of a healthy liver. Drinking coffee daily reduces the risk of cirrhosis. It provides antioxidants and decreases inflammation. Say cheers and kick start your morning with a cup of coffee.
  • Berries all the way: If you love blueberries and cranberries, it’s happy news for you! Both of these berries are rich in anthocyanin which keeps the liver healthy. Studies have shown that consuming both the berries, either whole, juices or in extracts has a positive impact on liver health.
  • Tea: If you are in Team Tea, don’t get disheartened. Studies have found that drinking green tea significantly reduces the risk of liver cancer. It also reduces fat deposits and oxidative stress in the liver.
  • Beetroot: Studies conducted on rats have shown that beetroot juice helps in reducing inflammation and preventing oxidative damage to the liver. However, more research is needed in this area.
  • Cruciferous Vegetables: The liver is capable of detoxifying itself. Thus, to give a boost to the self-detoxification process, intake of cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Brussels sprout and mustard greens is recommended. They contain some highly beneficial plant compounds that increase the levels of detoxifying enzymes in the blood. Mix them with some lemon juice/ balsamic vinegar or cook them with some roasted garlic, it is sure to entice your taste buds while being a healthy tonic for the liver.
  • Olive Oil: Studies indicate that the first level of any liver disease is deposition and accumulation of fat. Consumption of olive oil is linked with decreased fat accumulation in the liver along with better insulin sensitivity. Since it hits the cause itself, making olive oil a part of the diet is encouraged.
  • Nuts: Nuts are rich in antioxidants, Vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids. These compounds help decrease oxidative stress on the liver, curb inflammation and even prevent NAFLD. But since they are high in calories, ensure you don’t over eat them. A handful of almonds or walnuts are enough for a day.
  • Garlic is a must: Garlic contains allicin, a sulfur based compound that is a powerful antioxidant, antifungal substance and an antibiotic. Many health benefits related to the liver are associated with this compound. Another mineral, selenium, also present in garlic, is known to increase the potency of antioxidants. Including garlic in your diet is a good way to cleanse the liver naturally.
  • Maintain Personal Hygiene: Sharing personal hygiene stuff like toothbrushes, razors and other personal care items may result in transmission of Hepatitis B or C. Hepatitis C can also be transmitted through blood to blood contact.
  • Stay Away from Illicit Drugs: Almost 10 percent of the population under 12 years of age in the United States of America have been introduced to drugs like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, stimulants, sedatives and other forms of drugs at some point . Anything that goes inside the body has to be broken down by the liver, either for the body’s own use or for excretion. These drugs harm the liver and are a cause of several diseases. Stay away from them.
With minor tweaking of our regular routine, we can ensure that the largest organ of our body after skin does not fall sick and functions at its optimum capacity. So, why not give it a try?

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