Liver is the largest gland of our body. We can consider liver as our cleaning house. It is an important part of our digestive system since it produces bile juices to digest fat, processes and breaks down food and extracts nutrients. Liver is the station where the process of metabolism, detoxification and regulation of nutrients takes place. Liver is power house of our body, since it stores about half a pond of glucose in form glycogen, and supplies it while fasting, re-converting it into glucose. Liver also stores other nutrients especially vitamins. Liver is such an organ that can rejuvenate itself. This all is what our liver does for us. But the question is what we do to keep our liver healthy?
Despite being health conscious usually we ignore our liver health, or we don’t think much about it. Let us see, what we can do for our liver.
- Limit your alcohol: our liver has its limit to metabolize alcohol. It is better to avoid alcohol consumption daily. But if consuming daily, men should not exceed the limit of two drinks, and women only one. Drinks should be followed by a balanced diet rich in protein.
- Control body weight: obesity especially pear shaped, i.e. obesity of abdomen and overweight is one of the chief causes behind fatty liver. To keep liver healthy it is very important to exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet to maintain the weight.
- Avoid processed food: process food contains a lot of trans-hydrogenated fat. Liver has tendency to store this fat. Consumption of such fats increases risk of fatty liver. The preservatives present in processed food may also harm liver.
- Keep check on your nutritional supplements: all nutrients are metabolized by liver. It stores the amount needed by the body and detoxifies the body by discarding byproducts and expelling out the excessive amount of nutrients. Any supplement in excess can damage the liver cells causing liver toxicity and inflammation. Therefore supplements should be taken in moderation and discontinued when achieved the optimum level.
- Eat more fiber and cut down fats: liver stores fat and excess fat can cause fatty liver that’s why try to avoid saturated fats. Saturated fats are absorbed more easily. Avoid replace red meat by fish. Include the foods rich in omega3 fatty acid such as flax seeds, walnut. Include more fiber in form of fruits and fresh vegetables. These are packed with antioxidants and fiber. Fiber drives out excess fat from body.
- Be aware of hepatitis: hepatitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation and damages liver cells. While type A is spread by contaminated food and water, type B spreads by sexual contact, contaminated syringe and blood. Prevention of both types is possible with vaccination.
- Avoid weight loss pills: without consulting doctor never take weight loss pills. These pills may contain substances such as Ephedra that is a Chinese drug. Which may harm liver.
- Exercise regularly: regular exercise helps maintaining body weight. 15 minutes of exercise daily, reduces stress on the liver helps liver in detoxification.
Liver is one of the vital organs of our body. We cannot survive without it. Therefore keep the above points in mind and take a very good care of your liver.