The liver is a key player in the body’s digestive system. Everything you eat or drink, including medicine, passes through it, and we need to treat it right so it can stay healthy and do its job.
It’s an organ you could easily damage if you don’t take good care of it, and once it is damaged, it’s gone.
The liver sits under your lower ribcage on the right side and helps clean your blood by getting rid of harmful chemicals that enter the body or the body makes.
The liver performs hundreds of functions, including, processing foods and drinks for later use or elimination, and makes a liquid called bile, which helps break down fat from food, and also stores sugar called glucose, which gives you a quick energy boost.
There’s nothing tricky about keeping your liver in good shape, and taking care of your liver is far more about avoiding what’s worse than it is, about eating or drinking things that are particularly nourishing to the liver.
Ways to a Healthy Liver
The best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if at all possible. And here are ways to achieve liver wellness:
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being obese or even somewhat overweight can endanger you into having a fatty liver that can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This is one of the fastest growing forms of liver disease. The good news is that weight loss can play an important part in helping to reduce liver fat.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates, and sugars. Also, avoid raw or undercooked shellfish, and for a well-adjusted diet, eat fiber, which you can obtain from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread, rice, and cereals.
Also eat a limited amount of red meat, dairy (low-fat milk and small amounts of cheese) and fats (the “good” fats such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish). Hydration is essential, so ensure to drink a lot of water.
Diet to Follow
The American Liver Foundation recommends eating regular, balanced meals that include foods from all food groups (grains, proteins, dairy, fruit, vegetables, and fats).
Choose high-fiber foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, whole-grain bread, and rice and cereals, and load up on healthy protein, which is vital for fighting infections and healing damaged liver cells.
Your best bets should be low-fat or fat-free dairy products, lean meats, and plant-based sources like beans, legumes, and lentils, and you should skip trans-fats found in processed foods. Drink plenty of fluids, and avoid consuming high amounts of salty and sugary foods.
Limit The Amount Of Alcohol You Drink
Alcohol can damage or destroy liver cells, leading to the buildup of fat in your liver (fatty liver), inflammation or swelling of your liver (alcohol-related hepatitis), and/or scarring of your liver (cirrhosis).
For people with liver disease, even a small amount of alcohol can worsen the disease.
Manage Your Medications
When drugs are taken incorrectly, the liver can be harmed. Taking too much or the wrong type or by mixing medicines can be harmful to the liver. Thus, learn about medicines and how they can affect the liver, and follow dosing instructions.
Never mix alcohol with other drugs and medications even if they’re not taken at the same time. Tell your doctor about any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, and natural or herbal remedies that you use. Also, talk to a doctor or pharmacist often about the medicines you are taking.
Toxins can injure liver cells, and you should try as much as possible to limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives in cigarettes. Do not smoke!
When you exercise consistently, it helps to burn fat (triglycerides) for fuel and can also reduce liver fat.
Avoid The Use Of Illegal Drugs And Contaminated Needles
Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription-type psychotherapeutics (pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used without doctors approval.
Furthermore, dirty needles aren’t only associated with intravenous drug use, and you ought to follow up with a medical practitioner and seek testing following any type of skin penetration involving sharp instruments or needles.
Unsafe injection practices may occur in a hospital setting (though rare) and would need immediate follow-up. Use only clean needles for tattoos and body piercings.
Prevent Viral Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is a serious disease that harms your liver, and there are several types of it. You contact hepatitis A from eating or drinking water that’s got the disease-causing virus in it. You should get a vaccine if you’re traveling to a part of the world where there are outbreaks or prevalence of the virus and disease.
Hepatitis B and C are spread through blood and body fluids, and to cut your risk, don’t share items like toothbrushes, razors, or needles. Limit the number of sex partners you have, and always use protection, like latex condoms.
Get tested for viral hepatitis, and even though there’s no vaccine yet for hepatitis C, there is one for hepatitis B. Hepatitis often doesn’t cause symptoms, and you can have it for years and not know it.
If you think you’ve had contact with the virus, talk to your doctor to see if you need a blood test.
Be Careful With Herbs And Dietary Supplements
Some herbs and dietary supplements can harm your liver. In recent years, some herbs and supplements have hit the market that says they restore the liver, including milk thistle seed, Borotutu bark, and Chanca Piedra.
However, be wary of those claims, as there’s never been any high-quality evidence that any of those promotes liver health. Some may even cause harm to the liver or other organs.
Studies do suggest that coffee can lower your risk of getting liver disease. It is still a mystery why this is so, but it’s worth keeping an eye on as more research is done.
In conclusion, Practice safe sex, since unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners increases your risk of hepatitis B and hepatitis C. To keep your liver healthy, follow a healthy lifestyle and keep a close eye on medicines. The liver can be a very forbearing organ, but it has its limits.