How to keep your liver healthy

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Whenever we hear the word liver, we hear the word detox. People eat unhealthy food and drink alcohol for a week, and at the end of the week, they consume foods thinking they will detox their bodies.

The truth is these types of detox will have no effect or least effects. It is always better to keep your body healthy by keeping consuming healthy foods.

The liver is a critical organ, and when the organ malfunctions, we become mindful of the organ. Some liver problems may heal when consuming healthy foods, and other problems in the liver might require medical attention.

The blog briefs about healthy foods and habits that might have certain effects on the liver.

13 ways to have a healthy liver

Certain habits determine the lifestyle. Consuming healthy foods and good habits will make our body healthy and keep us fit. There are 13 ways to keep your liver healthy which are listed below.

Maintain a healthy weight

Your weight determines your overall health. Being obese and overweight will always lead to major health conditions. This will increase the fat content in the body and will lead to fat deposition and fatty liver diseases.

These fat depositions may exert pressure on the organs and cause malfunctioning of the organs. Maintaining a health weight is important to keep you fit and to avoid the deposition of fat.

Eat a balanced diet

The foods we eat determine our mental and physical health. If we keep on munching fried and processed foods, they might have negative effects on our health.

If we consume healthy and balanced foods, they might have positive effects on our health.

Exercise regularly

We can consume healthy foods and control our cravings for some time. But we need physical activity to maintain a healthy weight. Exercise not only keeps a check on your weight but also regulates your mood.

Physical activity also helps to burn the extra calories a person gain. Exercise helps to reduce liver fat.

According to a research article published in the NCBI, exercise helps to increase fatty acid oxidation and decreases fatty acid synthesis. As a result, mitochondrial and hepatocellular damage reduces.

It also concludes that physical exercise is a therapeutic strategy to improve fatty liver diseases and reduce the severity of symptoms.

Avoid Toxins

Toxins are not only poisonous substances but also foods that can have adverse effects on our bodies. Toxins can cause inflammation of the liver. Some of the toxins are alcohol, chemicals, drugs we take for body conditions and other supplements.

The liver can recover from intoxication once we stop the usage and exposure to toxins like alcohol. But if we do not stop the usage, it can have a permanent effect on the liver.

Use Alcohol responsibly

Alcohol can damage any organ in your body, but the liver is the first one to get affected. Drinking for a few days can also have a significant effect on your liver. It leads to fat build-up in the liver.

Social drinking is also called as casual drinking. The aim of social drinking is to drink without the intent of alcohol intoxication. However, there are no safe levels of alcohol drinking. Avoiding alcohol can have the best effects on your health.

Avoid the use of illicit drugs

Illicit drugs are the usage of cocaine, marijuana, heroine and other inhalants. These drugs may produce short-term relief for pain, but they might not be a solution for any pain.

Psychotherapeutics not only have an effect on your physical health but also will affect your mental health. So it is always advised to stay away from these drugs.

Avoid contaminated needles

Contaminated needles can pose significant health risks like AIDS. When you are donating blood, or any kind of intravenous injection are given, used needles can be administered by mistake.

Such incidents should be reported immediately and requires medical help. The contaminated needles can be administered in case of tattoos. These incidents should be avoided, and in case if happens, immediately seek medical help.

Get medical care if you’re exposed to blood

You might come in contact with someone else’s blood during any phase of life. If such accidents happen, report to a nearby hospital and get immediate medical help.

Don’t share personal hygiene items

Personal equipment like razors and toothbrushes should not be shared. Such equipment can carry microorganisms or even the blood of another person.

When you come in contact with such things, it might contaminate your body fluids and cause unwanted infections.

Practice safe sex

Unsafe sex with a different people can cause the transmission of viruses and bacteria. Some of the diseases caused by a sexually transmitted virus and bacteria are AIDS, urinary tract infections and hepatitis.

Hepatitis B and C risks increase with unprotected and unsafe sex. To avoid such transmission, always practice ethical habits.

Wash your hands

Washing hands is a basic manner, and these are taught in school. These habits should be practised throughout our lifetime and not only during the pandemic.

Most harmful viruses and microorganisms will pass through our mouths. So it is always advised to practice personal hygiene.

Wash hands with soap under running water. If there is no availability of soap, use a sanitiser and cleanse your hands.

Follow Directions on all medications

Take medications that are only prescribed by your doctor. Do not take any medication on your own. These medications can have adverse effects on your health.

Do not skip or mix your tablets. Take it at the prescribed time by your doctor. Wrong medication can have adverse effects on the liver. If you have any side effects while taking the over-the-drugs, tell your doctor about it and get medical help.

Get vaccinated

Vaccination helps to prevent any disease and further safeguards us from getting infected with the disease. Never skip your vaccination.

Foods that are good for your liver

The liver is a vital organ as it performs various functions like protein production, regulates bile and cholesterol levels in our body, improves metabolism and also helps stores minerals and vitamins.

There are certain foods that will help to safeguard the liver and improves function. These foods are listed below.

Coffee

Coffee lovers are always given the alarming news that coffee makes your health dull. But if you are a coffee lover and you want to protect your liver, this might be great news for you.

Coffee is one of the go-to drinks in the morning for many people. Despite the taste of coffee, it had multiple benefits for the liver.

Coffee is an energy drink for people who work round the clock. Coffee contains caffeine, and consumption of coffee can give instant energy.

Coffee can help protect the liver from diseases like cirrhosis and improves function. The antioxidants present in the coffee will help neutralise and scavenge the harmful free radicals. These free radicals can damage the cells.

According to an NCBI article, one cup of coffee consumption reduces the risk of liver disease by 15%. Four cups per day can reduce the risk by 71%. These responses are in accordance with dose-dependent. However, increased consumption of coffee is not recommended.

Tea

Like coffee, tea is also consumed in the morning. The hot beverage not only wakes you up but also refreshes you. Tea can have considerable benefits for health and can protect your liver from diseases.

Consumption of green tea has significant effects and reduces the risk of liver diseases. According to an article published in NCBI, titled “The effect of green tea intake on risk of liver disease: a meta analysis”, stated that consumption of green tea reduced the risk of fatty liver diseases, liver cirrhosis, hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Grapes

Grapes are rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants help to scavenge the harmful free radicals that can damage the cells.

The skin of grapes contains an antioxidant called resveratrol. Resveratrol has the potential to stop the development of cancer in the breast, stomach, liver and lymphatic system.

The resveratrol antioxidant is abundantly present in the skin of grapes. Apart from cancer prevention, grapes are liver-friendly foods. Consuming grapes helps to improve the function of the liver and prevents the liver from chronic inflammation.

Blueberries

Blueberries are considered as superfoods, and they are placed under the category of dark fruits list. Blueberries can be consumed fresh and also can be stored frozen. The blue colour of the fruit is due to the presence of anthocyanins.

They are easy to eat and can be added to any dish. They make complete food. Blueberries have positive and protective effects on liver injury caused by lipopolysaccharides.

The polyphenol present in the blueberries exerts a preventive effect on the liver and prevents hepatic steatosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is responsible for high cholesterol and making you obese.

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins that help to reduce inflammation and protect the liver from oxidative stress. Blueberries regulate glucose and lipid metabolism.

Apart from liver protective properties, blueberries are good for diabetes management, bones and skin. They also have anti-cancer properties and regulate mental health.

Blueberries can be garnished on top of waffles, pancakes and oatmeal. They will help in the absorption of vitamin C. They can also be blended and consumed as smoothies and milkshakes

Prickly pear

Opuntia is commonly called prickly pear. It is a flowering plant placed under the category of the cactus family. The other names of prickly pear are sabra, tuna and nopal. The edible parts of the fruit are the stem, leaves and fruits.

The prickly pear consists of a bright red exterior and a fleshy interior. The taste of prickly pear will be mildly sweet and with a chewy consistency. It generally tastes like bubble gum with watermelon flavour.

Prickly pear is commonly used in juices, cocktails, jams, syrups and candies as it has a sweet taste. Besides the taste and the flavour of the fruit, it employs a wide range of health benefits.

Prickly pear is rich in antioxidants and is classically used to treat diseases caused in the liver. The fruit contains powerful antioxidants like phenolics, ascorbic acid, betaxanthine and betacyanin.

These antioxidants acts contain anti-inflammatory agents and free radicals that can damage the liver.

The prickly pear juice can help to heal the liver that is damaged by alcohol and also helps to mitigate the negative effect of alcohol consumption.

The prickly pear is high in antioxidants, fibre and carotenoids. It is used to treat diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and hangovers. There are certain side effects like nausea, mild diarrhoea and a feeling of fullness observed in people. The other health benefits of prickly pear include boosting the immune system, easing pain and protecting the liver from damage.

Nuts

Nuts are usually a fruit that consists of a hard outer covering, which encloses a seed kernel. The seed is usually edible and contains the core of all nutrients. Nuts are usually single-seeded fruits. Some of the nuts are cashews, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios etc.

Nuts are nutrient-dense and contain a blend of bioactive compounds, fatty acids and other essential nutrients—so they should be consumed in low quantities. When taken in large quantities, they can make you obese.

Nut consumption can help reduce the occurrence of liver diseases and damage caused due to alcohol consumption. Nuts reduce fatty liver diseases.

Walnuts are considered to be more nutritious than other nuts. Walnut contains high antioxidant, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid content, making them more nutrient dense.

According to a research article published in NCBI, nuts are rich in vitamin E antioxidants, and one single serving can provide one-third of our body’s daily nutritional requirement. Nuts are also high in fibre, phytosterols, phytochemicals and polyphenols that are capable of lowering low-density lipoprotein and free radicals that affect the liver.

Among the nuts, walnuts are considered to be more nutritious when consumed raw and roasted. Walnuts contain 47% of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Fatty Fish

Fatty fish contains long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).  PUFAs consist of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids cannot be produced by the body. So these nutrients should be consumed through diet.

These nutrients are exclusively high in fatty fish. Fish like cod and haddock store lipids in their liver. When these foods are consumed, they will help to protect the liver against any oxidative stress.

Linoleic acid is a precursor of omega-6 PUFA and contains pro-thrombotic and pro-inflammatory properties.

Fatty fish can potentially treat nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases (NAFLD). Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce lipid accumulation in the liver and increases liver enzymes.

 Deficiency or depletion of omega-3 or increased omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids can lead to the development of hepatic steatosis and NAFLD (nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases)/NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis).

Olive Oil

The liver is a very delicate and crucial organ in a human. Even a small injury can have a significant effect on the liver. Olive oil is considered to be one of the natural oil that contains healing properties.

According to Greek mythology, the olive tree was gifted by warrior god Athena to the people of Greece.

Regular consumption of olive oil is considered to reduce the risk factor of certain diseases like hepatic steatosis, fibrogenesis, lipid peroxidation and hepatocellular blooming.

Olive oil contains protective properties that help to prevent the liver from any damage through the regulation of the cell-signalling pathway.

According to an article published in NCBI, it stated that olive oil could participate in the activation of different signalling pathways in the liver. It prevents inflammation, oxidative stress, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and insulin resistance which causes liver damage.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables are a diverse group of vegetables from the family Brassicaceae. The cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, collards, bok choy, horseradish, radish, watercress, wasabi and turnips.

Cruciferous vegetables are rich in carotenoids, vitamins, fibres and minerals. The cruciferous vegetables contain a sulphur-containing substance called glucosinolates.

The glucosinolates are responsible for the bitter and pungent aroma of the vegetables. They contain natural anti-cancerous properties and natural liver detoxification enzymes.

These enzymes protect the liver from damage and aid the blood levels of liver enzymes. The natural compound in cruciferous vegetables prevents non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases.

Beetroot juice

Beetroot contains natural antioxidants called betalains. These antioxidants prevent the liver from inflammation and oxidative stress.

Beetroot juice is used to activate liver enzymes which helps to increase the bile. As a result, there will be an increase in the detoxification of the liver. Beetroot juice is rich in potassium which helps to keep blood pressure in check.

Conclusion

Liver disease are mostly chronic. A person who has no history of liver damage can have an acute liver disease when affected by hepatitis.

Always consume healthy foods and avoid alcohol to keep your liver healthy. Liver transplantation can be an option when there is liver failure. But there are many shortcomings to such treatment.

The best way to protect our liver is to consume healthy foods, exercise regularly and avoid the habit of drinking.

FAQs

How to keep your liver clean and healthy?

Consume healthy foods, exercise regularly and avoid the habit of alcohol consumption to keep your liver healthy. These habits will also help you to safeguard yourself from any liver diseases.

How to keep your liver healthy if you drink?

Limit the consumption of alcohol. Keep the goal of two glasses of alcohol per even. This will help you to reduce the habit of drinking and will not have any adverse effects. However, alcohol consumption will have certain effects on your liver.

How to keep your pancreas and liver healthy?

Consumption of fatty and sugary foods should be limited. Instead prefer foods such as fruits, vegetables and other steamed foods.
 Avoid consuming of red and processed meat, refined sugars and other processed foods. These foods will have adverse effects on your liver and pancreas.

How to keep your liver healthy when you have to take medications?

Keep a list of the medication that is prescribed by your doctor. Do not take any medication that your doctor does not prescribe. Lower the medication and lower the effects on your liver.

How to keep your liver healthy and strong?

 To keep your liver healthy and strong, consume nutritious food, exercise regularly and avoid alcohol consumption.


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The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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