How To Have A Healthy Liver
Nestled in the upper right portion of your abdominal cavity is a large quiet organ known as the liver. Your liver, if it is healthy, should have a consistent reddish brown color and it serves primarily as a filtration and processing facility for your body. It detoxifies deadly substances and breaks down worn out erythrocytes. Apart from that, the largest internal organ also secrets bile to the gallbladder. This bile helps in the digestion of fats in the small intestine. Apart from detoxification, the liver also metabolizes protein and carbohydrates, synthesis Vitamin A and substances that are instrumental in blood clotting.
There are many claims in the wellness industry that your liver needs to be detoxified. They claim that your liver has become toxic and by taking their unique diet, you will help keep your liver clean. The truth of the matter is that your liver does not need to be detoxified because it in itself is a detoxification machine.
If the liver does not become toxic then what does? Well, if the liver is overworked and cannot remove all the toxins, the body would absorb all these unwanted chemicals. At the end, it is your body that becomes toxic!
Common Sense Liver Care
Partying hard and drinking excessively won’t do any good to your liver. When this silent partner of yours is injured or diseased, the sad thing is that it cannot complain until it is too late. This is because it does not have a single nerve to raise the alarm!
By taking some common sense approaches to caring for your liver and make some behavioral changes in your lifestyle, you can prolong the health of your liver and avoid liver damages or diseases.
1. Avoid Alcohol If At All Possible
Your liver cells are the only entities that can manufacture the type of enzymes to oxidize alcohol effectively. Sadly for the heavy drinkers, the liver has enough enzymes to process only one alcoholic drink per hour. If you were to down a few drinks within the hour, the excess alcohol would circulate in your blood system affecting every organ in your body.
When you have too many drinks, your liver would continue to work hard so as to produce enough enzymes to process them. It will have no time to metabolize the fatty acids and thus allowing them to accumulate. A heavy drinker’s liver cell structure is greatly affected permanently, so much so that it loses its ability to metabolize fatty acids. That is the reason why these people also suffer from fatty livers. If you cannot stop drinking, limit the intake of alcohol today and give your liver a chance to recover. However, do take steps to eliminate alcohol from your diet.
2. Don’t Consume Anything That May Stress Your Liver
Taking excessive pills or medicines can put stress on your liver. Do not self medicate. Always check with your doctor about the amount of medication that you can take. If your liver is stressed out, it will not be able to absorb both the medications and important nutrients.
Go slow on coffee and other caffeinated beverages. The general guideline is to cut down on beverage stimulants to as little as you can possibly endure. Instead, drink at least 2.5 liters of fresh water every day.
Smoking is also bad for the liver as the liver cells have to break 80% of the nicotine down to cotinine.
When eating seafood, make sure that it is well cooked. It may not be a good idea to eat partially cooked clams or other shellfish. The bacteria level in half cooked seafood can be devastatingly high and your liver will work overtime just to kill these bacteria with its bile. Some bacteria cannot be killed by the bile but instead they would in turn ‘eat’ the bile. Your liver would become sick with bacterial overload. In extreme cases, your liver will scar up and that is what cirrhosis is all about. Contaminated foods can also cause further complications in the liver and you may suffer from Hepatitis A, B or C.
Build The Health Of Your Liver
To help strengthen or rebuild your liver cells, you need to maintain a good healthy diet. For the liver to detoxify, it needs vitamins, minerals, photochemical and amino acids. The healthy liver will effectively take toxic chemicals and converts them into less instantly harmful free radicals. However, if your body has too many free radicals, your bodily cells, including those of the liver, would be damaged.
Follow the popular advice of the health community – eat lots of fruits and vegetables that are extremely rich in various phytochemicals, selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Eat more cooked tomatoes such as those found in spaghetti sauce and ketchup so that your body can get the high level of lycopene. Carrots, papayas and red pitaya fruits also have much beta carotene that is a powerful antioxidant and the precursor of Vitamin A.
To help your liver, you will also need the B vitamins such as folic acid. Thiamine which is Vitamin B1, can be found in wholegrain products, dried beans, peas, soy beans, lean meats and fish. Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 can be found from eggs, nuts, green leafy vegetables and dairy products. Niacin or Vitamin B3 is found in poultry, fish, lean meats, eggs and nuts.
As you can see, all the important nutrients and minerals are found in common daily produce. Therefore if you maintain a holistic and balanced diet, you should be able to receive sufficient supply of the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals to make your liver very happy.