CARING FOR YOUR LIVER

Your liver is an important organ in your body that is essential for your digestive system. However, it is often neglected as it is not something that most people think much about. What exactly does your liver do? And if it is so important, how should we care for it?

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR LIVER

Put simply, the liver acts as your body’s processor. Its functions include:

  • Transforming food into chemicals and nutrients that your body can absorb
  • Storing nutrients such as glucose from food to give you energy
  • Cleaning your blood by getting rid of harmful chemicals produced by your body
  • Breaking down medications, drugs, and alcohol
  • Forming proteins that help your body fight against infection and diseases

For something that is the size of a football, the liver sure does a lot!

LIVER WELLNESS

Because it is located behind the lower right section of your ribs, your liver is protected from injury. However, there is so much more you can do to achieve liver wellness. Let’s take a look at what you can do to protect your liver.

Maintain a healthy weight

Overweight and obese people are more prone to having a fatty liver, which can lead to other liver diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Keeping your weight within a healthy range can help to reduce this risk.

Keep active

Regular exercise helps to decrease the stress that is put on your liver. It also helps to increase your energy level and maintain your weight which reduces the risk of NAFLD and other liver diseases.

Limit alcohol

Your liver is only able to break down a small amount of alcohol every hour. Therefore, excessive alcohol intake can damage your liver cells and scar your liver. Besides, alcoholic beverages can create a whole host of other health problems as well. Drink it in moderation!

Medicate with caution

While certain supplements such as those containing Milk Thistle are good for improving your liver functions, some supplements or medications can harm your liver if they are incorrectly taken.

Mixing medicines with alcohol, combining your medicines, or taking too much of a single medicine can all work to damage your liver. For example, the painkiller acetaminophen, or Tylenol, can harm your liver if you take too much of it.

On top of that, certain traditional medicines or remedies may contain toxins that can damage your liver’s health. So, be sure to ask a professional about any over-the-counter medicines, supplements, or other natural remedies that you use.

Have a well-balanced diet

A well-balanced diet and good nutrition can go a long way in promoting liver wellness. For a diet that is nourishing for your liver, you should:

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and dark green leafy vegetables help you to obtain fibre that is important for liver health.
  • Avoid processed, high-fat and high-calorie foods as much as possible. Go for low-fat options or “good” fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
  • Keep yourself hydrated

THE BOTTOM-LINE

Your liver is a key organ of your body. Taking care of your liver is more than just avoiding what is bad for you. It is also about actively doing things or consuming things that are good for your liver. Remember, care for your liver like it’s your lover!

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