How to Keep Liver Healthy
The liver is a very important organ in the body. It works hard to keep us healthy. So, in turn, we need to work hard at keeping it running in tiptop shape for a lifetime.
The liver is actually a gland. Glands secrete products that are needed elsewhere in the body. The liver produces bile, a substance that contains enzymes that break down fats for further use by the digestive system.
The liver is also a filtering organ. Have you ever heard someone talk about a person who drinks a lot? They say that they are killing their liver. That is a topic for another time, but actually they are.
Toxins that enter the body (like excess alcohol) all pass through the liver’s filtration system. Any toxic substances are passed through the body to be excreted. At any one time, twenty percent of the body’s blood supply is contained in the liver. As hard as it works, the actual organ is quite friable (bleeds easily).
To keep the liver working at optimum levels, it needs to be fed, so to speak. Everyone is finding out the important role that antioxidants play in the body. They inhibit damage to organs by free radicals. So, to help keep the liver healthy, one substance that is needed is antioxidants.
Where do you find these antioxidants? One of the best places is through fruits and vegetables. A healthy portion of fruits, mostly berries, is rich in antioxidants.
If you are looking for vegetables to add to your daily diet, try tomatoes (fruit or vegetable, who knows?), leafy green vegetables, carrots, cruciferous veggies, peppers and pumpkin. Whole wheat and nuts are also good sources of fiber. Fiber always aids in digestion by removing a measure of fat from the foods you eat as the insoluble portion passes through the digestive tract.
Any food that is high in B-vitamins promotes liver health. Think of eating more fish, eggs and dairy products. Salmon is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are potent sources for heart health and liver functioning.
The liver can be overtaxed when there are a lot of toxic substances in our systems that need to be removed. The bile that it produces helps to cleanse the liver. Any foods that aid in removing waste from the intestines also helps reduce what the liver has to deal with. Nutrient-rich foods help the liver to do its job.
Drink lots of water to keep toxins moving out. Drinking sodas and alcohol are not helpful in excess. Alcohol will destroy liver cells, which can lead to cirrhosis or hardening of the liver.
How is your liver functioning? Blood work can tell if enzyme levels are within normal ranges. If they are fluctuating, consider changing your diet to help the liver keep your body toxin free.