The liver is the largest glandular organ in the body, weighing approximately 1,500 grams which comprises around 2% of our body weight. Furthermore, simultaneously performing over 500 key functions for the body makes it one of the most vital organs in our system. Some of its tasks include fighting infections and illnesses, controlling cholesterol levels, regulating blood sugar, producing bile, metabolizing carbohydrates, and detoxifying the body. The liver also extracts vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat, stores them, and distributes them all over our body when needed. Truly, there is “live” in liver and no one can survive without it.
As the liver carries out hundreds of jobs to maintain our healthy body, we in return, only have one duty— to take care of it. Here are some health tips that will keep your liver as fit as a fiddle.
- Eat healthy
Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are superfoods for the liver and the heart as well. Spinach is packed with folate, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. Kale is full of antioxidants too, apart from containing vitamin K, potassium, and iron. Broccoli and Brussels sprouts have high levels of antioxidants, iron, potassium, and magnesium. Also, tomatoes are also helpful in detoxifying the liver as it contains chlorine and sulfur. Beets contain betalains, a type of antioxidant which repair liver cells, and manganese.
The food pyramid has a plethora of healthy foods to choose from. Just remember to eat protein, grains, fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, and other foods with lots of fibres.
- Don’t drink alcohol
The liver takes one hour to filter every single drop of an alcoholic beverage. This means that the more you drink your booze bottoms up, the more blood alcohol content will flow throughout your body, and the longer it will take for the liver to get the job done. Some liver cells die every time it filters alcohol, but these cells regenerate overtime. However, the liver can only bear so much that years of alcohol abuse can take away the liver cells’ ability to regenerate, leading to permanent liver damage.
- Stop smoking
Cigarettes contain around 4,000 toxic chemicals. Nicotine and other toxic chemicals inhaled from tobacco smoke lead to cytokine production and give rise to inflammation and liver cirrhosis. In addition, the risk of getting hepatocellular carcinoma can increase if people living with hepatitis B or C continue to smoke.
- Drink lots of water
Drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water a day is a cliché that has been around since anyone can remember, which is a testament to the importance of this habit to our overall health. Water aids in digestion and prevents the liver from going overtime. Also, since it helps in maintaining a healthy weight, it reduces the risks of developing a fatty liver. Lastly, when the body is properly hydrated, it fends off toxin accumulation and makes the blood thinner, promoting easier blood filtration for the liver.
Adam and Eve Specialized Medical Centre supports the objectives of World Liver Day to spread awareness of taking care of our liver and preventing various diseases that can hamper our health.