From filtering toxins out from your bloodstream to storing vitamins from the food you eat, the liver is an invaluable piece of the machine that is the human body. As a result, if you fail to take care of your liver, you risk subjecting your body to a wide host of nasty diseases and ailments, from liver cancer to increased cholesterol
So what steps can you take to prevent this nightmare future?
Well, we’re glad you asked. It’s time to delve into our guide on the top 5 liver health tips you cannot ignore! So without further ado, let’s charge right into things!
1. Liver Health Depends on What You Eat and Drink
The first thing you should do to maintain a healthy liver involves watching what you eat and drink. Try to stay away from foods with high concentrations of saturated fat, sugar, hydrogenated fats, and trans fats.
This is because your liver stores excess fat in your body to use as a backup resource for your body if you need fuel. Build up too much of an excess, and your liver gets overwhelmed, causing it to inflame and shut down if the problem gets bad enough. This means the toxins your liver should have filtered out flow through your body, causing a host of health problems from jaundice (where your skin and/or eyes take on a yellow hue) to consistent nausea and fatigue.
To avoid this, aim instead to eat foods that are high in fiber, like beans and broccoli. Switching from “empty” carbohydrates like white bread to whole grain bread will also help here. Swapping red meat for fish and nuts as a protein source and adding more fruits to your diet doesn’t hurt either.
You should also stay far away from extreme dieting or fad diets. Your liver cannot handle the stress of rapid weight changes, causing it to overwork itself and break down. As far as drinks go, try to ditch the soda and energy drinks in favor of water and coffee.
2. Body Weight and Exercise
Another way to prevent liver problems is to make sure that your weight stays at a healthy level. After all, obesity tends to result from an overabundance of fat in your body, which will inflame and injure your liver over time.
Losing weight helps cut down on those overflowing fat reserves, easing the stress on your liver. You also burn through triglycerides, a fat in your body that doctors have linked to problems like heart disease.
A good way to achieve this is through consistent exercise. After all, in addition to burning off fat, exercise will also help boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Try to aim for around 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.
3. Watch What Medication You Take
If you’re taking traditional medicine or dietary supplements, you should check to make sure they don’t contain a high level of heavy metals. Combining supplements can further increase your exposure, leading to a buildup of toxins that wear down your liver. This can even lead to complete liver failure.
You should also make sure you aren’t taking any medicine or supplements in conjunction with alcohol. This is because alcohol can exacerbate any toxicity within the supplements or alter previously harmless chemicals into toxic ones.
Special caution should go to weight loss pills, as these contain ingredients like cascara or kombucha that will injure your liver.
4. Remove Toxin Sources From Your Life
You should stay away from drinking large quantities of alcohol, as there is a set limit to how much alcohol the liver can process in a day before the alcohol overpowers and damages it. It’s recommended you stick to 1-2 standard drinks a day. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction, a standard drink consists of either 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of whiskey/rum/other hard liquors (about the size of a standard shot).
Cigarette and/or cigar smokers should also take steps to quit. The toxins within chemical smoke work their way through the body down to the liver, which places extra stress on it and causes cellular damage.
For similar reasons, you should try to avoid direct contact with household products like insecticides, cleaning products, and aerosol spray. When you use them, make sure to wear a mask and stay in an open space (so the toxins can disperse wider and weaken).
5. Lower Your Risk of Liver Diseases
One of the big risks towards livers comes from hepatitis B and C, which target the liver and inflict extensive damage to it. To avoid this, make sure to practice safe sex by wearing a condom and getting tested for STIs often.
You should also stay away from using hard drugs like heroin, as practices like sharing needles are one of the major causes of hepatitis. You should also seek a doctor if you believe you got exposed to a contaminated needle while getting a tattoo and/or piercing or during a medical exam.
Try to stay away from sharing items like toothbrushes with other people and avoid contact with bodily fluids like blood.
You can also alleviate some of the danger by getting the vaccine for hepatitis to protect yourself (however, no vaccine exists for the C variant of the disease). You can also perform liver function testing from home with special kits, which help alert you to any problems with your liver without the whole hassle of scheduling a formal doctor’s appointment for it.
Bright Horizon For Your Liver Health
And there you have it! Now that you know all about these steps towards promoting better liver health, you can rest easy knowing your health is a little more secure!
But what about giving all the other organs in your body a boost in the health department? Well, if that’s the case, come on by and check out the other articles we have on our website!
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