Pay attention to your Liver (Food/Lifestyle)
Have you ever thought about how the stuff you eat every day is being consumed by your body cells? Or have you ever thought where the metabolic activities to convert the complex food, medicines and chemicals you eat, take place in your body so that they are converted into a form that is usable by your cells?
Yes, the answer is the Liver, our largest organ that is the battle ground for metabolic activities that convert the nutrients from the food you eat into materials that can be easily used by our body. After conversion, it stores them, and supply to the cells when they need it. Besides, our liver, filters out the toxic molecules of chemicals in our diet, convert them to safer mater and regulates their expulsion from your body in coordination with the excretory system.
Placed in the right upper abdomen, below the diaphragm, our liver is an asymmetric bi-lobed organ that hosts numerous canals, through which the blood and bile flow between the hepatic cells, where the required substances are processed to usable forms, not required harmful substances are detoxified and expelled into blood and bowel to get eliminated through the excretory system.
Our liver serves as transformation house that generated blood clotting factors, disintegrate damaged blood cells, fat metabolism, blood glucose level regulation, stores vitamins and minerals (iron and copper), and releases them into the blood when needed, metabolism of proteins, conversion of toxins to save molecules and many more.
So we can realize how important this organ is and why it is crucial to keep this organ healthy. The best way to keep the liver healthy is to avoid the damage at the first place. Diet, Lifestyle modulation and yoga can help in maintaining the liver healthy.
In order to keep the liver healthy, the first to be considered is our body weight and have a healthy liver-friendly balanced a diet and fluids to keep you hydrated.
“Good food is a wise medicine.” – Alison Levitt
Maintain a healthy weight – Go easy on fatty and sugary foods: As it is said that overweighing people have more tendency to be affected by fatty liver, you need to have a check on your weight and BMI. For a healthy live, you need to have a weight that has to be maintained by a combination of healthy diet and regular exercise. Following are a few quick tips to maintain your weight to have a healthy liver.
Avoid Overeating: Right proportion size is the key to maintain your body weight. By limiting the size of our meal, we can reduce overeating. We should avoid eating directly from the package the food came in. Instead, it is recommended to take out one serving of food as per our requirement and put the bag or box away in order not to consume more than our right proportion.
Avoid eating while doing something else, such as watching TV or driving. When you are distracted, you may not realize how much you have eaten.
Avoid Junk Foods: As the name describes, Junk is junk, meaning worthless, though these are our favorite foods. There are processed foods that are full of fats, sugars, empty calories, chemicals and additives which are harmful for liver.
Avoid Fatty Foods: Again as said before, Fats and oils are used to store energy in the body, protect body tissues, and transport vitamins through the blood. But only some fats are better for you than others. “Good” fats can be found in nuts and seeds, flax seed, olive oil, and fish oils. “Bad” fats are found mostly in animal sources such as meat and poultry, whole or reduced-fat milk, and butter. They also are present as “trans” fats in fried foods, fast foods, and some processed products, such as cookies and crackers. All fats, whether good or bad, contain calories and can add unwanted pounds if you eat too much.
Avoid Hydrogenated Oils: Hydrogenated (refined) oils are another product that is hard for the liver to handle. This includes any type of oil or fat that hardens when cold. A better choice would be flaxseed oil or virgin olive oil.
Avoid Sugary foods: Sugar goes by many names: sucrose, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, and fructose. Sugary foods tend to offer little more than calories. Many of them (such as pastries and desserts) tend to be high in fat, too. There is nothing wrong with having sugary foods now and then. But if you fill up on sweets, you won’t have room for foods that are better for your health.
Eat a balanced diet: The act of eating right is life-giving. Our liver makes nutrients available for our body in a usable form to build cells, give us energy, and maintain normal body functions.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C, beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A), and folic acid. These contain antioxidants that can help in repairing the cell damage. Moreover, most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories that contribute to a healthy diet.
Get enough protein: Our body requires proteins to combat infection and to repair the damaged liver cells. Normal damage usually occurs unknowingly from the chemicals and toxins in our dietary intake. Proteins facilitates the rebuilding of muscle mass of our body and helps in repair of other body tissues as well. Good protein sources can be either Dairy products or vegetable products.
Go easy on Salty foods: Most salt in the diet comes from processed foods. We need to consume a lower sodium diet as too much sodium (or salt) encourages the body to retain water which is harmful.
Avoid Processed Fruit Juices: These beverages are high in concentrated sugar. Sugar is a shock to the live, It stresses the digestive process.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners: These sweeteners are extremely hard for the liver to process.
Avoid Processed Foods: We all know processed foods contain unnatural substances, preservatives, fillers and chemically treated substances.
Avoid toxins. Liver injuries are caused by toxic components and chemicals in our diet that we come across in routine life. We should limit our direct contact with such toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives.
Drink water and keep hydrated: Keeping yourself hydrated will not only help your organs function properly but also help metabolism. So, drink fresh and filtered water to boost your power.
Avoid unsafe Tap Water, as it may contain heavy metals, chlorine, fluoride, inorganic chemicals and compounds that the liver is not able to process. Filtered water is of course better than tap water. For greater safety, you may want to consider drinking bottled water. Distilled water is another possibility; which you may wish to take in moderation.
Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol is a strong toxin to the liver, even in people without hepatitis C. Drinking in excess can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, advanced liver disease, or even liver cancer. The risk of these problems is much higher for people with hepatitis C. Hepatitis C damages the liver, weakens its natural function of removing its toxins.