Healthy Liver – Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy
While you may not know it, but the liver plays an important role in the body’s digestive system. Everything that you take, from the food you eat and medicines you take to the beverages you drink, everything passes through the liver. That being said, it is only right to take care of your liver to keep it healthy and functional.
The liver is about the same size as a football and this is located on the lower right side of the rib cage. It has several important functions including cleaning the blood through getting rid of harmful chemicals in the body. It also creates the bile, which helps fat break down and digestion. Aside from those functions, the liver also stores glucose, which provides quick energy boost whenever you need it.
Keeping your liver healthy is not difficult. Basically, it is all about having a healthy lifestyle. This quest of keeping the liver healthy involves more than eating and drinking healthy food choices, as it also includes avoiding everything that causes harm to one’s health.
How Does the Liver Function?
The liver is considered a complex chemical factory that functions 24 hours a day. Basically, this organ in the body processes everything that you eat, drink, rub on your skin and breathe in. The liver helps the body through providing it with the necessary energy it needs to function, fighting off toxins and infections, regulating hormones and helping blood clotting mechanism of the body among others.
In particular, the liver helps cleanse the blood. It metabolizes alcohol, medications and other chemicals in the body. Moreover, this organ also neutralizes and destroys poisonous substances in the body. The liver regulates the supply, production and storage of glucose which helps keep the body active and the mind alert. In addition, this manufactures essential proteins in the body that are responsible for transporting various substances in the blood, providing resistance to infection and clotting of blood. In addition, the liver also regulates hormones like thyroid hormones, sex hormones and adrenal hormones, cholesterol, the supply of essential vitamins and mineral, and the production of bile.
How Do You Take Good Care of Your Liver?
There are various ways that can help you take care of your liver. With proper care, your liver will be able to function properly.
Healthy and Smart Dietary Choices
Eating a healthy diet can help the liver function properly. If you eat unhealthy meals, your liver can suffer. It is important to balance your meals and make sure that you eat foods from all the food groups. You should include grains, protein, dairy, vegetables, fruits and fats on your diet. However, you have to make sure that you make healthy food choices and choose only healthy forms of fat, meat, and dairy products.
Have a Regular Exercise Routine
Exercise is considered an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, exercise is good for the liver. With exercise you can give your body the energy it needs to function well. Moreover, exercise can also help boost your immune system and ultimately improve liver health. Exercise is also important in maintaining your ideal weight based on your body type, age and gender. If you are obese or overweight, you are at risk for developing fatty liver which can complicate and result to fatty liver disease.
Limit Alcoholic Beverage Intake
Excessive alcohol drinking is harmful to your liver. In fact, this can damage and destroy liver cells. If your liver is damaged, this can lead to severe complications like fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. If you already have liver disease, even the smallest amount of alcohol can make your condition worse. Thus, it is important to limit or avoid drinking alcoholic beverages if possible. If you cannot avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, you should keep in mind that you can drink them in moderation. You can speak with your health care provider about this so he or she can help determine the right amount of alcohol that is ideal for your age and health condition,
Take the Right Medications as Prescribed
Medications also have an effect on liver health, especially if the medications are taken incorrectly. If you take too much medication or take the wrong type of medication, your liver can be harmed. Moreover, if you mix medications that should not be mixed, your liver will be damaged.
If you are taking medications, you should follow your doctor’s instruction as to how to take it and when to take it. You should also make sure that you are taking the right dose of the medications as prescribed by your health care provider. When your health care provider prescribes new medications, you should tell your doctor the medications that you have taken in the past and those medications that you are currently taking, so your health care provider can adjust the dosing as necessary.
Avoid Exposure to Harmful Toxins
Toxins have the tendency to damage the liver cells. Thus, it is important to avoid exposure to harmful toxins as much as possible. You should limit direct contact with toxins that are typically found in aerosol products and cleaning solutions. Moreover, you should carefully handle chemicals and insecticides.
Smoking never really offers anything good to the body. Despite this fact, there are still a lot of people who smoke. Smoking is not only harmful to the respiratory system, as this is also harmful to the liver. When you smoke, toxins from the cigarette will be transported by the blood as it passes through the lungs towards all parts of the body. While the liver cleanses the blood and removes the toxins, excessive exposure to such toxins can eventually damage the liver and cause severe complications.
Carefully Choose Herbal and Dietary Supplements
There are some herbs and dietary supplements that can harm the liver. While the manufacturers claim that the supplements only promote good health, you should be wary of such claims. Before taking any supplements, you should talk to your health care provider first.