THIS ARTICLE FIRST APPEARED ON POSITIVE HEALTH WELLNESS.

Your liver performs over 500 functions, and it filters one liter of blood each minute. The liver is involved in the maintenance of over 2000 internal enzyme systems. Amazing isn’t?

If we lose this handy organ, we will die within 24 hours, so it is a must that we take good care of our liver. Listed in this article are 12 liver friendly foods and some great tips that’ll significantly boost your liver health.

Structure and Function of Liver

The liver is a large reddish brown organ or accessory digestive gland that sits on the right side of your belly. It weighs about 3 pounds.Your rib cage protects your liver, and so you can’t feel it. The liver has two large sections called the right and the left lobes.

Gall bladder sits under the liver and stores the bile produced by it. The liver consists of highly specialized tissue which is made up mostly of hepatic cells that perform a wide variety of high-volume biochemical reactions.

  • The liver detoxifies the blood that comes from yourdigestive tract before passing it to the other parts of the body.
  • Produces bile which increases the absorption of fats.
  • Stores vitamins, iron, and sugar glucose
  • Breaks down hemoglobin, insulin and other hormones
  • Converts stored sugar into functional sugar when your body’s blood glucose levels fall below normal.
  • Destroys old red blood cells
  • Converts ammonia into urea which is vital in metabolism.

How to Keep Your Liver Healthy

“It’s an organ you could easily trash if you don’t take good care of it,” “And once you trash it, it’s gone, “says Rohit Satoskar, MD, of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute to WebMD.

Avoid or limit alcohol. Alcohol damages liver cells which lead to scarring or swelling and cirrhosis of the liver. According to US Government guidelines, men can drink up to two drinks a day and women only one.

Certain medications can be harmful. The painkiller Tylenol can harm your liver if you take too much of it.  You can find Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in many medicines such as cold drugs and prescription pain medicines. Without your knowledge, you may be taking in more of acetaminophen.

Some cholesterol drugs may hurt your liver. Some medications may be harmful if you consume alcohol or combine with other drugs.

Eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. These healthy habits help to keep your weight in check and prevent fatty liver disease, a condition that leads to cirrhosis.

Prevent viral hepatitis. 

  • Hepatitis A. You can catch this disease from drinking water that’s been contaminated. Get yourself vaccinated if you travel to places where there is an outbreak.
  • Hepatitis B and C. Hepatitis B and C can spread through blood and bodily fluids. Never share your toothbrushes, razors or needles with others to reduce the rate of infection.The vaccine is present for hepatitis B, but you don’t have one for hepatitis C.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is better to get tested for hepatitis C if you were born between 1945-1965.

Herbs and dietary supplements. Be careful with herbs and supplements because some of them can harm your liver. Few of them have caused problems namely chaparral, cascara, kava, comfrey, and ephedra.

Some herbs and supplements like the milk thistle seed, Chanca Piedra, and Borotutu bark have hit the market promising to restore the liver but be wary of them. There’s no high-quality evidence of such claims, and some may even harm your kidney.

Avoid touching or breathing in toxins. Some aerosol products, cleaning products, and insecticides contain chemicals that harm your liver. Cigarette Additives can also damage your liver.

Drink coffee. Studies show that drinking coffee reduces your chances of getting a liver disease. Experts say that chemical compounds in coffee may help protect your liver.

Liver Friendly Foods

Garlic

Hepatology experts agree that anyone worried about their liver’s health is served well by cooking with garlic. Garlic is rich in a variety of Sulphur containing compounds, selenium, arginine, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Taiwanese researchers found that the phytochemical allicin found in garlic induced cancer cell death in human liver cells.

Australian researchers found that garlic is effective in reducing total serum cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in individuals with total cholesterol levels. Because high cholesterol levels link to fatty liver disease, regular garlic consumption could prevent or even reduce fatty liver.

Scientists found that garlic can reduce liver toxicity caused due to oxidative stress when mice overdosed with acetaminophen.Fresh garlic extract contains high levels of antioxidants which protect your liver from natural and environmental toxins.

 

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