Importance of liver:
The liver is undoubtedly one of the largest organs in our bodies. Its primary function is to convert nutrients into substances our body can use. It also stores and supplies these substances to the cell when needed. It also performs detoxification by converting toxins into nontoxic substances, keeping them from harming our bodies. It breaks down the remnants of old medicine used and alcohol from your body.
With the help of K vitamins, the liver can produce proteins essential for blood clotting to prevent bleeding out. It also plays a vital role in various metabolisms such as the breakdown of fat to release energy. It produces up to 1000 ml of bile every day which is a substance that helps break down and absorb fats.
By metabolism of carbohydrates, it maintains the blood glucose levels in our body. It also plays an important role in the breakdown of proteins into amino acids and breakdown of old and damaged red blood cells. Nitrogenous waste is converted into urea which is excreted via urine from the body.
What can harm your liver?
There are certain things that can keep the liver from working effectively. A few of them have been listed below:
- Large sugar intake
- Certain herbs such as kava can hinder liver activity
- Excessive vitamin A in the body
- Regular soft drinks consumption
- Over-reliance on painkillers and similar medicines
- Diet high in trans (man-made) fats
- Excessive and long-term use of alcohol
Diet changes for a healthier liver:
The liver is a powerhouse of the house, and a healthy liver can help us live a long and bountiful life. Below is the list of foods you can take to improve your live function and help it be healthier and in good shape to carry out its numerous functions:
It is one of the best beverages to help the liver. Studies have shown that coffee preserves a healthy liver and protects it from diseases while also has positive effects on an unhealthy one. It can lower the risk of permanent liver damage, cirrhosis, liver cancer. It prevents fat and collagen from accumulating in excess which can potentially harm the liver. Coffee is itself is a detoxifying agent.
It contains naturally occurring antioxidants, naringenin, and naringin which protect the liver. It works in two ways, by reducing inflammation and by protecting the cells. They reduce the amount of fat and work on increasing the number of enzymes that burn up the fat. Furthermore, it can detoxify the effects of alcohol and stabilize liver.
- Blueberries and cranberries
They contain antioxidant, anthocyanins that give them their distinctive color. They help prevent liver damage and increase the immune system’s efficiency as well as antioxidant enzymes. They were shown to diminish and slow down the development of lesions, fibrosis and scar tissues in rats. Blueberry extracts were shown to inhibit liver cancer cells growth.
They are shown to increase levels of antioxidants, prevent liver damage and inflammation in many studies.
Healthy greens are shown to play an integral role in liver health. Adding more veggies to your diet can help you lose weight, and they prevent fat build up. There are numerous food recipes that can be made with vegetables that are generally healthy and less fattening and prone to causing inflammation.
- Beetroot juice
It contains antioxidants and nitrates that can improve heart health, reduce the damage of oxidation and inflammation. They also increase the number of detoxification enzymes.
Nuts are naturally high in fats and nutrients containing antioxidants and vitamin E. They are beneficial for your liver and keep it working efficiently by aiding it in performing its functions.
- Fatty fish
They are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are a type of healthy fats that reduce inflammation and the risk of developing heart diseases. They help by keeping the level of enzymes constant, prevent fat from accumulating, improve insulin resistance and lower inflammation risks.
- Olive oil
It is widely known for its positive impact on the health of heart and metabolism. However, it also has a beneficial impact on the health of the liver as well. It allows better blood flow in the liver and reduces inflammation, increases insulin sensitivity, improves enzymes functions and levels, etc.
There are also many other dietary changes that our liver can benefit from and we should all try to improve the health of our organs that keep our body healthy and us in fit and good shape.