Your liver is a large organ on the right side of your stomach. It helps your body digest food and absorb beneficial nutrients that keep you healthy. The main function of the liver is to filter blood coming through your digestive tract before the blood passes on to the rest of your body.
When it performs these essential functions, your liver secretes bile. This bile then ends up back in your intestines to help you digest fats. Protein is created by your liver, which is important for preventing the formation of blood clots and other functions. Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body, which is why liver conditions are often serious health conditions.
If you live a healthy lifestyle, you can significantly reduce the chance of developing any liver conditions. Fortunately, keeping your liver healthy does not require significant effort on your part. One of the most effective ways to keep your liver healthy is to eat healthy food. More information on what foods are healthy for your liver is covered below.
Possible Liver Conditions
If you want to protect your liver by eating better, it helps to understand possible liver conditions which may develop if you do not improve your diet. If you find yourself faltering on a healthy diet, remember some of the possible liver conditions you want to avoid, such as the following:
- Liver failure. This can be caused by genetic diseases, drinking excessive alcohol and infections.
- This is scarring caused by long-term damage to the liver.
- Liver cancer. This almost always happens if you have cirrhosis.
- This additionally occurs because of cirrhosis. Ascites is fluid your liver leaks into your stomach.
- When gallstones get stuck in your liver’s bile duct, it can lead to bile duct infection and hepatitis. Additionally, the gallstones themselves can cause severe pain or discomfort.
- This is when the liver becomes inflamed. It is typically caused by viruses, but it can be caused by drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity and allergic reactions in some cases.
- This condition means iron is slowly deposited in your liver, causing damage to your organ.
- Primary biliary cirrhosis. This is a rare disorder which slowly destroys your liver’s bile ducts. It eventually leads to cirrhosis.
One of the most effective foods for keeping your liver healthy is grapefruit. This fruit contains antioxidants that protect the liver in two ways. The first is by protecting your cells while the second is reducing inflammation.
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Studies show the antioxidants in grapefruits can lower the risk of developing hepatic fibrosis. This is a condition where the liver has an excessive build-up of connective tissue. Studies show the amount of fat in the liver decreases while enzymes burning fat are increased. Furthermore, eating a grapefruit may counteract some of the negative effects alcohol has on your liver as well.
Many people have an aversion to garlic because of the flavor, but it is healthy choice if you want to protect your liver. Garlic can activate important liver enzymes. These enzymes help to flush toxins out of your bloodstream. Garlic contains high amounts of selenium and allicin too, which are two natural compounds that help to cleanse your liver.
Both cranberries and blueberries contain antioxidants called anthocyanins. Several studies have shown eating these berries can protect the liver from damage over time. Blueberries help to increase antioxidant enzymes and immune cell response. The antioxidants of cranberries and blueberries can also slow the development of fibrosis and lesions too, which can cause scar tissue. Because they are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, these berries can make a great addition to your diet and are an excellent choice for snacking.
Avocados have many health benefits because they contain many necessary nutrients that benefit your liver. One of the avocado’s benefits is it helps the body to produce glutathione.
This is a crucial compound for the liver to cleanse toxins. Because of the health benefits, avocados are frequently classified as a superfood. They are also an excellent source of healthy fats, making them an ideal addition to your meals.
5. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts and mustard greens can increase the levels of detoxification enzymes in your body, which can help to protect the liver. Medical studies have shown men who have fatty liver can decrease their oxidative stress and improve their enzyme levels by eating broccoli sprout extract. Additionally, the fiber in these vegetables can help aid your digestion as well.
Not only are nuts high in natural healthy fats and nutrients, they also include the antioxidant vitamin E. Nuts are great for helping many health conditions. One study showed nuts improved non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and improved levels of enzymes in the liver. Another study found men who ate small amounts of nuts regularly had a lower risk of getting liver disease, making them a healthy and convenient portable snack.
The best spice for your liver is turmeric. Turmeric assists enzymes in flushing out dietary toxins in your liver. If you do not like the taste of turmeric, you can obtain turmeric supplements. However, keep in mind that many turmeric supplements contain low-quality ingredients.
If you want to get high-quality turmeric supplements, only purchase high quality, reputable supplements. If you are unsure which to purchase, consult your doctor or a dietician.
Fatty fish are good for your liver in various ways. The omega-3 acids in fatty fish help to prevent fat from building up in the liver. They keep enzymes at a normal level, help fight inflammation and improve insulin resistance. However, it is important you do not exceed intakes of omega-6 fats. Although having some omega-3s in your diet is good for your liver, fish contains both omega-3 and omega-6 fats. A high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 can contribute to liver disease.
Can some drinks help your liver?
There are multiple drinks you can have to help your liver. The best drink of all is coffee. Studies show drinking coffee can protect your liver, even if you already had pre-existing health issues with the organ. Coffee is thought to lower the risk of liver damage, cirrhosis and liver cancer. It may help to stop inflammation as well. Studies have demonstrated coffee can cause a lower risk of death for people who have chronic liver disease as well. Finally, coffee increases levels of glutathione.
Black and green tea may help to protect your liver as well. Green tea is high in antioxidants, so it can improve enzyme levels and reduce fat deposits and oxidative stress in the liver. Studies show green tea may reduce the risk of getting liver cancer as well. Additionally, some believe black tea can reverse the effects of a liver’s high-fat diet and generally improve your liver’s health.
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