Contributed by- Dr. Pooja Chaudhary
Liver, the mighty organ also known as the processing plant of the body plays a vital role. The biggest organ in the body is responsible for major functions of the body like getting rid of the toxins, digesting food, protein production, production of 80% of cholesterol, blood clotting, fighting infection etc. Liver also helps in performing chemical reactions to eliminate harmful toxins and distribution of the vital nutrients. The list of functions performed by liver is a long and important one.
Ensuring good health of this important organ is our responsibility. Various liver disorders like fatty liver, cirrhosis, hepatitis have become a stark reality and a part and parcel of our lives. Our unhealthy lifestyle is our biggest downfall, making us easy victims of various health issues. We all know that healthy lifestyle and smart dietary choices can help maintain good liver health and avoid grave situations. At the same time it is also important to avoid things that damage liver and makes it more prone to several disorders.
Beware Of The Things That Hurt Your Liver
Damaged liver is generally associated with alcohol abuse but there are several other factors that are really bad for liver and can cause serious harm. Below is the list of such things that can hurt your liver and cause serious liver problems.
Sugar- The Harmful Indulgence
Sugar, though necessary can be harmful if not consumed in moderation. Excessive indulgence of sugar causes a long queue of health problems. Liver utilizes fructose (a type of sugar) to produce fat. Too much consumption of refined sugar or high fructose syrup leads to unwanted fat buildup that can give birth to several liver diseases.
Salt- Stop Sprinkling Over Your Meals
Salt is a compulsory component to all our meals. Even the thought of food without salt can seem unbearable. But, excess of anything is dangerous; same goes for salt. Salt causes fluid retention, risk of high blood pressure and one of the major causes of fatty liver. It is important to regulate salt intake on daily basis.
Alcohol- Stop Drinking
All of us know that alcohol is bad for health. Yet, most of us indulge in binge drinking and willingly welcome several health problems. There is no denying the fact that alcohol is the culprit behind several deaths and major lifestyle disorders. Drinking occasionally and in moderation is okay but too much alcohol is really bad for health. Limiting to one or two drink a day for women and two to three drinks a day for men is the general specification. There is no certified limit to controlled drinking, thus it is better to avoid it entirely. It is wise to say no to temporary fun and enjoy long and good health.
Soft drinks- Say No To Them
All us enjoy a glass of soft drink to quench our thirst on a hot summery day. It compliments fast food beautifully and is a must when eating out. Well, that bottle of soft drink is actually bubbling with unhealthy ingredients. Researchers have revealed that excessive intake of a soft drink can lead to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Say no to these artificial drinks and embrace homemade drinks instead.
Herbal Supplements- Can Be Harmful Too
Herbal supplements are considered to be full of healthy nutrients and really good for health. But, the harsh truth is that even if the label says “natural” on the bottle it can be bad for health. Herbal supplements have harmful affects on liver and cause hepatitis and liver failure. The solution to this problem is to avoid self-medication and discuss with your doctor before taking any supplements.
Vitamin A Supplements- Go Natural Instead
Our body requires Vitamin A but the best way to get them is from natural sources like fruits and vegetables. Intake of vitamin A supplements can cause liver problems and long term disorders. These supplements should be taken only when recommended by a doctor.
Trans Fat- Junk Food Is Unhealthy
Trans-fats include packaged and baked goods which are always a delight for the taste-buds. All of us love a packet of chips, burgers, pizaas, donuts etc. But, no matter how yummy, these indulgences are really harmful for health. Diet high in trans-fat causes weight gain that can cause problems and affect liver health.
Other Factors That Cause Liver Damage
- Obesity- Shed those extra kilos
- White bread, rice, and pasta
- Red meat
- Medications for pain and fever
- Accidental pricks from shared needles can lead to Hepatitis C
- Improper intake of water
- Quit smoking today
Things Good For Liver
Some ways to ensure good liver health by incorporating certain foods in our lifestyle, include:
- Blueberries and cranberries
- Beetroot juices
- Herbs like dill, caraway seeds, turmeric, onions
- Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, mustard green, Brussel sprouts
- Fatty fish
- Olive oil
- Adding warm water with lemon daily
- Regular exercise
- Keeping a watch on your weight
- Keeping a track on the cholesterol levels and controlling the diabetes
Our liver is a vital detoxifying organ. Overloading it with toxins from foods, drinks or medications will lead to circulation of these toxins throughout the body, causing damage to the organs and gland. Avoid the above mentioned list to ensure good liver health. Stay aware, stay fit.
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