Published: 12/26/2014 - Updated: 06/09/2017
Author: Miriam Reyes
The liver is a greatly important organ and is involved in digestion and general metabolism, fulfilling different vital functions. It is the second largest organ, following the skin, and is located on the right side under the rib cage.
The liver regulates some hormone secretions, stores nutrients, and produces proteins as well as enzymes that take part in digestion (bile).
Unfortunately, the liver can be strongly affected by bad habits, primarily from ingesting harmful substances and foods. That’s why advice can be helpful in caring for liver health.
Number 1: Watch your weight
Obesity and being overweight are frequently related to the development of fatty liver disease. If it is not treated or if the proper measures are not taken, one can develop liver cirrhosis, liver failure, or even liver cancer.
Staying at a healthy weight is undoubtedly one of the most important recommendations for taking care of your liver. Regular exercise and a healthy diet is the best advice for keeping a healthy weight. Avoid using overly strict diets as these could be counterproductive and often times lack nutrients. They could even make the liver ill.
Another important aspect on this subject is to avoid using weight loss medications, as the liver metabolizes them, which could “intoxicate” it.
Number 2: Reduce alcohol consumption
Alcoholic beverages are generally unadvisable, not only because they affect the liver but because the liver is one of the most sensitive organs to alcohol consumption.
Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption is very important because the liver is the organ that metabolizes these substances, and consuming it is closely related to liver diseases, like cirrhosis.
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Number 3: Follow a healthy diet
A bad diet can affect liver health and functioning, which is why we all need to make changes to promote good health.
Avoid consuming simple sugars like sugar, caramels, sweets, pastries, etc. Try not to sweeten your food too much, and avoid getting your palate used to too much sweetness.
Opt for whole grains before refined versions. For example, lean towards whole grain rice before white rice, and whole grain flour before refined, or white, flour. The first kinds are much more nutritive and also provide more fiber, which is beneficial for digestion and helps control cholesterol.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. We often times avoid consuming these foods, or they are lacking in our modern diet. That’s why it is important to eat them every day, they provide vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fiber.
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Reduce fat consumption, especially those from animal sources. High cholesterol levels could promote fatty liver disease. Reduce your consumption of meat fats and sausages. Choose healthy fats, like those from plants, and preferably those that are extra-virgin. Olive oil could be a good alternative for better nutrition.
Drink sufficient amounts of water, as this helps keep the body hydrated and eases waste elimination.
If you are also able to choose organic produce, this too will improve your health and nutrition.
And lastly, even if it seems tempting, try not to do detoxifying diets, unless your doctor has suggested it, or if you are under supervision. Not all of these diets are appropriate for detoxifying this important organ.
Number 4: See your doctor
There are a lot of ways to prevent acute or serious diseases, and periodic checkups are always advisable as a good measure of prevention. Currently, blood analysis can provide a general vision of states of health, which is important in order to treat anything from a glucose problem to cholesterol levels.
You doctor can also evaluate your nutritional state, and can detect early signs or symptoms. Your doctor can also advise you about a vaccination plan for preventing Hepatitis A and B.
Self-medicating is also not advisable, not even with herbal supplements, unless your doctor has authorized it.
Number 5: Get informed
If you want to cure yourself of hepatitis, you need to know what causes it. The virus hepatitis A, for example, can be spread from contaminated foods, while the virus hepatitis B and C are transmitted by blood and bodily fluids.
To prevent hepatitis A, eat at home or in establishments that you consider to be safe. To prevent hepatitis B and C, we recommend not sharing personal use objects, like toothbrushes, razors and needles. Using condoms is recommendable, especially if you have multiple sex partners.
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