The liver is the largest internal organ in the human body. It is also one of the most important, considering its function in digestion and detoxification. The liver has numerous vital functions. It filters the blood by removing oestrogen and aldosterone. Apart from detoxification, it also plays an important role in metabolising fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The bile produced by the liver helps in the breakdown and absorption of fats and certain vitamins. Other vitamins, minerals, and glycogen reserves are stored in the liver. The importance of a healthy liver cannot be stressed enough. So it is imperative that we keep our liver in good health by eating foods good for the liver.
Understanding Liver Damage
The liver's function as the body's main detoxifier also makes it vulnerable to damage. All toxins that we consume pass through the liver first. It is important to remember that the liver is a self-regenerating organ, and this means that it heals itself unless severely impaired. While toxins are filtered out, sustained intake of these could cause permanent and irreversible damage to the liver.
The most common cause of Liver Disease is prolonged and excess alcohol consumption. Occasional to moderate alcohol consumption may not cause lasting damage to the liver, but any excesses certainly will. Regular and excess alcohol consumption leads to a build-up of fatty deposits in the liver, impairing its ability to function normally. Similarly, steroid supplements are taken by bodybuilders and trainers also lead to serious liver damage. Protein supplements, on the other hand, promote liver health. Apart from alcohol and steroid intake, excess consumption of sugars can also lead to fatty liver. Obesity is another cause of the occurrence of fatty liver. If not handled timely, the fatty liver could ultimately lead to liver cirrhosis. So you should take good food for liver health.
Importance Of Diet In Liver Health
It remains established without any doubt that diet is central to maintaining the human body's well-being. Foods Good for Liver have the right proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats (the macronutrients), and vitamins and minerals (the micronutrients). Just as an unhealthy and imbalanced diet can lead to the development of a fatty liver, adopting a liver health diet can help reverse the condition, experts believe.
A Closer Look At The Dietary Changes For A Healthy Liver
Let us now take a closer look at the major components of a liver health diet and the role each plays in the maintenance of Liver Health.
To function optimally, the cells in our body require energy and this energy is supplied from the glucose in our food. This metabolic fuel, glucose, is primarily supplied by the carbohydrates in our diet. A carbohydrate diet leads to its conversion into glycogen which is eventually deposited as visceral fat.
Proteins are the building blocks of our bones and muscles and are included in a liver health diet. But a sedentary lifestyle leads to the conversion of proteins into glucose instead of being utilised in muscle building.
This means that even in the absence of carbohydrates in the diet, glucose is formed in the body. Apart from this, when a person's diet is deficient in carbohydrates, the body starts utilising the stored glycogen deposits, thus naturally reversing obesity and melting away visceral fat.
Since the diet cannot be deficient in protein (or it will lead to muscle breakdown), it is important to cut down on the carbohydrates, consume foods good for liver, and avoid all sugars to reverse a fatty liver condition
According to dieticians and nutritionists, high protein foods such as meat, eggs, pulses, soybean, and cottage cheese are foods good for liver. Vitamins and minerals in the diet come from raw vegetables and fruits. This means lots of salads, fruits, and juices make up an essential diet.
However, it is the fibre that must provide the bulk of the food. Lack of fibre damages the intestinal lining and, in turn, damages the liver.
Ultimately, food for liver health must be low in carbohydrates, moderate in fats, and high in protein with generous portions of fruits and vegetables.
It will keep up a healthy liver and keep a person in great health.
Foods for Healthy Liver
Digestion of caffeine produces paraxanthine that reduces the development of scar tissue. Coffee reduces the chances of liver cancer, cirrhosis, fatty liver, and liver inflammation.
Tea contains a high level of antioxidants essential for reducing liver fat deposits and oxidative stress. Black tea reduces the negative impact of fat-rich diets on the liver.
It contains a good amount of antioxidants, reducing liver inflammation and improving its defensive mechanism. These antioxidants also reduce the risks of getting hepatic fibrosis.
Blueberries and cranberries
Berries are rich in antioxidants and anthocyanins. Their regular consumption improves the immune system and reduces the chances of liver cancer, lesions, fibrosis, and the development of scar tissues.
It contains multiple beneficial plant compounds like resveratrol, reducing liver inflammation and damage. Continuous consumption of grape juice improves liver function.
This is an edible cactus with rich antioxidants. It reduces liver inflammation. It also normalises enzyme and cholesterol levels to improve liver health.
It is a good source of iron, vitamin-A, antioxidants, and vitamin B6. All the components of beetroot protect the liver from oxidative stress and inflammation.
Fibre-rich vegetables like Brussel's sprout, broccoli, and green mustard improve the production of natural detoxification enzymes. These food items improve blood circulation and improve liver health.
Food items like almonds, walnuts, and other dry fruits provide a high level of fatty acids and antioxidants. They improve the secretion of liver enzymes and reduce the risk of developing fatty liver.
It contains omega-3 fatty acids, a type of healthy fat. It reduces inflammation and other liver diseases.
It is a rich source of healthy fat. Consuming the necessary amount of olive oil improves blood flow and liver enzyme levels and decreases fat accumulation in the liver.
The liver is an essential organ that secretes enzymes to boost digestion and maintain overall body function like blood circulation, neutralising free radicals, absorption of essential nutrients and minerals, etc.
Q. How do I make my liver healthy again?
A. To regain your liver health, you must eat healthy food, cut alcohol consumption, drink lots of water to remove toxins from the body, and follow a daily exercise routine.
Q. What are the signs that your liver is struggling?
A. Symptoms of bad liver health include yellow eyes, swollen legs and ankles, abdominal pain, dark urine, pale stool, irritated skin, vomiting, and chronic fatigue.
Q. What is the best drink to flush your liver?
A. Coffee, green tea, lemon tea, grape juice, oatmeal drinks, turmeric drink, and ginger drink have high concentrations of detoxification components that assist in flushing the toxins out of the liver.
Q. How do I know if my liver is Ok?
A. A liver function blood test (LFT) analyses components like protein, bilirubin, and liver enzymes in the blood. An LFT also gives information about liver inflammation.
Q. How quickly does the liver heal?
A. Liver quickly regenerates its cells. Even in severe cases like Tylenol overdose, where 50-60% of liver cells get destroyed, the human liver regenerates its lost cells within a month.
Q. What part of the body itches with liver problems?
A. People get irritated or suffer from itchy skin in different body parts. Some feel a prickly sensation in areas like the limb, palm, or feet. While some experienced itching all over the body.