Health Media Today
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7 Tips for a Healthier Liver
Author : Carolyn Eagle, Senior Editor, Health Media Today Category : Health and Wellness
Joking about your aching liver after you’ve over-indulged in alcohol may seem funny at the time, but as the largest organ in your body, the healthy function of your liver is no laughing matter.
Your liver is the chemical processing plant of your entire body. Everything that goes into you passes through, and is processed by, the liver. It creates energy in the form of glucose, creates the bile that helps you absorb fats in your stomach and, most importantly, cleanses your blood and body of harmful toxins.
The great news is that, by taking care of your liver, you are taking care of your body as a whole. Here are some tips on how to keep your liver in tip top shape for years to come:
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs
We should all know this but perhaps we don’t understand the reasons why. Any toxins you are putting in your body have to be processed by the liver. The more you put in, the harder it has to work and the more damage it sustains in the process. Although the liver is unique in its ability to regenerate, excessive use of these toxins will not give it a chance to heal and will eventually lead to permanent scarring (or cirrhosis) of the liver
Use antibiotics and antacids only when absolutely necessary
The problem with antibiotics is that they destroy the good bacteria in your stomach and intestines that can help fight and eliminate toxins. Antacids weaken the digestive acids in your stomach which are necessary to complete digestion.
Don’t overdo your protein intake
Sure, your body needs protein but the North American diet can have more than is healthy. Protein builds up in your liver and can actually interfere long-term with your brain function. The protein from nuts, dairy products, and vegetables is preferable to that found in meat and easier for your liver to process.
Do not mix alcohol and acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Many of us think nothing of popping acetaminophen to deal with the effects of a hangover but both alcohol and acetaminophen are metabolized through the liver. When you consume alcohol, your liver kicks into overdrive and can produce toxins which can kill liver cells. Adding acetaminophen to the mix helps to overwhelm your liver and accelerate the scarring process.
Watch your carb intake
Too many carbs causes a fatty buildup in your liver which can cause long term damage. Read your labels carefully and watch how many carbs you are consuming to keep your liver healthy.
Increase your antioxidants
As much as you need to reduce the amount of toxins you’re exposed to, you should increase your intake of antioxidants to help your body and your liver with the detoxification process. Beans, nuts, seeds, salads and full fat yogurt will help your body get the levels of Vitamins C, B, and E, as well as magnesium, iron, zinc, and sulphates that your liver needs to help detoxify your body.
Read the warning labels on all drugs you take
It is not only acetaminophen that can damage your liver. All medications are processed through your liver to some degree. Make sure you read and understand the labels on all your prescription or non-prescription drugs. Speak with your pharmacist or doctor if you have any concerns