Let’s face it – we all love eating and we all love drinking. For some, drinking is occasional while for others it’s practically part of their weekend routine. What most of you may not know is that the liver is one of the most overworked organs in the body, and not just for trying to rid it of all the beer you had last weekend.
The liver is basically the body’s own chemical processing plant, and like everything else, it needs upkeep and maintenance to make sure things will go smoothly. When food is digested, nutrients enter your bloodstream and are sent to the liver to be processed.
Whatever toxins try to go through your body, your liver will process and eliminate efficiently. So now one important task you should do for your body is to make sure your liver isn’t overworked or overloaded.
Here are 8 ways to keep your liver at its best condition:
Be mindful of what you eat. Not only will it help you keep your weight under control (really, who doesn’t like this bonus of eating healthy?) but it’s also going to help you prevent getting nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). If you decide you don’t want to eat healthier, then start watching out because you might get liver cirrhosis.
Quit smoking. There are emerging studies with compelling evidence that point to cigarette smoking as one of the major contributors to liver cancer.
Protect yourself against hepatitis. There is no vaccine to protect you from Hepatitis C, which can be sexually transmitted, or through blood-to-blood contact.
On the other hand, Hepatitis B can be vaccinated against. This one can be spread by sharing razors, needles, toothbrushes, and other personal care items.
Lastly, you can get Hepatitis A by from drinking water that’s ridden with virus and bacteria. If you’re traveling, be mindful of the parts of the city that are prone to outbreaks.
Be wary of some over-the-counter (OTC) medication and prescription drugs. For instance, taking too much Tylenol can damage your liver. Other drugs that help manage cholesterol can have side effects on your liver. While we’re on the topic of managing medication, remember that it’s never a good idea to take your medicine with alcohol!
Additionally, you should also be mindful of some ingredients found in herbs and dietary supplements. Ingredients like ephedra, kava, kombucha, skullcap, and cascara have been cited to cause problems in the liver.
In contrast, some herbal supplements and natural remedies are powerful at restoring the liver’s health, such as milk thistle. Make sure you get it from a trusted brand and check reviews before making a purchase. Additionally, antioxidants like glutathione can replenish your liver, according to science.
Be wary of diet scams! You’re inevitably going to try to find easy ways to lose weight, but be careful of any diet plans and scams that promise immediate weight loss within weeks. Remember that a healthy and sustainable weight loss is about finding out the best diet for you and putting in the time to get physically active.
Any diet that cuts back too harshly on your nutritional intake couldn’t possibly be good for you, since it’s going to deprive your body (and your liver) essential nutrients that you need in order to properly function throughout the day.
Be wary of liver cleanses and detox drinks since no concrete scientific research has ever been put out to support claims that these alone can help you lose 10 pounds in a week.
Lastly, feel free to drink coffee! There are studies that claim that drinking coffee (we’re not talking about sickly sweet, sugary Frappuccinos from Starbucks here), can keep your liver healthy.