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Healthy liver: how to get it?

healthy liver
Healthy liver: how to get it?

A healthy liver is the reflection of a good diet and a healthy life in general, therefore, it is necessary to know some practices that can be implemented on a daily basis to take care of this important organ.

The liver, like all the organs of the body, must take special care and avoid falling into excesses in order to preserve it and not cause liver diseases such as fatty liver. 

The good news is that, despite being a somewhat delicate organ, there are ways to protect it and foods that will help keep it healthy and ready to fulfill its functions. 

It is important to keep in mind that the best way to fight liver disease is to avoid it, if possible.

6 ways to maintain a healthy liver

  1. Maintain a healthy weight: If you are obese or somewhat overweight, you are at risk for a fatty liver that can lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), one of the fastest growing forms of liver disease. Weight loss can play an important role in helping to reduce liver fat.
  2. Eat a balanced diet: Avoid high-calorie foods, saturated fats, refined carbohydrates and sugars. Do not eat raw or undercooked seafood. For a well-adjusted diet, eat fiber, which you can get from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, rice and cereals. Also eat meat (but limit the amount of red meat), dairy and fats (the “good” fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fish) . Hydration is critical, so drink plenty of water.
  3. Exercise regularly: When you exercise consistently, it helps burn triglycerides for fuel and can also reduce liver fat.
  4. Avoid toxins. Toxins can damage liver cells. Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning products and sprays, insecticides, chemicals and additives. When using aerosols, make sure the room is ventilated and wear a mask. do not smoke.
  5. Use alcohol responsibly: Alcoholic beverages can create many health problems. They can damage or destroy liver cells and scar the liver. Talk to your doctor about how much alcohol is right for you. You may be advised to drink alcohol in moderation or to stop drinking alcohol completely.
  6. Avoid illicit drug use: In 2012, nearly 24 million Americans aged 12 and older were current illicit drug users, meaning they had used an illicit drug in the month prior to the survey interview. This estimate represents 9.2 percent of the population aged 12 and older. Illicit drugs include marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, or prescription psychotherapeutics (painkillers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives) used for non-medical purposes.

3 foods that should be in our diet to maintain a healthy liver

Liver health also depends on our eating habits and not only on the activities we do frequently. Choosing well what we eat can minimize the risk of suffering diseases.

  • Coffee: a beverage that is both admired and criticized. Despite the doubts about its consumption, there is evidence that it is good for the liver. 

A review that appeared in the journal Liver International, in 2013, suggests that coffee protects against problems such as fatty liver disease. 

  • Oatmeal: Eating fiber is very healthy and positive for different functions of our organism, such as digestion. In addition, some of them, such as the one that comes from oats, can be especially useful for the liver, as they are rich in compounds called beta-glucans.

As a 2017 study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences reports, beta-glucans are very biologically active in the body. In fact, they were shown to help reduce the amount of fat stored in the liver in mice. 

  • Garlic: this pungent plant is another food that can help take care of our liver. 

According to a 2016 study published in Advanced Biomedical Research, garlic consumption reduces body weight and fat content in people with fatty liver. 

This is beneficial, inasmuch as obesity is a contributing factor to the development of fatty liver.

We can include these foods in our dietary routine without falling into excess. If we start consuming them frequently we could damage or alter some other organ of our body.

It is necessary to have a healthy diet low in refined sugars, processed foods, sweets, soft drinks and refined carbohydrates. In addition, having an exercise routine will help to have a healthy liver and avoid liver diseases. It will also benefit other areas of the body and overall health.

Oriana Arenas, redacción

Pasante de contenidos Fundahígado América

Eugenia Jiménez Alvaréz, revisión

Asistente a la coordinación Fundahígado América

Licenciada en Ciencias Biomédicas

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