Liver – the heaviest and the second largest organ in the human body. It is probably one of the most hardworking organs of the body and performs a number of functions. It is a key player in our body’s digestive system as whatever you eat or drink passes through it.
Our liver sits exactly under the lower rib cage on the right side of our body and is about the size of a football (size may vary from person to person according to the body type). The most important function of the liver is cleaning the blood by getting rid of harmful chemicals present in the body. It also helps in the production of bile, which, in turn, helps in breaking down the fat in the body. It helps in the storing of sugar (glucose), which provides a quick energy boost whenever required by the body.
The liver flushes out harmful toxins and wastes from the body. Hence, it is very important to take care of the liver and ensure that it is in good condition. If not taken proper care of, the liver slows down, and toxins start accumulating in the body and tissues. Luckily, whenever there is something wrong with the liver, it displays certain symptoms or warning signs that indicate that it isn’t working properly. Some people experience a sudden weight gain, and even though they try their best, they are unable to lose weight.
Some of the obvious warning signs are as follows:
- There is hormonal imbalance in the body.
- Improper digestion of food.
- You experience anxiety and depression quite often.
- Constant headache.
- Joint pains.
- You feel lethargic.
- Chronic fatigue.
- Facial acne.
- Abdominal pain.
- Diarrhea or constipation.
Now, the next question that arises is how can you take good care of your liver, and if your liver is not functioning well, what can you do to improve its functioning? The answer to these questions is very simple. Firstly, eat food that is beneficial for your health, and secondly, bring about some positive changes in your lifestyle.
Here are some tips and tricks that can help you maintain a healthy liver:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Eat healthy fats.
- Go for a balanced diet that includes everything from plant proteins and meat to seeds and nuts.
- Avoid processed foods.
- Try to eat more of organic foods that are low in sodium and other toxic substances.
- Refined sugar is not good for our health. Thus, try to minimize its consumption.
- Do not cook food in inflammatory vegetable oils such as sunflower oil, corn oil or safflower oil.
- Reduce the consumption of fructose.
- Spinach, cabbage, parsley, chicken, and eggs are rich in amino acids. Eat more of them.
- You should also consume foods that are rich in sulfur, such as broccoli, eggs, sprouts, garlic, etc.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Quit smoking.
Here are some foods that can help you take good care of your liver:
Apples are rich in pectin and other enzymes that are necessary to cleanse the system and release toxins from the digestive tract. Thus, they help the liver in handling the toxic overload during the cleansing process.
Avocados are superfoods that are rich in nutrients. They help the body to produce a compound called glutathione that helps the liver in cleansing harmful toxins.
3. GREEN TEA
Green tea is rich in antioxidants. It contains catechins, which facilitate the proper functioning of the liver.
4. CARROTS AND BEETROOTS
Both carrots and beetroots are rich in flavonoids and beta-carotene. And thus, eating them can stimulate and improve the overall functioning of the liver.
This pungent-smelling white bulb has the ability to activate the enzymes in the liver that flush out toxins from the body. They also contain selenium and allicin, and both these compounds help in cleansing the liver.
6. GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
All green leafy vegetables, including spinach, bitter gourd, and dandelion greens (whether eaten raw or cooked) are rich in plant chlorophylls that suck up the environmental toxins from the bloodstream. They also have the ability to neutralize the effects of chemicals and pesticides in the body and thereby act as a protective mechanism for our liver.
These citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which helps the body to synthesize the toxic materials into substances that are easily absorbed by water. Thus, it is recommended to have a glass of lemon juice in the morning as it is very helpful in stimulating the liver.
Walnuts contain a high amount of the amino acid arginine that helps in detoxifying ammonia from the liver. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids that facilitate the normal cleansing process of the liver. When you eat walnuts, make sure you chew them properly and then swallow.
9. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil and other cold-compressed organic oils, such as hemp oil, are really good for the liver. They help in providing a lipid base to the liver that can suck up all the toxins and wastes from the body. This takes some burden off the liver.
You can consider it as the favorite spice of the liver as it helps boost liver detoxification by assisting the enzymes to flush out toxins.
Grapefruits are also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that aid the natural cleansing process of the liver. A small glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice is enough to boost the production of the detoxification enzymes in the liver.
Now that you know how to take care of your liver, check for the symptoms mentioned above and start taking precautions from today. It is also suggested to consult a doctor if you feel that medication is required.