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As one of the body’s known filtering system, the liver has a crucial role to play in determining our overall health. It has regenerative properties, helps clear out waste and toxins, aids in digestion and keeps the blood healthy. How then can we make sure the liver isn’t being overworked and keeps them properly functioning?
On this week's journal, we will be sharing 6 simple habits you can incorporate in your daily life for a better, healthier liver. Read on!
1. Limit alcohol intake & cut down on smoking
Consuming excessive amounts of alcohol over a prolonged period can cause damage to the liver. Over time, liver damage can cause a build-up of fat in your liver, inflammation or swelling, and even scarring (cirrhosis). Therefore, moderation is key when it comes to downing your favorite drink. How much is a moderate amount of alcohol? It's best for women to limit their consumption to one drink per day, while men should only have two. One drink is equal to 148ml of wine, a 355ml beer or one shot (44ml) of liquor.
Secondly, take heed when people ask you to quit smoking, as some studies link cigarette smoking with development of liver cancer. Therefore, consider cutting down on smoking or stopping altogether.
2. Avoid consuming unhealthy foods & opt for fibre-rich foods
An unhealthy diet can also contribute to liver damage. If you eat too much high-calorie, greasy, fatty, or sugary food, you'll gain weight and fat will begin to build up in your liver. A fatty liver can contribute to developing cirrhosis of the liver. Fat in your liver can also interfere with the effectiveness of drugs that target the hepatitis virus. It's best to avoid consuming too much of saturated fats found in fried foods, sugary foods and sodium found in processed foods.
Instead, eat more high-fibre foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For proteins, choose more fish, white meat, beans and nuts.
3. Drink water frequently
Hydration is very important for overall health. Toxins that affect your kidneys, liver and bowel function will build up when you become dehydrated and can have a direct effect on the liver’s ability to properly detoxify our body. Water also helps maintain the blood's fluidity. When you become dehydrated, your blood becomes thicker and affects your liver, as it is responsible for filtering blood and the thickness can impact its ability to detoxify.
4. Prevent obesity by having an active lifestyle
Obesity & abdominal fat is a major risk factor for developing fatty liver disease. To avoid this, balanced diet and regular exercise can be done to achieve a healthy weight and also key to a healthy liver. Exercise decreases stress on the liver, increases energy levels and helps to prevent obesity. It also helps the body burn triglycerides for fuel, which can help reduce liver fat. Regular exercise that includes both aerobic exercises (walking, cycling or swimming) and weight training can improve your liver function.
5. Reduce stress
Stress definitely has a negative impact and effects on the body, including the liver. Along with affecting the endocrine, reproductive, digestive, and immune systems, it can cause changes to the pituitary & adrenal glands. When this happens, it promotes inflammatory response and worsens liver damage, even contributing to liver diseases.
A damaged liver can also impact emotional health, and may lead to physical ailments such as rib pain, cramping and blurry vision. Therefore, it’s very important to let go of built-up anger and keep positive energy moving by reducing stres over the small things.
6. Consume liver-boosting supplement
Certain herbs can also be used to boost liver function, including milk thistle, artichoke and rosemary. These botanicals increase the production of bile, improve enzymatic activity of the liver and increase blood flow. Herbana's Relief Sari line also endorses a herb that is proven beneficial for the liver health; Relief Sari Temulawak. Widely used in Ayurvedic medicines, this herb is known to improve liver detoxification as well as protecting the liver against oxidative stress. Our turmeric extract is obtained through natural extraction, and therefore safe to consume for preventing liver damage.