The liver is a very significant glandular organ of the body. This reddish-brown organ is situated beneath the diaphragm on the right side of the abdomen, and the weight of about 3 lbs. It is responsible for major bodily functions such as secretion of bile that is essential for the emulsification and absorption of fats, conversion of sugar into glycogen which is then stored for the muscles to use, production of urea (main component of urine) and amino acids, and filtration of toxins from the blood to keep impurities out. The liver is basically one of the organs that keep our system running, so it is important to take care of it in order to live a healthy life.
- Eat right to keep your liver healthy. Foods high in protein, such as meat, eggs, nuts or legumes, are excellent for your liver; and so are fresh fruits such as papaya, avocado, and watermelon. Vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, beans, and sprouts are good agents for defending the liver against diseases. Other types of foods that aid in the detoxification of the liver includes broccoli, garlic, beets, onions, wheat germ, and mushrooms.
- Watch your fat consumption. Foods that are fatty and oily, such as bacon, salami, potato chips, French fries, and sausages are not so healthy for the liver, and so are dairy foods such as ice cream or cheese. Processed foods like beef jerky and hot dogs are also considered unhealthy for the liver. These foods contain saturated fats that are quite difficult for the liver to process.
- Set some bounds when consuming drinks high in caffeine. Soda, coffee, and tea are considered unhealthy when consumed in very large amounts; try to limit yourself to at most 3 cups a day.
- Drink a lot of water. Water is the best agent when it comes to cleansing your liver. It helps flush toxins out of your body, which will invigorate your whole system. Fresh juices such as orange and lemon juice are good for you–these juices contain healthy acids that are beneficial for the general cleansing of your liver and body.
- Monitor your sugar intake. Consuming a lot of refined sugar is not only unhealthy for your liver, but for your overall system as well. When the liver processes too much sugar, it will convert it into fats and cholesterol–and having high amounts of both of these agents will not only contribute to weight gain but will also create a high risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. Too much artificial sweeteners are also harmful to the liver and will increase your risk of experiencing general fatigue or hypoglycemia.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol. Liquor, beer, and wine are difficult for the liver to process. One to 2 drinks of alcohol a day is not that harmful to people with healthy livers. But having 3 drinks or more is not recommended, and may lead to alcoholic hepatitis. People with liver disease should never drink alcohol at all. The same goes for individuals who are under medications–mixing alcohol with painkillers or another type of medications can be dangerous to your liver.
- Stop smoking and stay away from toxic fumes and liquids. Inhaled air from the lungs is filtered by your liver. So if you are breathing unhealthy air from your environment, chances are your liver will become unhealthy as well. People who are into smoking have a high risk of developing liver cancer and other types of diseases involving major organs. Insecticides or bug sprays, paint thinners, aerosol or liquid cleaning products, and hair sprays should be handled with caution. Wear a mask to avoid inhaling fumes that can damage your liver.
- Wear protection when having intercourse and avoid sharing personal items. Some liver diseases such as hepatitis are transmitted through blood and body fluids. So use condoms and avoid sharing your personal stuff such as toothbrush, razor or manicure sets, especially when your partner is suffering from a liver disease.
- Visit your doctor and schedule for a hepatitis vaccine. Hepatitis A and B are the most common contagious diseases of the liver. Getting your hepatitis vaccine will help protect you against infectious viruses that impose great harm to your liver.