5 Simple And Healthy Habits to Love Your Liver
The liver is an incredible organ. Among its many functions, the liver is responsible for producing many nutrients that support our health, well-being, and energy levels.
Our liver is also essential for filtering our blood, breaking down harmful substances (such as alcohol), and producing bile, which is crucial for fat breakdown.
The good news is that our liver health depends on our habits, as many liver-related issues stem from poor lifestyle choices.
With that in mind, let’s review five simple and effective ways to love your liver.
1. Cut Back on Alcohol
Alcohol can be a sore spot for many people, but we need to talk about it. You see, alcohol is not your typical nutrient. The body cannot metabolize it as quickly and must resort to several enzymes to break it down (1).
As we consume alcohol, it enters the bloodstream and begins to pass through the liver (1). With each visit, the liver breaks down some alcohol until it filters it out of our system. Over time, significant alcohol breakdown can cause damage to cells inside the liver and lead to scarring.
Aside from liver damage, alcohol can cause fat to accumulate around the liver (steatosis) (2). In more severe cases, alcohol abuse can lead to liver fibrosis or cirrhosis.
One of the best ways to protect your liver is to limit your alcohol intake to no more than a few drinks per week.
2. Be Physically Active
Being physically active is beneficial for many aspects of our health, including protecting the liver. For one, regular exercise is a fantastic way to lose weight and reduce the risk of obesity, which is known to cause fatty liver disease (3, 4). Second, exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system, making it easier for blood to travel to the liver for filtration (5). Third, physical activity decreases the risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes, leading to liver damage down the road (6, 7).
Plus, leading an active lifestyle is excellent because it leads to better nutritional choices. Folks who exercise don’t want the effort going to waste, so they eat healthier foods, further reducing the risk of liver issues.
According to guidelines, we should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderately intense exercise weekly (8).
3. Maintain a Balanced Diet
Everyone knows that our nutrition plays a massive role in our health. Unsurprisingly, our food choices also impact liver health to a significant degree. According to research, some of the healthiest foods and beverages for the liver include:
4. Lose Weight (If You Have to)
Being overweight or obese is a significant risk factor for liver disease. According to research, obesity is tightly correlated with a greater risk of fat accumulation in the liver (4). Over time, a fatty liver condition can evolve into:
- Steatohepatitis - inflammation on top of too much fat in the liver
- Fibrosis - liver scarring due to chronic liver inflammation
- Cirrhosis - significant scarring that impairs liver function and is irreversible
One way to avoid this from happening is to maintain a healthy weight. Regular exercise, healthy eating, and plenty of sleep are essential habits to develop (3, 14, 15). Guidelines suggest that we maintain a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 (16).
5. Wash Your Hands Regularly
Aside from protecting you during the pandemic, the helpful habit of washing your hands can keep your liver healthy.
Washing your hands with warm water and soap is vital for removing almost all germs from your hands. So, when you touch your face or eat food, these germs don’t enter your body, promoting liver infections.
For example, hepatitis A is a virus that affects the liver and is often preventable with regular washing of hands.
Check out Ancient Bliss Liver Love to start loving on your Liver today!