Your liver is literally the supercomputer of your body. It works nonstop to keep you healthy and full of energy.
Liver is the second biggest organ in your body. It roughly weighs around 1.36 kilos and you never knew you were carrying all that weight around, isn’t it amazing? Well, its big size comes in handy when it undertakes more than 200 varied functions all by itself round the clock!
A) Know what your liver does for you:
Whatever you eat or drink gets processed by your liver. It stores all the nutrients for further use and eliminates the toxins from your body. Here are some of the important functions that your liver undertakes-
- It is a storehouse for nutrients and minerals from all the food you eat. It stocks up on iron, glycogen and many other minerals.
- Your liver is a multifunctional organ. It does more than two hundred tasks at the same time.
- All the blood and protein gets generated by your liver.
- It detoxifies all the toxins from your body. If the liver fails to do so, you may go really sick!
- It breaks down the hormones and converts them into bile that makes your digestion easier.
- Liver stores up all the sugar and releases it whenever you need it. Without this function, you may fall into a coma as your blood sugar level may plummet too low.
B) Know the symptoms when your liver malfunctions:
When your liver fails to function normally, you may get any of the liver ailments like fatty liver disease, jaundice, cirrhosis, hepatitis, chronic liver disease or hereditary liver disease.
The general symptoms of liver ailment are:
- Decrease in appetite
- Dark yellow or brown urine
- Yellowish eyes and skin
- Abdominal bloating
- Poor concentration
- Mood swings and irritability
C) Learn to test your liver health regularly:
You can get liver function tests done at regular interval to ensure that your liver functioning well. This is important as at times you may have underlying liver disease which may not appear symptomatically for years and you may end up with a serious liver ailment later on.
D) Know what you should do to keep your liver healthy:
Eat healthy : The food you eat makes a huge difference to your liver health. A balanced diet goes a long way in ensuring great health for your liver.
Foods you should include in your diet are:
- Vegetables good for your liver are – radish, leafy greens like spinach etc., carrot, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, bitter gourd, garlic, beets, kale, Brussels sprouts, artichoke and asparagus.
- Fruits that boost your liver health are – apple, avocado, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tomato etc.
- Other foods that enhance liver function are – walnuts, turmeric, green tea, dandelion root tea, olive oil, flaxseed, gluten free grains like buckwheat, quinoa, millet etc.
- Add herbs to your cooking to keep your liver healthy – coriander seeds, dill, turmeric, saffron, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and cardamom.
Foods you should avoid are:
- Oily, spicy and processed foods.
- High protein or fatty foods like fish, eggs, beef, pork etc.
- Too much salt or sugar in diet.
- Alcohol consumption and smoking.
- Full fat dairy products like clarified butter, cream etc.
- Unfiltered water or unclean roadside foodstuff.
- Late night binging or eating at different hours daily.
- Regular exercise or yoga for at least 30 to 40 minutes daily will keep your liver in the pink of health. By increasing the intake of oxygen, it gets easier to remove toxins from your body. This relieves the strain on your liver and boosts its functioning by enhancing the immunity levels.
- Deep breathing exercises like alternate nostril pranayama, kapalbhati pranayama etc. enhance liver function and even improve sluggish liver.
- Meditation also improves your liver health as it relieves stress on your body and mind. This lessens the pressure on your liver to balance the body’s thermostat, blood pressure, blood sugar and stress hormone etc.
E) Know what home remedies help boost liver health:
- Take licorice tea daily to detoxify your liver. Add powdered licorice root to hot water and steep for a few minutes. Strain the liquid and drink it when lukewarm.
- You can detox your liver by drinking a glassful of mixed carrot, beet and cucumber juice (mixed in equal ratios) everyday.
- Take amla or Indian gooseberry daily in any form- raw, candy, dried or chutney to keep your liver hale and hearty.
- Add a pinch of raw turmeric powder to warm milk and drink it daily. You may also add turmeric to food while cooking.
- Sprinkle freshly crushed flax seed powder to your curd, salads, soups, smoothies or cereals. It helps detox your liver.
- Drink fresh juice from artichokes boosts your liver function.
- Soak ¼ cup barley seeds in 3 cups of water overnight. In the morning boil it with an additional cup of water till the grains become soft. Strain the water and add salt or sugar with lemon juice to enhance its flavour. Drink it daily to detoxify your liver.
- Mix one tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, one fourth cup lemon juice and three fourth cup orange juice in a blender. Drink the mixture daily in the morning on an empty stomach to cleanse your liver.
- Take papaya juice and lemon juice mixed in 2:1 ratio to improve your liver function. Take it daily for a month.
- Drink the decoction of dandelion root tea (available in the food stores) daily to enhance your liver health.
- Drink spinach and carrot juice mixed in an equal ratio to boost liver function.
- Drink ten to twelve glasses of water to detoxify your liver.
- Drink 3 to 4 cups of green tea with a few drops of lemon juice to add anti oxidants to increase your liver wellness.
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