Did you know the liver performs more than 500 jobs? In fact, it's the hardest-working and largest organ in your body. So we asked our nutritionist Theresa Albert how to give a little more love to our livers!
The liver has three important functions:
1. It filters your blood. This is important because everything you inhale, absorb, eat and drink has byproducts which can build up to toxic levels if not filtered. Think of a fish tank with a broken filter. The water doesn't move, and that could be your blood.
2. It manages hormones in your body including sex, thyroid and stress hormones like cortisol.
3. It makes and manages cholesterol in the body, and keeping the liver clean allows it to do this job well.
So, how can we go about loving our livers? Here are Theresa's tips.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
All the things that help your heart or lungs or prevent diabetes also help your liver.
About 25 percent of us are obese, which likely means we have fatty livers. Many, many more have fatty livers and don't know it. So keep your weight under wraps with a healthy, well balanced diet, which can help keep your liver functioning at peak levels. In turn, you'll feel better and have more energy.
The good news is coffee is great for your liver because of the antioxidants found in caffeine.
Use greener products
Many supplies have toxic inhalants that must be processed by the liver to be excreted. You can combat this by choosing greener products, like using baking soda and vinegar as often as possible. Also be sure to clean with the windows open and exhaust fans on to air out.
Don't mix drugs
What many people don't realize is that any medication, whether herbal or pharmaceutical, undergoes important chemical changes when processed by the liver.
While the original product might not be considered harmful, the resulting byproducts may be toxic to the liver. The interaction of one medication with other medications or alcohol may cause life-threatening complications for otherwise healthy people.
Those who already have liver problems have to be especially careful and may not be able to take even the most ordinary over-the-counter remedies to treat common ailments, let alone prescribed medication for high blood pressure or other health problems.
Wash your hands after going to the washroom
Hepatitis is a liver disease that can be spread from person to person in simple ways.
Hepatitis A and B
Hepatitis A and B can spread when someone doesn't wash their hands properly after going to the washroom then touches something you eat. It can also spread from contaminated water, bodily fluids and spa tools.
Hepatitis C is blood only
It can be spread as a result of body art, piercings, blood transfusions, and drug use.
To prevent this, ensure:
- Safe sex
- Your spa is safe.
- You vaccinate.
- You test early, especially for C, because you want treatment before liver damage sets in.