The liver isn’t something that people think about when they’re healthy.
However, as you age, it becomes increasingly critical that you take care of this organ.
At least 30 million people—or one in 10 Americans—have some form of liver disease. There are more than 100 types of liver disease that can affect people regardless of age (1).
With a few lifestyle changes, this organ can reward you with a long and healthy life. It just requires a little thought and attention.
What Does The Liver Do?
Your liver is an essential organs for many reasons (2,3), it:
- Cleanses blood of toxins, metabolizes alcohol & drugs and neutralizes poisonous substances.
- Regulates energy by producing, storing and supplying glucose and fat.
- Manufactures proteins involved in blood clotting, immune response and nutrient transportation in the blood.
- Regulates hormones such as sex hormones, thyroid hormones and adrenal hormones. Also breaks down hemoglobin as well as insulin and other hormones.
- Produces cholesterol, excrets and converts it to other essential substances.
- Stores nutrients like iron and copper.
- Produces bile to eliminate toxins and help digest fats.
- Converts ammonia to urea, which is vital in metabolism.
- Destroys old red blood cells.
Here’s 5 everyday habits that will keep your liver running smoothly:
1. Drink Lemon Water
Drinking a glass of water after waking up is a great way to activate the internal organs: liver included.
Taking lemon water first thing in the morning helps flush out circulating toxins, which have accumulated overnight. It also stimulates your body for digestion.
Lemon water contains hesperidin, naringenin and eriocitrin, which protect the liver against inflammation and oxidative stress (4,5,6). Add a little lemon peel for even more benefits.
2. Add Turmeric To Everything
Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric, attenuates liver injury induced by ethanol, thioacetamide, iron overdose, cholestasis and acute, subchronic and chronic carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) intoxication. It can also reverse liver scarring (7).
3. Drizzle A Little Sesame Oil
Sesame oil reduces total levels of serum and liver cholesterol, liver LDL cholesterol, and liver lipids (9). It also helps oxidize fats to prevent fatty liver disease (10).
Sesame fights liver damage from pain relief products containing acetaminophen, like Tylenol and provides pain relief than pharmaceutical drugs (11).
It also combats liver damage by maintaining intracellular levels of glutathione, a potent antioxidant (12).
4. Sip On Alkaline Juice
For optimal liver health it’s important to stay away from sugary and acidic drinks, like soda (13). Instead, juice nutrient-dense dark leafy greens and other alkaline vegetables.
Long-term exposure to high levels of fructose causes tiny fat droplets to accumulate in liver cells, which can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This disease can kill liver cells and prevent the organ from regenerating healthy ones (14).
And no, it’s not the fruits you eat that harm you. It’s the combination of sugar loaded junk food and high fructose corn syrup that are the main culprits.
A high-fiber diet can reverse the negative effects of fatty liver on apoptosis and regenerative capacity (15). That’s why it’s important to make vegetable juice by using your blender, so that the fiber from the vegetables remains in the juice.
Fiber also absorbs bile to help push out toxins from the digestive tract.
5. Grab A Cup Of Herbal Tea
Ending the day with a cup of tea will help your liver get ready to continue its job as you sleep, which is especially helpful after having a big dinner.
Here are a few teas to try:
Milk Thistle (silymarin) is often suggested as a treatment for alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis (16).
Silymarin, the active compound, acts as an antioxidant and prevents toxins from sticking onto liver cells (17).
Dandelion Leaves have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent liver injury (18).
Burdock Root is traditionally used to purify the blood and prevent liver disease (19,20).
Chicory Root is used in traditional medicine to heal liver and gallbladder disorders and protect the liver from damage and stress (21).
Peppermint reduces the effect of immobilization stress on liver enzymes (22).
Adding these healthy habits to your everyday routine will ensure that your liver keeps your body clean and healthy for years to come!