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How to Keep Your Liver Healthy

October is Liver Awareness Month. Find out what you can do to improve or maintain your liver health.

October 11, 2019 | HF Healthy Living Team

With more than 500 different functions, it’s no wonder the liver is the second-largest organ in the human body. Your liver is a vital organ that mainly helps you digest food, store energy, and clear toxins in your body. The liver is also the only organ that can regenerate itself as long as it’s healthy and at least 25 percent of the tissue remains.

If your liver is in bad shape, it won’t be able to function well or regrow. According to the American Liver Foundation, liver disease affects one out of every 10 Americans. Abnormalities, genetics, and infection are among the causes of liver disease, but it can be fought with a healthy lifestyle.

Follow these tips to help improve or maintain the health of your liver.

1. Eat a healthy diet. Doing so helps your liver to break down foods easily and to absorb the nutrients it needs to work properly. Here’s a list of foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can benefit your liver health.

  • Berries
  • Cruciferous veggies and grass (like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, or wheat grass)
  • Coffee or green tea
  • Fatty fish
  • Fresh herbs
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts
  • Oatmeal
  • Olive oil
  • Prickly pear
  • Probiotic foods (like yogurt or kefir) that promote gut health

Avoid processed foods when you can and watch your salt and sugar intake. Too much can make it hard for your liver to process and cause unhealthy weight gain. Read these tips to improve your eating habits today.

2. Maintain a healthy weight. Protect yourself from chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or obesity, which can lead to a fatty liver. When this happens, you’re at a higher risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. This type of liver disease occurs when fat builds up in your liver.

3. Get regular exercise. Any physical activity that helps with blood circulation allows your liver to work smoothly. Lower your risk of fatty liver with either a walk or a fitness class.

4. Drink responsibly. When you drink alcohol, your liver works hard to get back on track. However, heavy alcohol consumption over time can lead to serious liver damage or cirrhosis.

5. Get vaccinated. Hepatitis is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. The best defense against hepatitis types A and B is vaccination. For other types of hepatitis, practice good hygiene, safe sex, and avoid sharing needles, toothbrushes, or razors.

6. Follow instructions on medications. It’s important that you understand how to take your medicine, or your liver can be harmed. Whether your medicine is prescription or over-the-counter, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to make sure you follow the right dosage.

 

How to Keep Your Liver Healthy
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© 2019 HF Management Services, LLC.

Healthfirst is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Healthfirst group of affiliated companies.

This health information or program is for educational purposes only and not intended to treat, diagnose, or act as a substitute for medical advice from your provider. Consult your healthcare provider and always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Sources
“What Does the Liver Do?” Medical News Today. Accessed September 23, 2019.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305075.php

“How does the liver work,” National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed September 23, 2019.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279393/

“Taking Care of Your Liver,” American Liver Foundation. Accessed September 24, 2019.
https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/about-the-liver/health-wellness/

“How Not to Wreck Your Liver,” WebMD. Accessed September 24, 2019.
https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/features/healthy-liver#1

“11 Foods that are Good for Your Liver,” Healthline. Accessed September 23, 2019.
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-for-your-liver

“Liver Disease,” Mayo Clinic. Accessed September 23, 2019.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502

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