5 ways to improve your liver health
Did you know that your liver is one of the largest and most important organs in your body? Not only does it play an important role in storing and releasing energy from foods and deactivating hormones, but it also acts as a “filter” for your body. Anything that you consume, whether it’s food, medicine, toxins or alcohol, gets naturally filtered by your liver. The liver essentially works round-the-clock to keep your system clean.
But, when you expose your body to processed foods, smoking, environmental toxins or excess alcohol, it pushes the liver to work extra hard. If this happens repeatedly, the liver becomes inflamed, congested and sluggish, leading to toxin buildup across the body – this is a clear sign that the liver needs a break.
When your liver is feeling sluggish, you might experience fluctuations in energy levels, sleep patterns, mood and appetite. Poor liver health can also contribute to poor digestion, hormonal imbalances, joint pains and skin problems. And if the liver is overwhelmed for a long time, a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can develop.
Considering that the liver is one of the most indispensable organs, it is too often neglected! The good news is that you can easily care for your liver by following these simple lifestyle tips.
Avoid eating fatty foods
Eating a diet heavy in saturated fats, fried foods, sweet foods and fast foods is a poor choice when it comes to keeping your liver nice and healthy. Consuming foods high in saturated fats or trans-fats is difficult to digest and requires your liver to work extra hard to process it. High fat intake over time promotes inflammation over time and eventually causes irreversible scarring of the liver, that’s known as cirrhosis.
You can naturally cut back on fat by using low-fat cooking techniques, such as grilling, air-frying or stir-frying, rather than deep-frying.
Ease up on the sweet stuff
Eating too many foods or fizzy drinks high in refined sugar can really do a number on your liver. Part of the liver's function is to convert sugar into fat, and if you overdo it, your liver will go on to make too much fat for the body to store away. In the long run, not only can this contribute to obesity but the buildup can also lead to fatty liver disease.
Some easy ways to cut back on sugar include replacing sugary drinks with unsweetened sparkling water with a touch of fruit or herbal teas. You could also swap your sugary breakfast cereal with low-sugar breakfast options, such as smashed avocado or tofu scramble on wholegrain toast.
Drink plenty of water
Okay, so you probably saw this one coming - water is needed for the liver to function properly. Water doesn’t only help the liver flush out toxins that are currently in our bodies, but it also helps to remove harmful cell byproducts such as carbon dioxide and urea from the bloodstream - so water really is all it’s cracked up to be!
Everyone's water needs vary - but as a rough guide, you should aim to drink at least 2 litres of water across the entire day.
Watch your alcohol intake
Drinking large amounts of wine, beer or liquor can damage your liver cells. Excess consumption over a long period can trigger inflammation and scarring in the liver and can lead to cirrhosis.
The take-home message here is to drink alcohol in moderation – no more than one to two glasses a day.
Take care of your liver with Choline
Choline is a key nutrient that maintains healthy liver function. It’s particularly important for liver health, as it assists in the removal of cholesterol from the liver and can help prevent liver diseases, such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Although the liver can produce small amounts of choline, it isn’t enough for the body to use. You can increase your choline intake by consuming eggs, meat and dairy, as well as plant foods such as edamame beans, quinoa and tofu.
You can also include our Liver Complex Max supplement, which provides the perfect blend of nutrients and herbs for optimal liver health. Each serving provides a rich amount of choline, in addition to vitamin C, vitamin D, garlic extract and artichoke leaf, traditionally considered a helpful liver helper.
Our Liver Complex Max has been specially formulated to provide the perfect blend of ingredients for liver health. We have expertly chosen a blend of key ingredients to maximise the benefits of our supplement.
Riya Lakhani ANutr is a registered nutritionist and health writer with a special interest in plant-based nutrition. She has completed a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Human Nutrition, and has developed a passion for writing about all things plant-based.