The attributes of the liver itself are dynamic in nature.
Known to be one of the largest organs in the human body shaped like a cone, the liver performs a number of vital operations to keep the body healthy and working at its best the whole time.
Its colour comprises a dark-red complexion and is located on the right side of the abdominal area. Adding to its appearance as well as efficiency, the liver performs two main functions besides other tasks.
The most important function is regulating toxic chemicals present in the body, breaking them down, and releasing them in the form of excreta.
With more than five hundred functions to carry out, the liver works throughout the day.
The liver can produce bile which is the ingredient that breaks down all the unwanted toxic substances or fats present in the liver and the body. This in turn helps in the excretion process of any waste that can potentially harm the body in the long run.
The liver also produces proteins that are needed for blood plasma. The proteins also aid in carrying fats, breaking, excreting, and maintaining overall liver health.
The body produces extra glucose which is then converted into glycogen by the liver. This is then stored and balanced in the body as an energy filler for the rest of the day.
Apart from producing proteins, the liver also builds the same by regulating amino acids which lay the foundation for protein building.
The liver stores excess iron in order to protect other parts of the body like the pancreas from any damage. However, too much iron in the body may lead to liver damage.
In fact, iron components from old red blood cells are shown to end up in the liver to be recycled. Releasing the iron components to other organs can create a lot of problems.
Ammonia is a waste created during the breaking down of protein. The liver converts the waste into another chemical known as urea. The end chemical is excreted from the body in the form of urine.
The liver regulates blood clots as well as removes bacteria from the blood to resist any kind of infection.
Clears the body of drugs and alcohol:
Chronic liver diseases are commonly caused by excessive use of drugs and alcohol. The toxic substances can damage the liver to life-threatening conditions in the long run. In the initial stages for as long as the liver is healthy, it clears the blood of drugs and alcohol consumption in order to keep the liver healthy.
The result of the breaking down of red blood cells is bilirubin. The liver clears the blood of the substance to avoid the chances of developing liver disease. In case of too much bilirubin, certain visual symptoms like yellow discolouration of the skin and eyes will be visible.
The liver performs all of these functions to keep the body at par with the requirements to live a healthy life. However, even the super organ can show signs of weakness and eventually project to be unable to function effectively. This degrades the overall quality of life and is quite common globally.
1. Emerging Liver Disease
When there is an increase in the count of liver enzymes beyond normal levels, it indicates damaged liver cells. There are a number of diseases the liver can develop that have many causes and can vary from one person to another.
It is to be noted that the diseases are in some way linked to one another.
In order to get a clearer picture, here are some of the diseases:
Chronic hepatitis is one of the most common diseases the liver endures. It is a condition where the liver is inflamed from viruses that attack the body. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C are the different variants.
In case of suspicion of the disease, you must immediately seek medical help and get a blood test.
The liver can develop a disease where scar tissue replaces liver cells in the body. The diseases develop over a longer period of time and are usually caused due to the overconsumption of alcohol or drugs. The disease has a higher risk and can be life-threatening.
Liver cancer can develop in the body from cirrhosis itself. Sometimes, cancerous cells in other parts of the body can eventually spread and damage the liver the most.
One of the most underrated liver diseases is ascites. In this case, the belly is distended due to a liver leakage caused by the condition of cirrhosis again.
In some cases, liver failure can be caused over a shorter period of time. Medications have been one of the most common causes for liver damage and eventually stopping without necessarily having a liver disease.
Therefore, there are many kinds and levels of liver diseases that can develop in the body. As mentioned earlier, they are linked to one another because some treatable diseases can spread and develop into life-threatening conditions and put the liver at a higher risk.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD):
This condition occurs when the liver has accumulated or has too much fat. It causes the liver to inflame and can damage the liver and potentially lead to other serious diseases if untreated.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is increasing in cases globally. Those with serious conditions of the disease experience excessive inflammation of the liver and can lead to liver failure. The damage is very similar to what alcohol can do to the body and the liver.
You may want to check for fatigue, and pain in the abdomen to rule out any signs of NAFLD.
In case the symptoms are persistent especially with obesity, make sure to visit your doctor.
2. Liver Function: Symptoms and Causes for Weak Liver Enzymes
The liver's weakness can sometimes go undetected until it has progressed to a further stage of chronic liver disease.
Therefore, it is crucial to be wary of some of the symptoms to get treatment at an early stage while the condition is still benign.
Here are some signs to look out for in case of a liver disorder:
- Discolouration of the eyes and skin indicates jaundice.
- Pain and swelling in the abdomen.
- Swollen ankles.
- Itchiness of the skin.
- Discolouration and pale stool.
- A dark and strong odour of the urine.
- General fatigue and vomiting.
- Appetite loss.
Some patients may bruise easily. This may indicate a weak liver.
3. What Can You Do To Stay Healthy?
While liver diseases can develop with unnoticeable symptoms, there are also certain actions that help prevent the organ from contracting or developing any kind of disease. Here are some ways:
- Be a moderate alcohol drinker. Overconsumption is fatal.
- Vaccinations are one way to keep yourself safe from any viruses.
- Never consume over-the-top medications in an excessive manner. Other medications must also be prescribed and limited to specific safe doses.
- Always consume clean water and keep your food clean and safe. Sometimes unclean water can cause viruses to enter the body.
- Stay away or use protection when in contact with chemical content like aerosol sprays.
- Drop some pounds if obese to avoid damaging the liver.
Anyone can resort to liver detox methods and liver cleanses, and choose healthier ways of living to avoid the chance of developing liver disease.
While liver detox methods are still under debate, one thing for sure is the methods and natural ways to regain liver health will not harm the body in any way.
Most of the methods, foods, and habits discussed earlier for liver detoxing can help the body to:
- Burn fats or lose weight that may be fatal to the organ and the body as a whole.
- Keep the body running as smooth as possible on all seven days by kicking the immune system to function better.
- Free the body of toxins that can tear down the cells of the liver.
- Increases the overall energy by avoiding drinking alcohol, fried and processed foods, and other carbohydrates. Instead, replace them with fiber-based whole diets.
- Protect against losing blood from minor accidents like a cut or bruise.
- Preventing life-threatening liver conditions like cirrhosis, hepatitis variants, alcoholic and nonalcoholic diseases, etc.
In case you're a patient struggling to get your own liver detox method at home, there are many rejuvenation centers with liver cleanses programs that deal specifically with reviving the liver using natural and safe methods. Moreover, just consuming liver-cleansing diet foods is a great way to start.
4. Fruits and Vegetables that Cleanse Liver
The question that often pops up is what foods can you eat to cleanse your liver? We’ve got you! Here are some superfoods to cleanse your liver that you add to your diet, today.
4.1. Cruciferous vegetables
Brussels, sprouts, broccoli, mustard leaves, and spinach are great stimulators of bile and thus come under the best foods to cleanse the liver. The high fiber content makes it perfect to increase the detoxification process and balance the organs' enzymes in the body. These vegetables are also great for the digestive tract of the body. A broccoli liver cleanse can help you prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease effectively provided you carry out a healthy lifestyle.
Eating garlic or adding garlic to your everyday dish helps activate liver enzymes that support the liver. Garlic is a great detoxifier and effectively aids in removing unwanted toxins from the body. Thus, a garlic liver detox is essential from time to time.
Consuming grapefruit or grapefruit juice benefits the liver in many ways. The fruit helps in reducing inflammation and is a natural antioxidant vitamin, therefore preventing damage to the liver. They also protect the liver's cells from developing any chronic disease. Naringin and naringenin are the antioxidants found in grapefruit.
Beetroot and beet juice are also filled with antioxidant properties that relieve the liver from oxidative stress. Inflammation is automatically reduced with the particular benefits of the beet making it one of the top liver cleansing foods.
4.6. Fatty fish
Fish rich in fats contain omega 3 fatty acids that are producers of healthy fats. Keeping a balanced diet between omega-three and omega-six fatty acids is important for the overall health of a person.
4.7. Olive Oil
Certain foods like olive oil are considered to contain healthy fats. Olive oil consumption is healthy for the heart and the liver as well. The oil leads to less accumulation of fats in the body and liver and has also shown an increase in the blood flow of the organ.
5. Plant-based foods
Other plants rich in fiber like carrots, cauliflower, and apple eliminates toxins from the body and promotes a healthy digestive tract. Apples are digestive system-friendly food as well.
Nuts come with several benefits for healthy weight gain. They are rich in good fats as well as nutrients to balance them out. Walnuts in particular have primary liver cleanses properties because of their amino acid composition. They also help in detoxification enzymes that promote liver health.
5.2. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits, in general, are known for their primary antioxidants properties. Lemon and oranges are rich in vitamins and are natural liver cleansers. They also aid in increasing the process to reduce oxidative stress by liver detox. Citrus fruits are also rich in vitamin C which stimulates the production of bile needed to break down toxic substances and fats from the body and liver.
Shifting to a healthy diet is the first step towards improving liver health. Oatmeal is a wholesome fiber-rich content that can keep your energy levels high and keep you away from developing liver disease.
An absolute favorite for many is none other than coffee. Coffee is a beverage filled with greatness and reduces the chance of liver damage. Even those with liver disease can consume coffee in its liquid form to lower the potential risk of getting chronic liver disease like liver cancer. Those suffering from the alcoholic fatty liver disease will experience inflammation of the liver. Coffee can help detoxify the damage done by alcohol.
Water has and will always be the aid to healthy eating. Instead of consuming sugar-filled fizzy drinks, consume water to maintain a healthy weight.
Blueberries are linked to providing many health benefits. They can be consumed as is or churned to get juice. Either way, they can help protect the liver since they have a high immune cell response. Many world journal have also found that blueberries decrease the liver from developing scar tissue. This in turn means there is less chance of developing chronic liver diseases like cirrhosis. Again, making it one of the best foods to cleanse liver.
5.7. Turmeric and other spices
Turmeric is a wonder spice because of its primary antioxidant property. It helps to keep the liver healthy and aid in the regeneration of damaged cells. That is not all. Turmeric also helps to produce bike and purifies the blood. Therefore making it a wonder spice. Other spices like cinnamon and cumin are good for promoting a healthy liver.
6. Foods to Avoid for Liver Cleanse
While there are healthy habits and diets, there are also bad habits and diets that can deteriorate the life of the liver to a large extent.
Avoid processed foods:
Do away with junk, sugary foods, and processed foods like french fries since they decrease the overall health of the liver. These foods are rich in saturated fat that may often lead to bad inflammation of the heart and liver tissue. In extreme cases, the inflammation can potentially lead to other chronic liver illnesses.
Reduce the consumption of sugar:
Be it processed sugar or foods rich in sugar, keeping a cap on its consumption is best for your liver's health. Too much sugar can form fats and fats can weaken the liver in the long run, disabling the ability to break them down. Therefore, risking the liver from developing a fatty liver.
Limit alcohol consumption:
Drinking alcohol can be the sole factor for most liver disorders and liver failures. However, like every other food and drink, even alcohol can be drunk in a moderate fashion without putting a strain on the liver.
Limit junk food:
Packaged snacks are loaded with the best tastes and the worst combinations of sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Therefore, cutting fried foods from your healthy diet is a good strategy towards extending a healthier liver. On days that you consume junk food, take the aid of water, or a fruit to balance it out.
Avoid exposure to harmful toxins:
Most times people are unaware of the harmful toxins present in specific environments. Car garages, factories, usage of aerosol sprays, and exposure to other chemicals used at home can be fatal for the body. Touching and breathing in such toxins will damage the cells in your liver in the long run. Therefore it is a good liver detox to stay away from these harmful substances.
7. Basic Healthy Habits for Liver Detox
It is always wise to keep track of your health to improve your way of living. In the same way, there are some habits that can help keep your liver healthy.
To keep it simple, these habits are divided into seven days a week. Shuffling as per your schedule works perfectly fine.
Liver cleanses by adopting healthy foods are a good start for the first day. Start by eliminating any processed food, red meat, gluten, alcohol, cigarettes, and other junk. Fix a schedule for a healthier diet as a start towards a successful liver detox. Detoxing is a drastic step but can help protect the liver in the long run.
Add more nutrients into your diet by incorporating the different healthy foods discussed earlier. Mixing them up in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner and on a shuffling basis will significantly reduce risk factors for liver disorders.
Try plant-based diets, citrus foods, and juices each day, and developed a planned diet for yourself. Don't forget your spices and herbs.
Pea protein which is a form of dietary supplements powder can help stimulate bile production and support the liver in numerous ways.
Add fermented foods like kombucha to reduce blood sugar levels and cholesterol and promote healthy fat. Herbal dietary supplements once in a while will also aid in removing harmful and toxic waste from the body.
After understanding what foods and diets work best for you, incorporate an exercise schedule for morning workouts before breakfast and short evening activities if possible. Maintaining a routine will help the body balance the toxin build-up, the food, and daily activities. This in turn promotes a healthy liver.
Timings, like waking up, eating, and sleeping is crucial steps towards getting your body up and going for years on end. When you get your diet and exercise routine dialled, your body will eventually adapt to even more routine body clocks in terms of getting up and sleeping. This will prove to be very beneficial with consistency. One will often feel the change in the functioning of the body as opposed to pre-routined weeks or months.
While your body is adapting to a lot of changes, don't forget to drink enough water. Water aid in excreting toxins from the body as well. Therefore, it should not be ignored. Drinking green tea extract and other herbal tea helps in the detoxification process as well. However, water in its pure form is as important for stimulating bile and reducing the risk factors for developing a liver problem.
Like workouts, Sunday can be more fun if you incorporate dynamic activities and experiment with . Making yourself a wholesome liver-friendly meal and ending with a light activity will reward you for the six days of liver detox.
The bottom line towards protecting and promoting liver health is maintaining a healthy weight, eating healthy, exercising, avoid drink alcohol, avoid drugs or needles, consume Brussels sprouts, practice clean and safe hygiene, and always provide medical advice for all types of medications.