Liver is your very own chemical processing plant. It receives 30% of the blood circulating in your system every minute – performing chemical reactions to remove harmful toxins and distribute and store essential nutrients. The liver is the body’s major cleaning and clearing house
- It regulates blood glucose levels
- It processes food and extracts nutrients
- It produces bile to digest fatty foods.
- It detoxifies, removes toxins that are ingested through alcohol, medications and contaminated food from the bloodstream.
The liver is an amazing organ which can rejuvenate itself. Most liver problems are reversible if discovered early.
A healthy liver keeps your body’s regulatory, detoxification and metabolic functions in tip top condition. If you have constant fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain, yellowing of skin and whites in the eyes, your liver may not be functioning at its optimal level.
Tips for a Healthy Liver
1. Moderate your alcohol intake– The liver can only process or break down a small amount of alcohol every hour. Men should limit their alcohol intake to two drinks a day while women should only have one. A standard drink is equivalent to one ordinary beer or one small glass of wine.
2. Cut down on fatty foods– The liver stores excess dietary fat and fat build-up can lead to fatty liver disease. Reduce the amount of saturated fats (found in deep fried foods, red meats and dairy products) and trans and hydrogenated fats (found in processed foods).
3. Reduce body weight– Obesity, particularly, abdominal or central obesity, is a major risk factor for developing fatty liver disease. A fatty liver slows down the digestion of fats. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight. Aim for the ideal body mass index (BMI) target of between 18.5 and 22.9 recommended by MOH and HPB Singapore.
4. Avoid over-supplementation with traditional remedies– Over-supplementation may cause liver inflammation because some of these remedies contain heavy metals. Taken in large quantities they can result in liver toxicity or they can affect the regular functioning of your liver.
5. Take more fibre– Eat more high-fibre foods such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. For proteins, choose more fish, beans and nuts, and cut down on red meats.
6. Get vaccinated– Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, both viral liver infections. Hepatitis A is contracted from contaminated food and water and hepatitis B, from sexual contact, contaminated blood and needles.
7. Get regular exercise-Regular exercise is key to a healthy liver. Exercise increases energy levels, decreases stress on the liver, and helps to prevent obesity – a high risk factor for liver disease. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of exercise, such as brisk walking per week.
8. Be careful of weight loss pills– Over-the-counter weight loss pills which are available without a prescription may contain ingredients such as Ephedra (ma huang in Chinese) which are harmful to the liver.
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Scientific Tradition Pte Ltd
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- Love Your Liver: www.loveryourliver.com.au
- 8 Tips for a Healthy Liver By Teresa Cheong for Health Xchange, with expert input from Dr Victor Lee Tswen Wen, Consultant, Department of General Surgery, Singapore General Hospital (SGH).
(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. All information is intended only to help you cooperate with your doctor, in your efforts toward desirable weight levels and health. Only your doctor can determine what is right for you.You should always do what is right for your own personal life.)