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    9 Ways to Have a Health Liver Naturally

    There are no quick fixes or secrets to having a healthy liver. To have a healthy liver naturally, you need to take a whole-body approach to your health and wellness. 

    Your liver is your powerhouse organ, responsible for over 500 essential bodily functions. You cannot live without your liver, and we want you to do everything you can to keep it healthy. 

    A healthy liver helps you burn fat and carbohydrates, build muscles, absorb medication, regulates blood sugar, and remove toxins from your bloodstream. 

    While you likely don’t think about your liver often, it is always working in the background so you can maintain a healthy, active, and balanced life.

    Read this more to learn about:

    • What the liver does for you: understand why it’s so important to support your liver.
    • The facts on liver disease: liver diseases attributed to lifestyle choices are on the rise – we want you to know the real facts on liver disease.
    • How to have a healthy liver naturally: learn 9 strategies to having a healthy liver naturally. 
    • What you need to know about liver detoxing: liver detoxes, and cleanses are popular, make sure you know the do’s and don’ts of a healthy, safe, and natural liver detox.

    Remember to subscribe to the Health Focused newsletter to be notified when we post new blogs and articles.  And follow our Instagram accounts to connect with people who like you, are interested in health, wellness, and well-being.

    What Does the Liver Do?

    The liver is essential to over 500 functions in your body including digesting food, eliminating toxins, regulating blood sugar levels, helping your blood clot, and acting as your body’s purification system.  

    The liver is the largest solid organ in your body located in your upper right abdomen, below your rib cage. 

    While we can’t include all 500 functions of the liver in this blog, we want to highlight key liver functions to help you understand why a healthy liver is essential to living a healthy, balanced, and active lifestyle.

    The Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at Columbia Surgery highlight these key liver functions:

    • Albumin Production: Albumin is a protein that keeps fluids in the bloodstream from leaking into surrounding tissue. It also carries hormones, vitamins, and enzymes through the body.
    • Bile Production: Bile is a fluid that is critical to the digestion and absorption of fats in the small intestine.
    • Filters Blood: All the blood leaving the stomach and intestines passes through the liver, which removes toxins, byproducts, and other harmful substances.
    • Regulates Amino Acids: The production of proteins depends on amino acids. The liver makes sure amino acid levels in the bloodstream remain healthy.
    • Regulates Blood Clotting: Blood clotting coagulants are created using Vitamin K, which can only be absorbed with the help of bile, a fluid the liver produces.
    • Resists Infections: As part of the filtering process, the liver also removes bacteria from the bloodstream. 
    • Stores Vitamins and Minerals: The liver stores significant amounts of vitamins A, D, E, K, and B12 as well as iron and copper. 
    • Processes Glucose: The liver removes excess glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and stores it as glycogen. As needed, it can convert glycogen back into glucose.

    Additionally, these four liver functions help underscore why liver health is central to how you look and feel, inside and out:

    1. Creates and stores energy: your liver creates, stores, and exports fat, keeping it available as an energy source. 
    2. Creates protein: along with helping you build and maintain muscle, protein is responsible for blood clotting, fighting infections, and moving critical substances in your blood.
    3. Hormone regulation: your liver is key to keeping your thyroid, adrenal, cortisone, and sex hormones balanced. These hormones are vital to your ability to burn fat, respond to stress, and staying healthy.
    4. Metabolizes carbohydrates and fats: a healthy liver ensures you can burn calories and fat efficiently – think of your liver as your fat-burning organ.

    Watch this video from the American Liver Foundation for an explanation of how the liver keeps you living well and feeling fantastic.

    What is Liver Disease?

    Liver disease includes a range of illnesses, disease, and conditions, some are genetic or inherited and some are caused by lifestyle habits and choices. 

    These liver disease facts from the American Liver Foundation highlight the seriousness of liver disease:

    • Approximately 5.5 million Americans are living with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.
    • 20 – 30% of American adults have excess fat in the liver or Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), which can lead to a more serious liver disease. 
    • Incidences of liver cancer have tripled since 1980. About 30,000 Americans die from liver cancer yearly.
    • Approximately 4.4 million Americans are living with hepatitis B or C – with many of these people not knowing they are affected.

    There are over 100 types of liver disease with an increasing number of people diagnosed with hepatitis C, NAFLD, and liver cancer. 

    Many people do not realize they have a liver disease because most of the symptoms are invisible or silent, and only obvious when serious health problems such as liver failure occur. 

    When symptoms of liver disease do appear, they can include:

    • Jaundiced or yellowish skin and eyes.
    • Stomach pain and swelling.
    • Persistently itchy skin.
    • Swollen ankles and legs.
    • Dark urine.
    • Constant fatigue and exhaustion.
    • Vomiting or nausea.
    • Lack of appetite.
    • Bruising easily.

    9 Ways to Have Healthy Liver

    While some liver diseases are caused by genetics, we want you to know that you can make lifestyle habits and choices to support your liver health. If you’ve been diagnosed with a liver disease, it’s critical you always follow the advice from your doctor. 

    These 9 strategies for supporting your liver health naturally are easy to incorporate into your lifestyle and after a few weeks, feel completely normal and simple to maintain.

    1. Move your body and exercise regularly. Critical to preventing lifestyle-related liver disease is maintaining a healthy body weight. Exercise is a key part in achieving this. Aim to move your body for a minimum of 30 minutes a day 5 – 6 days a week. Exercise helps stimulate blood flow, burns calories, builds lean muscle mass, and helps combat stress. 
    2. Eat a balanced diet. The American Liver Foundation explains a balanced diet for liver health as: Avoid high-calorie meals, saturated fat, refined carbohydrates (such as white bread, white rice, and regular pasta), and sugars. Don’t eat raw or undercooked shellfish. For a well-adjusted diet, eat fiber, which you can obtain from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads, rice, and cereals.  Also eat meat (but limit the amount of red meat), dairy (low-fat milk and small amounts of cheese) and fats (the “good” fats that are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish). Hydration is essential, so drink a lot of water
    3. Consume alcohol responsibly. If you have been diagnosed with a liver disease, please make sure you follow your doctor's advice on consuming alcohol. Alcohol is linked to many liver diseases and can cause permanent damage to your liver. 
    4. Be toxin aware. Wash your fresh produce, use natural beauty products and cleaners, and limit your exposure to tobacco, insecticide, additives, and fertilizer. Toxins can damage your liver cells. 
    5. Do not smoke. Smoking is linked to both cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. The toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke cause inflammation and scarring of your liver. If you’re diagnosed with hepatitis B or C, smoking increases your risk of hepatocellular cancer. 
    6. Wash your hands frequently. We touch so much with our hands, and we often touch our face and mouth with our hands. Because of this, it’s important you wash your hands frequently, particularly after using the bathroom, when preparing food and eating, and when traveling.
    7. Practice safe sex. Hepatitis A, B, and C can be transmitted sexually. Having sex with multiple partners or unprotected sex increases your risk of these preventable liver diseases. 
    8. Follow prescription medication advice. Your liver ensures your medications are absorbed properly. If you do not follow the label advice for your medications, you risk not only missing the benefits of these medications but also harming your liver. Do not mix medications, take too much, or substitute medications without consulting your doctor. 
    9. Support your liver. A proven liver supplement such as Liver Focus can help your body naturally defend against harmful toxins found in your everyday environment.

    You are what you eat, and we cannot stress enough how important a balanced diet is in preventing liver disease and supporting your liver health. For this reason, we have included these 10 supermarket tips from the American Liver Foundation:

    1. Pick out vegetables and fruits without high-calorie sauces or added salt and sugars.
    2. Choose fiber-rich whole grains
    3. Pick up poultry and fish without skin prepared in a healthy way.
    4. Decide over lean cuts of meat instead of those high in fat.
    5. Eat fish at least twice a week, especially fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. salmon, trout, and herring).
    6. Make sure your dairy is fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%).
    7. Avoid foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat.
    8. Limit saturated fat and trans fat by replacing them with better fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated).
    9. Cut back on beverage and foods with added sugars.
    10. Choose foods with less sodium and prepare foods with little or no salt.

    What Do I Need to Know About Liver Detoxing?

    Many people choose to do a liver detox or cleanse to help restore their liver health. There is lots of conflicting information available online about liver detoxing and cleansing – and we want to make sure you know how to detox your liver safely and naturally.

    Remember a liver detox is not a quick fix! Always strive to follow our 9 key strategies for a natural and healthy liver. If you do decide to do liver detox, remember these do’s and don’ts:

    • Do stay hydrated
    • Do exercise daily
    • Do sleep and rest
    • Do eat a balanced diet
    • Do avoid alcohol and sugar
    • Do use a natural liver supplement
    • Don’t follow a strict diet regimen
    • Don’t follow liver cleanse programs not backed by science
    • Don’t stress or worry about your liver health
    • Don’t expect overnight results

    For more advice and healthy liver strategies, make sure you subscribe to the Health Focused newsletter to be notified of our latest blogs and articles.  And follow our Instagram account to connect with other people who are interested in health, wellness, and well-being.

     

     

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