Learn to Love Your Liver
Your liver is amazing. That’s right…we said amazing.
For starters, your liver is the second largest organ in your body. Your skin is the only organ that’s bigger. (And yes…your skin is actually an organ.)
Your liver is as big as a football and weighs in at a hefty three pounds. And at any time, it holds up to 13% of your blood supply.
But more important than your liver’s size is what it does. Your liver is responsible for five hundred different and vital tasks that keep you healthy. We won’t list them all, but here are just a few of the more important ones:
- Filtering toxins out of your blood and sending those toxins to your kidneys or gut for removal.
- Removing sugar from your bloodstream after each meal and storing it as glycogen for later use.
- Keeping your blood glucose levels consistent.
- Breaking down fats from your food so they can be stored for later use.
- Storing vitamins and minerals so they’re available when needed.
And that’s just scratching the surface. In fact, your liver performs so many vital and complex functions that it’s irreplaceable. Medical technology can replace (at least temporarily) your heart, lungs, and kidneys…but not your liver.
And if your liver isn’t working properly, your other organs won’t work well, either.
So…let’s talk about how to keep your liver healthy.
Keys to Good Liver Health
There are several commonsense ways to keep your liver healthy…so it can keep you healthy. These include:
- Eating a healthy diet
- Limiting alcohol
- Monitoring your meds
- Drinking coffee or tea
- Being smart about supplements
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Avoiding toxins
Cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli and brussels sprouts), and foods that are high in antioxidants (like citrus fruits, blueberries, and grapes) all contribute to liver health. Stick to whole grains in place of simple carbs and sugar.
Alcohol makes your liver work harder and requires it to stop doing other important jobs while it concentrates on removing the alcohol from your bloodstream. And chronic over-consuming can cause conditions like cirrhosis and fatty liver disease.
So drink alcohol in moderation. That means no more than two drinks per day for men, and no more than one drink per day for women.
Many over-the-counter and prescription medications can hurt your liver. Always follow instructions when taking medications and ask your doctor or pharmacist about drug interactions that may affect your liver.
Studies show that drinking a few cups of coffee or tea every day supports liver health.
Everything that goes into your body gets filtered through your liver. That includes supplements…even supplements that are touted as being healthy for your liver.
When it comes to supplements, people frequently assume that if a little of something is good, then more must be better. Or they assume that if something is marketed as a supplement, it’s automatically safe to take. Neither of these is necessarily true.
It’s important to take the right supplements in the right amounts. It’s also important to get your supplements from a reputable source so you can be sure you’re actually getting what you’re supposed to be getting.
An unfortunate reality is that up to 25% of liver problems can be traced to improper supplement use. Don’t go it alone when putting together a supplement regime. Get professional advice.
Try to keep your body mass index (BMI) between 18 and 25 to minimize your risk for developing fatty liver disease. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the best tools in your wellness toolbox for accomplishing this.
Cleaning products, insecticides, herbicides, and preservatives can all contain harmful toxins.
Contrary to popular belief, your liver doesn’t “store” toxins…but it does have to work extra hard to remove them from your body. And toxins can damage your liver cells during this process.
It isn’t a stretch to say that your liver is one of the most important organs in your body. Take good care of it and it will take good care of you.
Want to learn more about taking better care of your liver? Call us at 800-859-7511 or use our contact form to schedule your free 30-minute consultation.