The toxins that enter our body are handed over to our liver for processing and eliminating. Thus liver is essential for our existence. Let’s avoid these liver-unfriendly habits and handle it with extra care.
The liver is not just the largest internal organ in our body but it is also one of the most important and delicate organs. Right from filtering toxins to producing bile and transforming carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, and vitamins, liver performs all the vital functions of our body. Sometimes our wrong lifestyle habits too can cause consequences that may damage our liver. Here are a few practical and effective guidelines to take a better care of your liver:
High Cholesterol: For detoxification of our liver we should have a fat free diet. Cholesterol as we know is a type of fat that the liver synthesizes and then our body uses it as a source of energy. So, even though it is important component of our diet, we should make sure to not to have cholesterol rich diet in excess. This includes red meats, foods rich in fats, sugars, salt, etc. High cholesterol very often causes many liver diseases, like the fatty liver, which is also one of the most common diseases in the world according to the World Health Organization. One may substitute high cholesterol foods for fibre rich vegetables, whole grains, etc.
Skipping Breakfast: Many of us ditch our daily breakfast due to lack of time in morning or for the sake of losing weight, but this is very unhealthy practice. As we wake up, our energy reserve of glucose is very low and this tends to affect the proper functioning of our liver. Hence having daily morning breakfast is essential not just for proper functioning of our liver but also our brain and body.
Late Risers and Late Sleepers: These days it’s a common practice among youngsters to sleep and wake up late. This is another unhealthy lifestyle habit that we need to avoid. Not that early to bed and early to rise makes us healthy, wealthy and wise but also our body is designed in such a way that at certain times in the night, it carries out certain detoxification processes important for our well being. For example: lymphatic system carries out detoxification first. Also, liver detoxifies in the early morning hours and these processes are carried out properly only when we are in a deep sleep. If we break these natural cycles in the body, it affects the repairing of these organs.
Avoiding Protein-Rich Foods: Bad food habit shows its adverse effect. However, eating a balanced diet provides support and good health to our liver. For instance, patients who suffer from liver cirrhosis need to have protein rich diet so that the liver can repair itself and prevent any further damage. It’s important to remember that most of the time liver malfunction is a consequence of a poor diet that lack nutrients and is rich in fats only.
Excess Alcohol Consumption: It’s a common fact that excess of alcohol consumption proves harmful for the health of our liver. In fact excess of alcohol or alcohol based drinks can cause severe alcohol-induced liver diseases such as alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis (condition where liver becomes scarred and deformed).
Binging on Processed/Packaged Foods: Unnaturally sweetened and processed foods are full of sugar and almost no dietary fibre, which is not good for the health of our liver and it should therefore be avoided as often as possible. Besides all the excess fat that we consume gets stored in the abdomen but also creeps into our liver. In fact, that’s one of the reasons why obesity and fatty liver disease is linked.
Not urinating in the Morning: Many a times people wake up in a jiffy and straightaway rush for their work. With the result, they skip going to washroom and avoid their breakfast and just rush out. This is a very unhealthy habit as holding your urge to urinate can not only damage your liver, but also your kidneys. Hence it’s important to urinate before leaving your house in the morning.
About the author- Dr. R P Singh Malhotra, Director, Liver Transplant & Gastro Sciences, Healthy Human Clinic, New Delhi