The liver is the body’s silent servant: It quietly and unobtrusively performs hundreds of vital tasks...and often doesn’t show signs of distress until a problem has progressed. Here’s how to keep this vital organ healthy.
Your liver processes everything that enters your body, including alcohol...which can lead to serious liver issues if you drink enough of it. That’s why limiting your alcohol intake, if not eliminating it entirely, will help make your liver happy.†
Reduce consumption by setting a limit before you go out and sipping drinks slowly, and find ways to socialize in which drinking doesn’t play a role. If you’re a woman, take note: Your liver is more susceptible than a man’s to alcohol’s harmful effects.
Smoking doesn’t do your liver any favors either. If you smoke, quit.
Believe it or not, sugar is almost as bad for your liver as alcohol. It’s no accident thatnonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a buildup of fat within the liver, and type 2 diabetes often occur together.†
Besides cutting out such obvious sources as pastry and candy, look for sugar hidden in processed foods. Any sugar you eat should come from moderate amounts of fruit, in which the sugar content is balanced out by fiber, water and valuable phytonutrients.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Carrying excessive weight is a significant risk factor for NAFLD.†
One way to cut back on sugar and keep your weight under control is by switching to a Mediterranean diet, one that emphasizes plant-based foods, fish and poultry, and whole carbs—legumes, beans, chickpeas, etc.—instead of sugary stuff. (It does include red wine in moderate amounts; speak with your practitioner about balancing wine’s potential benefits against the potential harm caused by its alcohol content.)
Diet’s eternal partner, exercise, not only helps with weight control, but evidence suggests that it also benefits the liver directly.†
Make a conscious effort to move more by getting a pedometer to count your steps. Or you can set a reminder on your computer or smartphone to get up and move throughout the day.
Yoga offers liver-loving poses such as Wide-Legged Forward Fold (the chair version) and Seated Side Twist. Consult a registered yoga teacher if you have any pre-existing conditions.
Reduce Your Toxin Exposure
It’s a poisonous world out there, and one of the liver’s most important jobs is protecting you from it. You can help your liver out by avoiding toxin intake as much as possible.
You can’t eliminate all risk, of course. But taking the following steps will help: Install a high-quality water filter, stay inside as much as possible if air pollution levels are high (and use air purifiers), use non-toxic cleaning agents (and properly dispose of old ones), hang dry-cleaned items outside to air them out and don’t let paints, solvents and similar substances come into contact with your skin.
In addition, some practitioners recommend periodic cleanses using fiber and other natural substances.* If you have a pre-existing condition, check with your practitioner first.
†The information provided is not an endorsement of any product, and is intended for educational purposes only. NaturesPlus does not provide medical advice and does not offer diagnosis of any conditions. Current research on this topic is not conclusive and further research may be needed in order to prove the benefits described.
The conditions and symptoms described may be indicative of serious health problems, and therefore should be brought to the attention of a qualified healthcare practitioner.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.