Your liver plays an important role in keeping your body functioning – in fact, it performs more than 500 functions that involve processing everything you eat and drink. You need to keep your liver healthy and functioning — Here’s how:
Use condoms. Out of the five main types of the hepatitis virus (A, B, C, D and E) types A, B and C are the most dangerous and can cause long-term damage to the liver. Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through unprotected sex with multiple partners. To that end, prevent contracting the disease (among others) by using condoms every time you engage in sex.
Manage medication your medication. Most drugs are broken down in the liver after being metabolized by your digestive system, with the liver taking the lead in this process. That means you can damage your liver if you use medication incorrectly – for example, when you take more than the prescribed dose, use the wrong kind or you mix prescriptions that weren’t advised by a physician. If any questions arise when taking medication, speak to your doctor or chemist immediately. Always read and follow all instructions closely.
Maintain a healthy diet. According to the Functional Medicine Institute in Tulsa, Oklahoma, “While nearly every cell in the body is able to metabolize glucose, only the liver cells can handle fructose. Too much fructose over time can become overwhelm the liver.” Swap out sweets that are high in refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup with natural sweeteners like fruit and stevia. Avoid saturated fat and refined carbs (white bread, white rice and regular pasta). And make sure you get enough fiber from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, rice and cereals.
Curb alcohol consumption. Regularly consuming excessive amounts of hard alcohol can cause immense damage to liver cells causing cirrhosis. Women should limit their consumption to one drink per day (5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or a 1.5-ounce shot of an 80-proof liquor) while men should only have two.
Regular exercising can help the body burn triglycerides for fuel, which can help reduce liver fat. An exercise program that includes both cardio (walking, cycling, HIIT or swimming) and weight training can improve your liver function. Weight training also prevents a build-up of excess body fat, which can cause fatty liver and result in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) which can cause your liver to become non-functional.
With these steps, we’re sure you’ll have a healthy liver for life!