Dr Paramesh Rangesh, April 21, 2012Liver is the one of the most important organs in the body and plays a pivotal role in overseeing almost all bodily functions. Weighing about 1.5 kilograms, it stores minerals, vitamins and manufactures new proteins when needed. The liver also produces bile, which aids in the process of fat digestion. The organ is responsible for breaking down therapeutic ingredients in medicine, so that it can be quickly absorbed by the body. Its supportive role in building coagulation capability helps in forming blood clots.
Interestingly, the liver can also completely regenerate itself. From just 25 per cent functionality, it can still rebuild itself into a fully-functional liver. Here are some healthy factors that will nurture the liver:
* Healthy diet: a diet rich in magnesium, iron, and carbohydrates will keep the liver healthy and help in detoxifying the body. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day is also essential.
* Avoid alcohol: Consuming large amounts of alcohol can lead to three serious conditions — alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis and a fatty liver. Keep alcohol intake to a bare minimum or avoid alcohol altogether.
* Avoid drugs: recreational drugs severely damage liver cells. Some prescription drugs can also be hepatotoxic, so do not exceed the recommended dosage of medication, unless advised by a doctor.
* Organic foods: organic fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants that protect the liver as well as help in its cleansing processes. Try to include organic foods in your diet.
* Avoid environmental pollutants: toxic fumes from paint thinners, bug sprays and other aerosols can enter the body through tiny blood vessels in your lungs and are carried to your liver, which can cause injury to the organ. Wear a protective mask when using these products.
* Get vaccinated: remember to vaccinate yourself against viral liver disease like hepatitis A and B.
The liver loves...
* Garlic: it is known to activate liver enzymes that flush away toxins from the body.
* Green, leafy vegetables: they are high in chlorophylls —spinach, mustard greens, broccoli and cabbage are great detoxifiers. Others like chicory and bitter melon help in increasing bile production.
* Turmeric: it is not only good for your curries, but boosts liver detoxification by flushing out known dietary carcinogens.
* Lemon and lime: they contain very high amounts of Vitamin C, which aids the body in synthesising toxic material into substance that can be absorbed by water. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon or lime juice in the morning helps stimulate the liver.
* Beets and carrots: they help the liver by eliminating toxins like heavy metals from the body. They are also high in plant-flavanoids and beta-carotene that improve overall health.