The liver is a very important part of the body and we cannot live without it. In fact, you can just give the body twenty-fours before it shuts down after the liver has failed. In total the liver performs over five hundred different functions and each one of them is vital for our survival.
One of the main functions of the liver though is ridding the body of harmful toxins. The entire process is called detoxification. This is needed in order to keep the body clean and free from free radicals that cause harmful diseases like cancer.
How The Liver Flushes Out Toxins
There are basically two ways on how the liver flushes out the toxins in the body. The first one would be breaking down the toxins and mixing it with bile. Other toxins, on the other hand, are turned water-soluble, passing them on to the kidneys to be turned into urine. The second way of getting rid of toxins is by binding them to other substances that can easily be flushed out, and this is only done for those components which are more difficult to remove from the body like drugs and harmful food additives.
If any of these processes are disrupted, the harmful toxins in our body would pile up, and the effect would exactly be like poisoning. Good thing though that there are different foods that we can actually eat in order to help our liver in dealing with these toxins. If you are concerned in helping out your liver in this aspect, then you should take a look into foods that have antioxidant qualities.
What Is A Fatty Liver?
It is important to keep in mind though that toxins are not the only components that can build up in our livers and cause harm to our bodies. Another substance that we should also be aware of is fat. Yes, fat can pile up in the liver as well, and while it is practically normal to have some amount of fat in the liver, too much can lead to a disease called steatosis, or more commonly known as fatty liver.
Fatty liver is actually one of the most common yet harmful diseases in the world today. There may different factors that cause it, but ultimately, it is the lifestyle of the modern world that is killing us. All this pollution, fast food, and unhealthy life style can definitely take toll on our body – most especially our liver. Having said that, according to studies, 10 to 20% of Americans actually have fatty liver, and we must take these numbers seriously because no matter how common it may be, it is still as dangerous. Fatty liver can lead to heart complications, diabetes, and even liver failure.
How Do I Know That I Have A Fatty Liver?
There are different ways to learn about a fatty liver. As any type of disease, it would start showing symptoms that something is wrong with your body. However, if you are not the type who can detect symptoms easily, or if you just want to make sure that you really don’t have one coming from a health professional, then you must pay a visit to your doctor’s office.
The doctor would be able to diagnose it through a simple physical exam. By examining your abdominal area, a doctor should be able to detect that something is wrong. If you are worried, you can help him out by providing him some useful information like if you drink alcohol, or if you feel constantly fatigued.
After that preliminary checkup, the doctor would usually schedule some lab tests just to make sure. These tests could be blood tests (to see if your liver enzymes are higher than the average), ultrasound and other image scans (to check if there is considerable fat in your liver), and finally a liver biopsy in order to know for certain that you do have a fatty liver and what had caused it.
You must not worry though because it is definitely treatable. There are even times when just a simple lifestyle change can reverse it.
Talking about lifestyle change, here is a guide for the food that you should eat, and the ones that you should avoid in order to help out your liver.
The Ten Rules Of the Fatty Liver Diet
Yes, we know that going on a fatty liver diet could be pretty hard, but with determination and perseverance, you will see that you will be cured from having a fatty liver in no time!
Avoid foods with saturated fat
. Saturated fat is the kind of fat that causes higher levels of cholesterol, and it is also the type of fat that we would want to get rid of. Hence, the best way to start in your journey towards a healthier liver is by cutting these types of fat from your system entirely. Food with high amounts of saturated fat are cream, butter, lard, fatty cuts of meat, processed meats, and chicken skin.
Minimize your sweets.
Do you have a sweet tooth that you just can’t resist? Then why not opt for healthier sweets instead like fruits. We know that it can be tempting sometimes to finish an entire tub of ice cream, or just indulge in a box of freshly –baked cupcakes. However, these foods are just not healthy for you if not eaten in moderation. In fact, sweet treats are big contributors to the obesity of people: eating sweet treats and a lack of exercise.
Say no to processed foods.
We know that it can be tempting to just opt for processed foods. Most of these foods only require a bit of cooking and you are good to go. Some of them don’t even require cooking anymore. You would be able to eat them as is, plus they are also very flavorful. However, processed foods also contain harmful chemical and preservatives that you would rather not burden your liver with further.
Switch to Salads.
This is one of the best ways to help out your fatty liver shed its unwanted fat – by adding more vegetables to your diet. If you were not fond of eating vegetables before, then now is the right time to get acquainted. What’s more is that some veggies even contain helpful antioxidants that could assist your liver, not only in burning fats, but also in removing harmful toxins that may also wreak havoc inside your body.
Then top your salad with olive oil.
Remember that we have mentioned that lard and butter are not advisable in a fatty liver diet? So are other tropical types of oil like coconut oil. The healthier and more delicious alternatives would be olive oil – but use it sparingly. It is still best to keep everything in moderation.
People who drink are simply more prone to liver diseases because alcohol just doesn’t blend well with our liver. Some studies show, though, that drinking a glass of red wine regularly is healthy. While it is said that the moderate amount of alcohol is one drink per day for the ladies, and two drinks a day for the men. However, it’s best to consult your physician first before drinking any alcoholic beverage, especially if you have been diagnosed with a liver complication already, like fatty liver. In the end, it is still best to stick to water instead, which brings us to the next point.
Drink more water.
Our body is made up of mostly water, and every minute we also lose water from our bodies as well. Hence, we must make it a point to hydrate ourselves regularly if we want to lead a healthier life. However, aside from that, water is also a good cleansing agent. You might say that you already know that, since we clean our homes with it and our bodies when we take a bath. But aside from that, it can also clean our body from within and this helps out our liver a lot. When you drink a lot of water, you also tend to perspire and pee a lot, and this gives the body more opportunity to remove toxins through urine and sweat.
Power up the fiber.
Water is not the only substance that can clean the body though. Foods with high-fiber also help out a lot when it comes to ridding the body of harmful toxins. Some food options are oatmeal, brown rice, and legumes. These are just a few though. There are certainly other high-fiber foods out there that you can try out. Just a quick search online will surely return you with a lot of food high-fiber food options.
Less is best!
Finally here is a motto that you can remember. It can go two ways and both ways are healthy and helpful for the liver. First, the lesser weight you have, the better. Obesity is also a primary cause of fatty liver. So if you would be able to shed some extra pounds then that would help your body out a lot. Don’t go on a crash diet though as it may cause you more harm than help. And for the second meaning of this motto…
Natural is better.
The lesser processes that the food has gone through, the better. You must search for foods that have not been processed yet, or have gone through only minimal processes. In this way, the food has been less exposed to harmful chemicals and toxins that may further harm your liver.
How Can I Prevent A Fatty Liver?
Aside from the dietary tips that we have given you above, there are other ways that you can help your liver out and prevent getting a fatty liver in the first place. One of the best ways is to get active by having a regular physical activity like jogging or working out. Even by just taking a walk every morning is already a big help in order to keep your liver h3 and fat free.
Also, don’t be too complacent with your body. We know that the modern world can be pretty stressful. We sit in our cars at the start of the day and stress out over traffic. At work, we also sit all day, while again, stressing out – but this time in meeting deadlines, dealing with hard clients and co-workers. So whenever we get home, all we want to do is eat whatever comfort food we want to eat and sleep. And during weekends, it’s the same thing, just laying on the couch and resting. We know it is hard to make changes but we really need to get past that. We need to be proactive and take control over our body. Don’t let our lives dictate us, let us dictate our lives and set it towards the path that we want: the path to a healthier and longer life. And by doing that, we are doing not just our liver, but our entire body a favor. By doing that, everything will just follow. You will already notice a big change in yourself. you will feel less stressed. You will feel more energetic. And all of a sudden, you will stop craving for unhealthy foods anymore.
What Can Possibly Happen In The Future?
As what we have already mentioned above, a lifestyle change could certainly heal a fatty liver, and once it has been remedied then you should have nothing to worry about anymore. Very few cases really lead to more serious liver issues. However, you must keep in mind that if you don’t continue with your healthy lifestyle then your liver would certainly start accumulating fat again. Hence, it is really a never ending process of keeping your body healthy if you want to get rid of fatty liver forever.
If you would only follow the tips that we have already mentioned, then you should not have anything else to think about. Stay healthy!