Your liver plays an essential role in keeping your body healthy by breaking down fats, producing bile, and flushing out toxins from your bloodstream.
Follow a healthy lifestyle and diet to lower the risk of liver damage, including eating foods rich in dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium.
Eat a Healthy Diet
The liver is an integral organ that plays an integral part of our bodies, helping to cleanse toxins while producing new proteins, fats and carbohydrates for use later. Furthermore, it stores vitamins that may later be needed by our bodies.
Attaining a healthy diet is key to lowering your risk of chronic liver disease, so eating foods from all five food groups — fruits, vegetables, dairy and protein foods — as well as including lean meats such as fish and low-fat dairy can be essential in keeping the liver strong.
Nuts are another great source of nutrients that promote liver health, including unsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E. By helping prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) while decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress, nuts can support optimal liver function.
Not only can consuming a balanced diet reduce liver damage risks, but exercising and drinking alcohol responsibly also can. Exercise can increase lean muscle mass and metabolism which in turn prevent excess fatty deposits in your liver from building up.
Weight training may also help lower the risk of chronic liver conditions like NASH by strengthening your immune system and increasing blood circulation to the liver. Furthermore, weight training promotes production of anti-inflammatory agents which may improve liver health.
Other lifestyle factors, such as restricting your intake of fast foods and choosing healthier takeout meals from restaurants, may help decrease liver damage risks. You can achieve this goal by replacing such items with healthier options such as grilled chicken, baked potatoes, dry beans or low-fat dairy products.
Consuming foods high in calories, saturated fat and added sugars can contribute to liver damage as well as increase obesity and type 2 diabetes risks. Fatty foods include fast food meals, packaged snacks and chips.
Diets containing plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes as well as less fat from dairy products, meat and other sources should help reduce liver damage. In particular, avoid trans fats, added sugars and salt that could damage livers further.
Exercise can help maintain liver health by decreasing your risk of fatty liver disease and strengthening both immunity and mental well-being.
Exercise as little or as much as you desire and fit it into your lifestyle – from walking or swimming, to gentle yoga sessions. Even just 10-20 minutes per day of physical activity can make a significant impactful change for overall health and wellbeing.
Studies demonstrate the benefits of regular physical exercise on liver health. Not only can regular exercise reduce your risk of getting a fatty liver and help extend life span but it can also enhance heart health, lower blood pressure, and help you maintain a healthy weight.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, such as walking or swimming. Moderate intensity resistance training that burns 70% of your maximum heart rate may also prove beneficial according to Dr. Lewis’ expertise in liver disease and nutrition.
Integrating cardiovascular training into your exercise regime can help your body deliver more oxygen throughout the day, increasing energy levels and elevating mood while simultaneously decreasing stress levels and improving sleep quality.
Balanced neurotransmitter levels can also promote feelings of well-being and strength. Regular yoga practice may ease depression, anxiety, stress and other negative moods by activating endorphins release and decreasing cortisol levels.
Recent evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of exercise as an aid against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Physical activity could help safeguard against this potentially lethal condition that occurs when fat builds up in your liver and becomes stored there.
New research published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology found that those who exercise regularly – at least 150 minutes each week – were more likely to have reduced amounts of fat stored in their liver compared with those who didn’t exercise as frequently.
Regular physical activity keeps your body in an active state of fat-burning mode and may help prevent excess fat storage in your liver.
This is especially important for individuals who are overweight or obese, who can reduce their risks of fatty liver disease by maintaining a body mass index (BMI) between 18-25. Doing this requires daily physical activity as part of a balanced diet while striving to reach healthy weight goals.
Alcohol is an extremely addictive substance and can result in many health complications, from mental and behavioral disorders to noncommunicable diseases and injuries. Chronic use may even increase your risk of liver damage.
A healthy liver is resilient and capable of healing itself, but repeated alcohol misuse can compromise this capacity to regenerate, leading to irreparable damage that leads to cirrhosis – which can be serious and life-threatening disease.
The severity of liver cirrhosis depends on many factors, including genetics. Family histories of liver damage increase your chances of developing it; other contributing factors could include your race, gender and alcohol consumption habits.
Alcoholic cirrhosis is more likely among individuals who drink frequently or in excess of 21 years, who consume large volumes, and who are aged over 21. Obese and diabetic individuals face even higher risks of alcohol-induced liver damage.
Your diet can increase the risk of liver damage. Overweight or obese individuals are especially prone to developing fatty liver disease because their bodies have difficulty absorbing nutrients properly; heavy alcohol use only compounds this problem by blocking absorption.
An effective way to avoid alcohol is to follow a balanced diet consisting of lean protein, vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Try to limit processed foods in your diet while prioritizing fresh ingredients when possible.
Genetics also plays a part in your risk of liver damage. For instance, certain enzymes that help metabolize alcohol might be missing in certain people and increase their likelihood of damage to the liver.
Avoid alcohol and lead a healthier lifestyle to reduce your risk of liver disease, including eating well-balanced meals, engaging in regular physical activity and getting regular check-ups from your physician.
Alcohol may also need to be avoided if you suffer from certain medical conditions, including hepatitis B or C viruses which increase your risk of liver damage by interfering with its normal functioning.
One of the best ways to lower your risk of liver damage is quitting smoking, as doing so will lower your risks of cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease and other related health problems associated with smoking.
The liver is an essential organ, vital in detoxifying our bodies of harmful toxins such as those found in cigarettes. When people smoke, these toxins accumulate in their livers and may cause many forms of damage.
Smoking impacts all individuals differently. While some may experience no side effects when quitting smoking, others may develop strong cravings for tobacco that make them feel restless or hungry; and may have difficulty sleeping or focusing.
Smoking harms the liver by creating oxidative stress, leading to fibrosis which ultimately progresses into cirrhosis and eventually liver failure, blood vessel and tissue damage, or even cancerous growths in the liver.
For added protection from oxidative stress, the liver can produce certain antioxidants. Supplementing with vitamins, minerals or supplements containing these antioxidants may be useful.
Eating healthily is also key in protecting the liver. A diet filled with fruits, vegetables and whole grains may help shield it from harmful toxins, while limiting consumption of fatty foods and sugary beverages will keep it strong.
Atkins suggests eating multiple smaller meals each day instead of only one or two large ones to maintain stable blood sugar and energy levels, and help manage appetite more effectively by curbing cravings and curbing appetite.
If you are an active smoker, attending a stop-smoking class or adopting a self-help plan to assist in quitting may help significantly. Counseling may also prove useful.
Recognizing smoking triggers is essential to quitting. These could include social pressure to smoke or specific places or situations that make you likely to crave tobacco products.
As well as delaying your urge to smoke until you have time to think it through, try postponing your desire until the urge has subsided – sometimes this only takes minutes!
When feeling an urge to smoke, deep breathe and try to distract yourself by doing something else instead. A glass of water may also help alleviate cravings.