This month, we’re celebrating the body’s hardest-worker: the liver. HiDoc Pulse shows you the many ways you can recalibrate your life, through diet and lifestyle choices that promote optimal liver function. Download our app to experience specialist healthcare with the ease of a phone call.
If you had one person who is concerned with the tiniest thread of your life: gave you energy, nursed you when you were sick, cleaned up after you, helped you feel better in general — you’d never jeopardise that bond.
Within your body, the liver is that very someone. Yet most of us don’t do enough to help it — maybe because we struggle narrowing it down to just one or two things we can do to help. So here’s a breakdown of liver functions and corresponding things we can do.
- Blood cleansing: The liver metabolises alcohol and other drugs and chemicals, to neutralise and destroy poisonous substances.
- Regulates your body fuel: The liver produces, stores and supplies quick energy (glucose) to keep your mind and your body active. It also produces, stores and exports fat.
- Makes essential body proteins: These transport substances in your blood, help it clot, and provide resistance to infections.
- Regulates hormones: Including thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones, as well as cortisone.
- Regulates cholesterol: It produces cholesterol, excretes and converts it to other essential substances.
- Regulates essential vitamins and minerals: Such as iron and copper.
- Produces bile: Eliminates toxic substances from the body and aids digestion.
- Sip Tea: One large Japanese study found that drinking 5 to 10 cups of green tea per day was associated with improved blood markers of liver health. Green and black tea, said to contain antioxidants and nutrients, is also credited with improved enzyme levels.
- Milk Thistle: Traditionally used to treat liver and gallbladder disorders, milk thistle has even been used to protect it from poisons, including snake bites, alcohol and other environmental toxins.
- Use Medications Wisely: Stick to consuming prescription and nonprescription drugs only when you need to, and only in recommended doses. Don’t mix your alcohol with medications. Do consult your doctor before consuming herbal supplements or prescription or nonprescription drugs.
- Drink Coffee: The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology published a 2014 study suggesting that a morning java shot (or two) can positively influence liver enzymes, increase protective antioxidants, and apparently reduce fat buildup in the liver.
- Get That Fatty Fish: The fats found in fatty fish are beneficial for the liver, as well as your heart. They are shown to help prevent fat from building up, and keep enzyme levels normal, fight inflammation and improve insulin resistance.
- Check Your Weight: Obesity can cause nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Eat Cranberries, Blueberries and Grapefruit: Consuming berries for 3 to 4 weeks was found to protect the liver from damage. Meanwhile, grapefruit’s antioxidants may reduce the harmful development of hepatic fibrosis, in which excessive connective tissue builds up in the liver, typically as a result of chronic inflammation.
NB. If you ever experience increasingly severe signs and symptoms of health issues, consult with a HiDoc specialist immediately. Download the HiDoc app now to access our health screening services, book a consultation with a specialist, or find a supplement that’s right for you at HiDoc’s in-app eShop. Sign up to HiDoc Pulse to stay in touch with health information that empowers, strengthens and inspires.
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