6 Things That Can Cause Damage to Your Liver and What You Should Eat Instead
Want to know what common things you may be doing and eating that are causing damage to your liver? Here are a few things you should avoid and what you should eat instead.
There is a reason that the liver is called a “vital” organ. It is one of the most essential organs that keeps your body functioning properly. It does the crucial job of filtering all the toxins that you consume, and cleansing your body out regularly so that they don’t linger in your body. It also produces bile which helps you digest the food you ate. The liver admittedly has a very hard job to perform in your body, so it’s important that it gets all the help it can get. To do that, find out what things you should stay away from that can damage your liver and find out the things you can consume to nourish it instead.
It is common knowledge that too much sugar is bad for you, but did you know that sugar can be just as damaging to your liver as alcohol? The liver uses a type of sugar called “fructose” to produce fats that are necessary for your body function. Sugary foods or foods with high-fructose corn syrup will cause too much buildup of fructose which will then cause a buildup of fat. Fats are necessary for your body to function, but too much of it can cause liver disease.
Healthy fats and cholesterol are actually necessary for our body and brain, however, trans fats are not one of them. Eggs, almonds, and avocados have healthy fats that your body needs, but trans fat is a type of fat that is devoid of nutrition and something that your body doesn’t really need. A lot of everyday foods can contain trans fat, so make sure that you watch the content of what you eat. Too much trans fat can lead to fatty liver disease and weight gain which can impair the function of your liver.
Sodas and Soft Drinks
Sodas and soft drinks can be another staple in your everyday life. If you eat out a lot, there may be times that you order soda to go along with your meal instead of just water. This may be a bad choice for your liver. Not only are sodas and soft drinks high in sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, a study also shows that those who drink soda and soft drinks frequently are more likely to have NAFLD, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
There are a lot of people who reach for pain relievers on a regular basis. If you have any sort of recurring pain like migraines, muscle pain, back pain, or even menstrual cramps, you may find yourself consuming more and more pain relievers to ease your discomfort. However, pain relievers have a particular ingredient called “acetaminophen” which, if consumed too much, can cause damage to your liver. If you take painkillers regularly, make sure that you read the instructions carefully and never go over the dosage on the instruction label. To be even more careful, or if you have any medical conditions, consult your doctor about the recommended dosage for you.
Since the liver produces its own type of fat to keep your body functioning, it doesn’t really need any extra fats that could overload it or cause a buildup. If you are overweight, you have a higher risk of damaging your liver by causing a fat buildup or even having NAFLD. Over time, your liver will build up scar tissue, and it can swell and harden which will cause it to malfunction or even stop functioning completely. This condition is called cirrhosis. You can prevent this by shedding some of those extra pounds by dieting and exercising regularly.
You may be surprised to see a vitamin added to “the bad” section of this list, but no, your eyes don’t deceive you, vitamin A can cause damage to your liver. Vitamin A in itself can be very good for your eyesight, brain, skin, and immune system, but consuming too much of it, particularly in supplement form, can be bad for your liver. Instead of taking artificial supplements, opt to get your vitamin A fix from fruits, vegetables, and other foods with naturally occurring vitamin A in them.
Broccoli is naturally high in fiber that will help your digestive system and liver along to cleanse the toxins that you have consumed over time. Besides being high in fiber, broccoli is also very high in antioxidants and contain glucosinolates which help the liver produce enzymes that will flush the toxins and carcinogens from your body and improve your digestive system.
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, an anti-inflammatory that will not only protect your liver from getting inflamed but also prevent heart disease and hypertension. It’s already been established that too much vitamin A supplements can lead to liver damage, however, sweet potatoes are a great source of natural vitamin A that will directly convert in your liver. It’s important that you get a healthy and natural dose of vitamin A from fruits and veggies instead of supplements. Sweet potatoes (with skin) also contain vitamin C and fiber that will fight the toxins in your body and boost your immune system.
Tea has been used as an herbal remedy for thousands of years. It’s one of the best ways to cleanse your liver of toxins and aid your digestive system. Find yourself a blend of tea with a lot of antioxidant properties. The best ones you can look for are chamomile tea, dandelion tea, oolong tea, black tea, licorice tea, and a lot of others that have fantastic cleansing qualities. Drink a cup of tea every night before you go to bed to give yourself a little time to relax, and to give your liver a nice cleanse.
Apples contain a unique nutrient called “pectin” that is super effective at helping remove toxins and cholesterol from your blood which your liver will greatly appreciate. They’re also rich in malic acid which is a powerful antioxidant that will rid your body of toxins and carcinogens.
Garlic contains allicin and selenium which are two of the most powerful nutrients your liver can consume. Selenium is a detoxifying mineral that will cleanse your body of toxins while allicin can boost your immune system significantly. Both of those jobs are greatly dependent on the liver, so it’s nice to help it out once in awhile by consuming some helpful nutrients.
Salmon is one of those foods that contain the “healthy” fats that your body needs. Salmon and other fatty fishes contain omega-3 which is a fatty acid that is used to treat non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Be Good to Your Liver
Your liver has taken care of you for many, many years and its job is definitely not an easy one. It does a lot to filter out all the bad things that you consume like fast food, desserts, or even when you’ve had a little too much to drink with your friends. You don’t have to give anything up completely, but you can pay your liver back for all its hard work by staying away from things that can damage it as much as possible and helping it out with some nutritious food that will help make its job easier.