Whether you’re an average Joe or an athlete, your liver health should be taken seriously. A healthy liver is important and prevention is the first step to ensure that you will keep your liver functioning optimally.
Why liver health is important
Your liver plays a crucial role in your overall health. Your liver processes nearly everything you consume including proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Most of us have overburdened livers due to the toxic foods we eat, the medications we take, and our daily exposures to toxins.
The liver produces bile that helps break down, fat and it acts as a filter to remove toxins from the blood. But sometimes harmful toxins get trapped in liver cells, or they can create free radicals. These toxins that are not eliminated can damage your liver.
Weight loss and liver health
The liver also plays a crucial role in weight loss by helping metabolize fat. If your liver becomes overworked and sluggish, your body will become ineffective at both digestion and the breaking down of fat. This in turn leads to weight gain and a myriad of other health problems. To make our livers healthy, we must consume a healthy diet and be aware of what we can do to avoid liver damage.
So how can you make sure your liver is functioning at an optimum level?
Tip #1 – Drink water
Avoid coffee, fruit juice and soda and drink water instead. Water is very important for detoxifying the body.
Tip #2 – Sweat it out
No matter how you do it, sweat it out. Sweating helps eliminate toxins through your pores and places less stress on the liver. Exercise is the obvious choice, but a sauna is an excellent choice and can do wonders for you whole body too.
Tip #3 – Avoid environmental toxins
You are exposed to harmful toxins everyday of your life. Environmental toxins are transported from you lungs to your liver. Some we can’t avoid and some we can. You can cut down on some exposure in your home by using environmental friendly cleaning products.
For personal care products choose deodorants, shampoos and conditioners that are paraben free and don’t contain any harmful ingredients such as petrolatum, sodium lauryl or laureth sulfates (SLS) or phthalates. Women should choose a mineral based make up.
Tip #4- Know what you are taking
Most people have no clue as to what they are taking when it comes to their medications. Make sure you understand what medications can cause liver damage and which ones can worsen a preexisting condition. Whether it is a prescription or over- the-counter medication; make sure you are not exceeding the dose, and not mixing medications that could cause an adverse reaction.
Acetaminophen when combined with alcohol can damage your liver. Vitamin A and D are healthy supplements, but if taken in higher doses can also cause potential harm to a healthy liver.
Tip #5-Avoid aspirin and pain medications
We all have aches and pains and as athletes more so than other individuals. Avoid ingesting medications for pain relief. Try Icy Hot, Tiger Balm, ice or heat. These are topical and won’t go systemic and harm the liver.
Tip #6-Capsules and powders
How many pills do you ingest in a day? Your body has to break all of that down and process it. Most of the capsules we ingest contain a gelatin coating, also cellulose, silicon dioxide and magnesium stearate which are hard for the liver to break down.
A better option is to purchase capsules that you can open. Most capsules unless slow release, can be opened and sprinkled into food or a shake. Powders are also an excellent option as they are easier to assimilate and put less stress on the liver.
Tip #7-Be good to your gut
Taking a high quality probiotic daily provides healthy gut bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This helps put less stress on your liver.
Tip #8-Choose stainless steel over plastic
You’ve heard it before, but drinking out of plastic water bottles is unhealthy. The chemicals from the plastic leech into the water and then we ingest them into our bodies. Opt for a stainless steel water bottle.
Tip #9-Eat a healthy diet
Make sure your diet is working for you rather than against you. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables; they help to naturally detoxify the body. When you can, buy organic. Organic fruits and vegetables have a higher percentage of antioxidants than regular produce.
Sulfur-rich foods such broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, garlic, kale, onions, and Swiss chard can help to detoxify your liver. Include foods that are higher in fiber in your diet apples, oatmeal and pears are solid choices.
Tip #10-Avoid the junk
Avoid processed foods, refined sugars and alcohol as these are big offenders. Processed foods contain trans fats or fructose. Cookies, donuts, baked goods and French fries contain trans fats. And fruit juices and sodas are high in fructose.
Be wary if the label contains hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, this means it contains some form of trans fat. Studies have shown that a diet high in fructose and trans fats can lead to fatty liver disease.
A powerful antioxidant that supports healthy liver function is Alpha Lipoic Acid.
Milk Thistle is known for protecting and promoting liver health by boosting the liver’s ability to repair itself. Milk Thistle also contains Silymarin which acts as an antioxidant.
You can keep your liver running efficiently by avoiding contact with harmful toxins and ingesting them. If you have a healthy liver these 11 tips can help you protect it.
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