Boost Your Liver
The liver is one of the busiest organs of the body. From producing bile for digestion to eliminating toxins from the body, the liver performs more than 500 different functions on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the major cons of today’s fast paced lifestyle include high stress levels, increased junk food consumption, heavy drinking, incessant smoking and self-medication. All of these factors tend to take a severe toll on your liver in the long run. In the past two weeks I have shared the importance and the functioning of the liver and gallbladder. Here are ways you can reduce the effects of your stressful lifestyle on your liver and gallbladder and keep it healthy. Add the following natural remedies to your diet.
- Amla or Gooseberry: The Indian gooseberry or amla is known as one of the richest sources of vitamin C. What is less well-known is its ability to keep the liver functioning at optimal levels. This herb has been used extensively in Ayurveda for the treatment of sluggish liver; now researchers are finding in laboratory studies that extracts from amla have liver-protective function. However, there is no clear indication of whether it is useful to treat any diseases.
- Licorice: This has been used in Ayurveda for long times to cure liver ailments like non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In this condition, the blood level of transaminase enzymes called ALT and AST increase to harmful levels for the liver. Research suggests that licorice (Jethimad or Mulhati in Hindi) extracts reduce the concentration of these enzymes, indicating its beneficial effect on the liver.
- Guduchi: Also known as Amrith is yet another herb that Ayurveda considers to have rejuvenating properties and is commonly grown in many kitchen gardens. It is said to have the ability to clear toxins from the liver as well as strengthen its functioning. More importantly, Amrith does not cause any significant complications even when used for long-term.
- Turmeric: Packed with valuable antioxidants, turmeric is an important herb that improves liver health. Some studies have shown that the antiviral action of turmeric is effective in preventing multiplication of the viruses causing hepatitis B and C.
- Flaxseeds: Certain receptor sites normally bind hormones and keep them circulating in the blood. This exerts strain on the liver to filter out these excess hormones. Studies have found that the phyto constituents in flaxseeds have the capacity to bind such receptor sites, preventing hormonal binding. This reduces the work load on the liver. Sprinkling few crushed or whole flaxseeds on your toast, salad or cereals to reap their liver-protective benefits can be a healthy habit.
- Vegetables: Certain vegetables contain ingredients that help the liver secrete greater concentrations of important enzymes. In turn, these enzymes help excretion of potential carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) from the body. Beet, cabbage, carrot, broccoli, onion and garlic are some vegetables having such an action. Broccoli, onion and garlic are believed to provide sulfur to the body. This helps detoxification reactions carried out by the liver, preventing damage.
While these natural remedies can help your liver stay healthy, it is also important that you avoid eating foods that damage the liver.