Your liver is a powerhouse of an organ. Sitting beneath your lower ribcage, your liver cleans toxins out of the blood and produces bile, which breaks down fats from the food you eat. The liver is basically your body’s filtration system. And, unlike other organs, it doesn’t regenerate quickly. Once it’s been scarred, it doesn’t regenerate at all. So, knowing how to take care of your liver is of utmost importance.
It’s about what you don’t do.
There’s some evidence that drinking coffee in moderation is good for your liver, but otherwise, research is scant. Beware of supplements and miracle foods that claim to nourish your liver. It’s much more effective to curb harmful habits.
- Eat healthy.
Eat lots of fruit and veggies, lean proteins, and complex carbs. Stay away from processed, high-fat foods. Stick with healthy fats, like those from fish and avocado. Try not to have too much sugar, and drink plenty of water. The less fat you give your liver to filter through, the less overly-taxed it will be.
- Get plenty of exercise.
Exercise burns fat, which means your liver has less work to do. The less work your liver has to do, the longer it lasts.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol.
Binge drinking or frequent drinking exhausts your liver by giving it a high volume of toxins to filter out of your blood. A glass of wine with dinner may not be the end of the world, but watch how much alcohol you drink.
- Watch your medications.
Take any medications – even over-the-counter painkillers like Aspirin and Tylenol – as directed. Talk to your doctor about prescription meds and how they could be affecting your liver.
To monitor liver health at home, pick up TestSure Urine Test Strips. They measure urobilinogen and bilirubin, which are both good indicators that your liver may be overtaxed or not producing enough bile. Test regularly at home so you can see your doctor at the first sign of trouble.