The Liver: Like it, Love it, Try Not to Lose it
Do you know how much your liver cares for you?
For those who don’t know about the liver, it’s one of those oh-so-useful squishy bits inside your body that keeps you alive.
Weighing about 4 pounds, the liver is the largest gland in the body and the only internal organ that will regenerate itself if part of it is damaged. Up to 25% of the liver can be removed and within a short period of time, it will grow back to its original shape and size.
The liver has many functions, one of the most important which is the secretion of bile for digestion of fats. Bile also assists in absorption of the fats soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and helps assimilate calcium. In addition to its important functions in digestion and energy production, the liver acts as a de-toxiﬁer – it filters everything you eat or drink and tries to take out anything that might harm your body. Needless to say, losing it could be detrimental for your health.
You may run into trouble when your liver stops functioning properly. Liver cells can be destroyed resulting in fat deposit (fatty liver), and more seriously inﬂammation or permanent scarring (liver cirrhorsis) that may later form liver cancer.
Here are a few things that you may not know about the liver:
- The liver is responsible for controlling the volume and smooth ﬂow of blood in your vessels.
- The eyes are the sensory organ related to the liver. Do you know that the sclera (the white parts of your eye) can become yellow due to liver problems? If you have any eye issues, including blurry vision, red or dry eyes, itchy eyes, it may be a sign deep down that your liver is not functioning smoothly.
- If you often find yourself irritable, easily angered, overly stressed out, or having trouble reasoning or going with the ﬂow, it might be a sign of liver problems. Some believe that anger is the emotion connected to the liver and that an excessive amount of anger is a result of an unbalance in your liver’s function.
So how do you keep your liver healthy?
1. Keep Calm
You may consider counselling to express your angry or frustration—those feelings are destructive to the liver. Alternatively, you could pay a visit to a TCM practitioner or Naturopath who could guide you to sort things out. A Naturopath is someone who look at the root cause of imbalances in your body offering dietary, lifestyle changes and nutritional supplementation.
2. Drink Less!
Because the liver is responsible for metabolising alcohol, those who drink a lot are more likely to damage it over time. Drinking in moderation can go a long way towards preserving your liver’s energy and giving it a break. Of course, if you really want to stay healthy, just don’t drink alcohol at all.
3. Drink More!
Water, that is. Doctors recommend that you consume around eight glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Apart from making you feel less thirsty, water is an excellent detoxiﬁer and helps eliminate toxins from your body.
4. Burn Off Your Fat
Choose healthy saturated fats like virgin coconut oil, and healthy monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. Increase ﬁber and omega-3 essential fatty acids by adding ground ﬂax seed to your diet. Fiber helps eliminate toxins more effectively from the body. You can also consider munching on healthy snacks like nuts and seeds rather then sweets or chocolate.
5. An Apple a Day…
Pectin, found in the rinds of green apples, cabbage, bananas, beets, grapes, carrots and the pith of citrus fruits has been found to chelate heavy metals and other contaminants from the blood stream.
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