Best Ways to Prevent Liver Damage
Preventing liver damage over your lifetime involves moderating or avoiding alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise. You can also take preventative supplements to help rebuild cells and eliminate toxins.
Avoid or Moderate Alcohol
Alcohol is one of the top consumables that causes liver damage, and avoiding or moderating its use goes a long way in helping to prevent liver damage. Alcoholic drinks end up damaging your liver because it cannot process too much or rapid consumption. The liver also requires water to process this toxin and alcoholic drinks dehydrate the body due to their status as a diuretic. Fatty liver, hepatitis and cirrhosis are all possible repercussions of consuming too many alcoholic drinks over a period of time.
Even though there isn’t one magical food that protects against liver damage, there are plenty of foods that help keep your liver strong. The following fruits, vegetables and protein should be included in a liver-healthy diet:
- kidney beans
- vegetable juice
Not only do these items help your liver, but they will also help you maintain healthy eating habits, which are essential for protecting your liver. The best practice is to eat balanced meals, avoid processed items and eat plenty of whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Food and Toxins to Avoid
Aside from alcoholic drinks, here are some various things to avoid in order to better protect your liver.
- iron supplements
- illicit drugs
- certain herbal supplements such as black cohosh, ginseng, yerba tea and others
- vitamin A in large quantities
- over the counter pain relievers
- too much salt
- large amounts of saturated fat
The main thing to remember is that a huge amount of the things you eat, drink and take as medication are processed by your liver. Your liver has difficulty processing some of these things more than others and those are the items you want to consume in moderation or not at all.
Exercise for Liver Health
Not all instances of fatty liver are related to alcoholism. In fact, many cases are related to being overweight. Obviously lack of exercise and poor eating habits both contribute to being overweight. Exercising moderately for at least five hours a week can help ward off fatty liver disease as well as helping you lose weight. On a daily basis, it’s important to break up long periods of sitting and include some type of activity, even if it’s just a few short walks.
Treatment for Liver Damage
Treatment for fatty liver or alcoholic fatty liver is almost always going to include eating and lifestyle changes. If you drink, you will likely be advised to stop and if you’re overweight, you will likely be advised to lose weight. Natural treatments include using milk thistle, dandelion root and turmeric. Milk thistle has been found to be especially beneficial, even reversing some amount of liver disease. It rebuilds cells in the liver and also removes toxins. If, at some point, the disease becomes irreversible, the only option is a transplant.