Liver Love—Detox Your Liver The Healthy Way
Many of us know that alcohol is bad for the liver. However, did you know 40% Indians suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease?
A 2019 government survey concluded that 16 crore Indians consume alcohol, ranging from children as young as 10 years all the way to 75-year-old senior citizens. That amounts to nearly 15% of our entire population. All these people are risking damage to their livers.
To add salt to the injury, 40% of Indians suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In total, around 57% of Indians are at risk of liver diseases. As healthcare providers, we at Kenko want you to be in the pink of health. So here we are with easy ways to help you detoxify your liver.
What is a liver detox?
Your liver is your body’s organic detoxifier. Its job is to cleanse out toxins, produce bile that enhances digestion, and perform many other such purifying bodily functions. Basically, your liver is like the filtration system of your entire body.
So when you think of a liver detox, you probably assume that detoxifying this cleansing organ will help you scrub out a majority of all the toxins in your entire body. You might have been told that a liver detox can be a hard reset after partying through a weekend. Some of you might also think that detoxifying your liver could mean you lose weight faster because it would increase your metabolism.
While this isn’t entirely false, you may still want to go easy on your liver. Some miraculous detoxification diet isn’t going to help you lose weight faster, boost your metabolism, or magically cleanse your liver after a bout of binge drinking. The liver naturally does this on its own. The best you can do is give it some assistance.
If left untreated, you could develop a hepatic liver or hepatitis. So, you want to take your time and educate yourself about detoxifying your liver the right way.
You want to detoxify your liver gradually and periodically, not just after a weekend of binge drinking or if you learn that you have NAFLD.
Ways to detoxify your liver
Here are some easy and healthy foods that can help detoxify your liver:
Most Indians can relate to the childhood memory of their grandmothers giving them turmeric in some form or other for all kinds of ailments. When it comes to effective liver cleansing, turmeric is one of the best because it is imbibed with a fat-soluble substance called curcumin. This component is known to be a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric hampers the conversion of alcohol and other toxins into harmful products that can damage the liver. Basically, turmeric can prevent and treat (to some extent) NAFLD. It is beneficial to your liver, particularly if you frequently consume alcohol.
2. Lemon juice with lukewarm water
If life gives you lemons, make lemonade, preferably with lukewarm water early in the morning. This combination, in general, is a very good detox. When it comes to liver health specifically, lemon helps regulate bile, which in turn supports better digestion.
Lemon juice is also known to have a protective effect on livers with alcohol-related injuries. Warm water improves your health in many ways, like keeping you hydrated, improving your blood flow, relieving constipation, etc.
3. Green leafy vegetables
Leafy green vegetables like amaranth leaves, spinach or palak, mustard greens or sarson leaves, and even curry leaves, mint, and dhaniya are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants are necessary for us to fight against free radicals, which can damage cells and cause problems like liver diseases.
These leafy greens can also help you combat NAFLD, which is easily prevented by reducing the amount of fat that builds up in the liver. According to research, inorganic nitrate found in dark green leafy vegetables can help hamper the build-up of fat in the liver. Thus, leafy vegetables can help you battle steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis, keeping your liver in pristine condition.
4. Green tea
Green tea is seemingly the first step everyone takes when they’re trying to lose weight. This is because it is known to be loaded with plant-based antioxidants and to improve the body’s metabolism. Antioxidants are actually responsible for slowing down fat accumulation in the liver and promoting liver function.
Along with some exercise, green tea can reduce the severity of fatty liver by 75%. However, remember that anything done in moderation is good, but when used out of proportion, it can have adverse effects. Studies have postulated that green tea may actually harm the liver in some people with certain genetic variations. So, moderation is your best bet with green tea.
Garlic isn’t just used to ward off vampires. It is an essential component of many Indian dishes and households. And one of its many health benefits is that it also helps improve your liver health.
Garlic’s sulphuric compounds can activate enzymes in the liver that can flush out toxins in the form of urine. Garlic is also rich in allicin and Selenium, both of which can effectively guard the liver against toxins.
Garlic has been proven to have therapeutic effects on people suffering from NAFLD. It improves their hepatic steatosis, liver enzymes, lipid profiles, and fasting blood sugar levels and has a direct positive effect on other comorbidity issues like diabetes.
6. The Indian Gooseberry or Amla
Like other options on the list, amla or the Indian gooseberry is also enriched with antioxidants and amino acids that help the body release toxins naturally. Amla juice also helps reduce cholesterol levels, thus helping you lower the fat buildup around your liver.
This wonder fruit can be used in the treatment of liver cirrhosis and can inhibit the onset of liver fibrosis. If you’re suffering from NAFLD, you must include amla in your daily diet. Here are some interesting ways to do that:
Soak amla overnight with herbs of your choice. Boil it with green tea the next morning to get amla tea.
Eat pieces of amla with black salt.
Dry amla in the sun and eat it like chips year-round.
Chop some amla and blend it to get juice.
Make amla pickle.
What to avoid?
Now that you know what you should consume to detoxify your liver, let’s look at what you should stay away from for your liver health, particularly if you have NAFLD or other liver issues. You should steer clear of alcohol, sugar, and processed foods if you can or, at the very least, severely cut down on these.
Sugar inhibits your body’s ability to produce certain enzymes. Similarly, processed foods are packed with sugar, preservatives, and other synthetic ingredients that can overload your system with toxins, making your liver work harder. Alcohol is known to hamper your body’s overall detoxification process. So, it’s best you stay away from these three consumables to keep your liver happy and healthy!
Now you know how to avoid NAFLD and other liver problems. Feeling the urge to get yourself checked for liver issues? Kenko Health Plans can help you get up to 50% off on lab tests. Not only that, but with Kenko, you can avail discounts on doctor visits, medicine bills, daily healthcare products, and much more.