What foods/drinks should one consume or avoid for a healthy liver? Austine
The liver is a very important part of the body. It helps to eliminate many toxins from the body like alcohol, also many drugs and chemicals. It is the site for manufacture of cholesterol which plays an important role in fat metabolism and transportation of lipids and lipoproteins in the body. Most importantly it manufactures glucose, which provides energy to the cells and tissues of the body. Many antibodies, which fight against infectious agents, are also produced in the liver. Hence it is very important to keep the liver healthy.
Alcohol is harmful for the liver, hence best avoided. People ask the question, whether it is o.k. to take alcohol in moderation? But those habituated to drinking or ignorant about its harmful effects, do not realize the quantity they are consuming. As the quantity exceeds the capacity of liver to detoxify, harm begins. In a weak liver, even small quantities can be harmful. . It is important to check mushrooms, whether they are safe or not, before consumption. Excess fat and sugar in the diet, puts a load on the liver hence should be avoided. Canned and ready to eat foods should be replaced by freshly cooked food. A diet rich in antioxidants helps to prevent cellular damage in the body, including that of the liver.. Fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains and nuts are rich sources and diet should always include these substances. .
Pain killers, particularly the non-steroidal anti inflammatory (NSAID) ones harm the liver, hence should be used judiciously. Chemicals like those used in paint or plastic industry, organophosphorous insecticides, are also harmful for the liver. Hence those working in these industries should avoid direct exposure to these chemicals.
Dr Rachna Pande is a specialist in internal medicine at Ruhengeri Hospital