At an average of 1.5 kg, the liver is the largest internal organ in the body. The liver is like a factory, constantly working to detoxify waste products and toxins or “package” these substances so that they can be safely excreted from the body. But there is more! Because in addition to cleaning and detoxification, this organ has many other jobs. For example, the liver can create new proteins from amino acids (the building blocks of proteins), produce bile, and work 24/7 to filter and clean the blood. Therefore, a healthy, well-functioning liver is essential.
Prevention is better than cure! The accumulation of toxic substances, coupled with an inadequate diet, can lead to various disorders and ailments that can lead to disease. Of course, it is always advisable to seek medical attention in the case of severe conditions. Symptoms of liver dysfunction include:
- Skin Diseases
- Lack of sleep
- Joint and muscle pain
- Bowel disease
- Fungal infections
Here are some key factors for a healthy liver!
1) Taking Care of Kupffer Cells
The walls of blood vessels in the liver contain so-called Kupffer cells.
These cells absorb pathogens such as bacteria and render them harmless. In addition to this function, Kupffer cells also perform an “immunomodulatory” function. For example, they can generate inflammation to eliminate bacteria around damaged tissues. They can also halt the inflammatory process and allow damaged tissue to heal.
When Kupffer cells are not in good shape, waste products can accumulate in the liver and cause inflammation. The liver may also become fatty.
2) Beware of Consuming Large Amounts of Acidifying Foods
Eating a lot of protein will cause the body to acidify faster (not the blood). This adversely affects the function of enzymes that help digest food. Enzymes are one of the most important substances for keeping the body young. Enzymes are found, for example, in vegetables, fruits, and nuts. In addition to the degree of acidification, temperature also harms enzyme function. For example, when vegetables are heated, all enzymes are destroyed. So eat salads and make smoothies more often.
3) Make Sure You Get Enough Magnesium
Detoxification requires a lot of energy, and magnesium is needed for energy production in the mitochondria, that is our body’s energy factories. Magnesium is found mainly in dark green vegetables but also nuts and seeds. Green pumpkin seeds, almonds, and dark chocolate also contain large amounts of magnesium.
4) Minimize the Use of High Fructose Corn Syrup
High-fructose corn syrup is extracted from corn and used as an inexpensive sweetener in many foods. Our livers have many problems processing fructose, storing most of it as fat. In addition to fatty liver, fructose decreases the liver’s leptin production. This hormone is also known as the satiety hormone. If you do not feel full, you will continue to eat and gain weight faster. Therefore, you should always check if foods are sweetened with glucose or fructose syrup.
5) Check Medications and Supplements
Be aware that some medications and food supplements can strain the liver. For example, a substance called EGCG is found in green tea, which is highly consumed in diets. Green tea is very healthy, but it’s better not to take it as a supplement.
For instance, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) warns against the use of this substance. EGCG in green tea damages hepatocytes (liver cells) because it promotes the production of reactive oxygen species.
6) Optimize Bile Secretion
Bile is responsible for turning fats into an aqueous solution (also called emulsion). Bile is also the fluid that helps the liver eliminate waste products. To optimize bile secretion, increase physical activity and eat bitter-tasting vegetables. Bitter substances strongly activate bile secretion in the gut.
Examples of bitter substances are diallyl sulfides found in garlic and onions. Garlic and onions also contain so-called sulfur-containing amino acids, which the body needs to perform the second detoxification stage. Broccoli also makes the liver very happy. Red beets are also “liver fortifiers”.
Let us know if these few tips have helped you in the comments below!