The liver is an organ of the digestive system, which in humans is located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, below the diaphragm. Its function is to detoxify various metabolites, synthesise proteins and produce bio chemicals necessary for digestion and growth. The liver, which is the manufacturing hub of the human body, when overwhelmed with toxins, affects the metabolic processes in the body and creates several health problems. Many people today suffer from overburdened liver as a result of a toxic diet and lifestyle.
HOW DO EXCESS CALORIES PILE UP IN THE LIVER AND LEAD TO WEIGHT GAIN?
Eating excess calories causes fat to build up in the liver. When the liver does not process and break down fats as it normally should, too much fat will accumulate. When the liver is overworked and unable to properly metabolise nutrients and fats, the body metabolism slows, resulting in more serious health problems. People then tend to develop fatty liver if they have certain other conditions, such as obesity, diabetes or high triglycerides. Alcohol abuse, rapid weight loss and malnutrition may also lead to fatty liver. Meat and dairy digestion produces byproducts that the liver must work harder on.
Fat and toxins accumulate in the liver over time, causing the metabolism to slow down rather significantly. The liver becomes clogged and is unable to process sugars and fats as efficiently, causing fat to accumulate in other parts of the body and leading to overall weight gain.
WHY IS FATTY LIVER DISEASE GOING UP?
Fatty liver disease (steatosis) is the build-up of excess fat in the liver cells and is a common liver complaint in current times. It is normal for the liver to contain some fat, but if fat accounts for more than 10 per cent of the liver’s weight, then you have fatty liver and you may develop serious complications. Fatty liver may cause no damage but sometimes the excess fat leads to inflammation of the liver. This condition, called steatohepatitis, does cause liver damage.
Sometimes, inflammation from a fatty liver is linked to alcohol abuse. This is known as alcoholic steatohepatitis. Otherwise, the condition is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. An inflamed liver may become scarred and hardened over time. This condition, called cirrhosis, is serious and often leads to liver failure. NASH is one of the top three leading causes of cirrhosis.
SYMPTOMS OF LIVER DISEASE
· Skin and eyes that appear yellowish (jaundice)
· Abdominal pain and swelling
· Swelling in the legs and ankles
· Itchy skin
· Dark urine color
· Pale stool color
· Chronic fatigue
· Nausea or vomiting
· Loss of appetite
· Tendency to bruise easily
HOW TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF LIVER DISEASE
● Maintain a normal cholesterol level.
● Maintain normal blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.
● Maintain a healthy weight by eating a well-balanced diet.
● Limit your alcohol consumption.
● Use medicines with caution. Always discuss your medications with your doctor, including over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers.
FIVE FOODS IN YOUR DIET TO IMPROVE LIVER HEALTH
Oats: Because the primary goal of dietary therapy for NAFLD patients is to maintain a healthy weight, oatmeal that is high in fibre and filling is very beneficial. It’s also a low-fat, fibre-rich, complex carbohydrate breakfast option. Consuming it thus promotes weight loss.
Avocado: Avocados contain unsaturated fat, which is a great substitute for saturated fat-containing foods like butter. Furthermore, it is an excellent plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in the reduction of fatty liver and the repair of liver damage.
Garlic: Garlic, a common ingredient in many diets, may have benefits for people with fatty liver disease. According to a 2016 study, supplements containing garlic powder may help people with NAFLD lose weight and body fat mass.
Green vegetables: Green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, can help to reduce fat accumulation in the liver. In addition, the fibre in green leafy vegetables promotes early satiety and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Furthermore, chlorophyll in green vegetables is an excellent liver cleanser, and nitrate components in green leafy vegetables reduce symptoms and repair fatty liver disease.
Olive oil: If you suspect you have a fatty liver, avoid saturated fat, particularly the kind found in red meat and butter. Unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are a much better choice.
Losing weight at the right time has numerous natural advantages, and it also helps improve other conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and joint pains. It adds years to one’s life.