World Liver Day is observed on 19th April every year to build awareness and understanding how important liver is for our body and how liver diseases can be treated or managed efficiently. Considering how instrumental the health of our liver is for the well-being of our body, it is extremely important that we take care of it. It is critical that we regularly detox our liver to keep it healthy and fighting fit. If toxins build up in the liver it can lead to sensitivity to allergens, cholesterol issues, digestive problems or fatigue. A good diet and active lifestyle with enough physical movements helps a great deal in keeping liver healthy. Ayurveda recommendations and practices help in taking care of our liver health, avoid ailments or damage and recover from ailments.
Liver is the engine of our body, but how many times do we pay attention to keeping it healthy? Our liver plays an important role in digesting, metabolising and manufacturing essential compounds. Liver also has to do the following jobs:
- Keeping the blood pure - our liver has the duty to convert clear plasma to blood and keeping the blood pure by scanning and identifying toxins in plasma. Then, it prevents toxins from entering the blood. If our liver fails to do this, our blood and skin gets adversely affected. This leads to skin breakouts, acne, dryness and irritation.
- Digesting fatty acids - liver secretes bile, which breaks down and helps in digesting fatty acids.
- Produces blood-clotting factors - liver produces blood-clotting factors and at the same time creates protective elements that keep blood clots from blocking the circulatory system.
- Converts sugar into glycogen - liver is responsible for converting sugar into glycogen and storing it for use by the muscles in form of glucose energy.
- Stores Iron, Copper and Vitamins - liver stores valuable nutrients like iron, copper and vtamins A, D and B12, which are all very valuable for human health.
Following the golden rule of 'prevention is better than cure', Ayurveda recommends adopting a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains proteins and fats for a healthier liver.
(Also Read: Boost Your Liver Health With This 4-Ingredient Healthy Juice)
Ayurveda lists a few easily available food items that can help detox your liver naturally:
Garlic helps liver to activate enzymes that flush out toxins from our body. Also, it has high levels of allicin, which has antioxidants, antibiotic and antifungal properties, and Selenium, which increases the action of antioxidants. Both aid in the liver in cleansing.
Carrots are very high in plant-flavonoids and beta-carotene, which stipulate and support the overall liver functions. Vitamin A in carrots prevents liver disease. There are various ways you can add carrots toyour diet - salads, juice, soups, or curries.
Apples contain pectin that helps cleanse the body and release toxins from the digestive system. With fewer toxins our liver can better manage its toxin load. Make sure you eat at least one apple a day.
An excellent source for amino acids, eating walnuts regularly helps detox our liver. A study found that eating walnuts improved liver function tests in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. But make sure you eat only handful of walnuts in a day and not more than that.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is one of the trendiest drinks in the world. The plant-based antioxidants in green tea improve liver function. According to World Journal of Gastroenterology, green tea has high levels of antioxidants that help reduce body fat percentage and fat in the blood.
6. Leafy vegetables
High in chlorophyll, green leafy vegetables flush out the toxins from our blood stream. They can neutralise heavy metals to protect the liver. Add more greens like palak (spinach), green peas, okra, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, etc. to your diet.
7. Citrus fruits
Oranges, lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits boost the liver's cleansing ability the detoxifying enzymes present in citrus fruits improve liver's health and functionality. You can either juice them, add them to fruit salad or eat them as is - make sure you add all kinds of citrus foods to your meals.
Turmeric is an excellent spice, which reduces the amount of radical damage in our liver. Turmeric helps in metabolising fats and production of bile juie, which acts as a natural detoxifier for our liver.
A good source for vitamin C, beetroot stimulates bile and boost enzymatic activity, just like citrus fruits. The best way to consume beetroot is to chop them and toss them in your salad or juice them and mic it in your vegetable soup or juice.
Eat these foods regularly to keep your liver healthy, especially when they are in season. Have a happy and healthy liver.
Happy World Liver Day 2019!
Author is the founder of NirogStreet, India's largest curated and certified ecosystem of pure Ayurveda practitioners.
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