Best foods and herbs to reduce the risk of liver disease

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greens-for-liver-disease(NaturalHealth365) The liver is the largest organ in the body, and it plays a crucial role in filtering toxins from the blood and converting food to energy. Unfortunately, liver disease is becoming more common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that liver disease cause around 38,000 deaths in the U.S. each year.

Some of the most common liver health problems include fatty liver disease (NAFLD), alcoholic liver disease, cirrhosis, hepatitis, toxicity from medications, and liver cancer. Environmental toxins, diabetes, and being overweight can also lead to liver issues.

Liver disease gets triggered by poor lifestyle choices

Some of the signs and symptoms of liver health issues include dark colored urine, itchy skin, yellow skin and eyes, flu-like symptoms and tenderness on the upper right side of the abdomen.

Liver fibrosis is one of the stages of a decline in liver health. It is the third stage of alcoholic liver disease and can also be caused by hepatitis C. If it progresses, it can lead to cirrhosis and other complications. Liver fibrosis is characterized fibrous tissue and/or the formation of fibrous cysts, nodules and scars in the liver. These coarse tissues impede circulation and gradually cause the loss of liver function.

Avoiding processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats and alcohol crucial to liver health

Diet and lifestyle changes are the most important steps to improving liver health. Minimizing alcohol intake and exposure to toxins is critical. Getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is also important.

A liver-healthy diet is also essential. Avoiding high-fat foods, high-sugar foods and processed foods helps to reduce inflammation. However, certain foods offer particular benefits to this crucial organ. The following are the top foods and herbs for maintaining liver health:

Dark Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, chard and collard greens are among the healthiest foods you can eat. They are also excellent for supporting and maintaining liver health. Dark leafy greens are loaded with healthy flavonoids, antioxidants and carotenoids as well as vitamin C.

Broccoli

Cruciferous vegetables offer a protective effect against liver issues such as fatty liver disease by blocking fat uptake and increasing lipid output.

Blueberries

While most fruits and berries are healthy for you, blueberries contain the most flavonoids and anthocyanins. These compounds are known for their extremely powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Garlic

Garlic offers a range of healthy properties, bringing antibacterial, antioxidant, antiviral and anti-fungal benefits. Garlic also reduces inflammation while giving the immune system a boost.

Pineapple

This delicious tropical fruit contains anti-inflammatory digestive enzymes that help with metabolizing foods and taking stress off the liver. It also contains vitamins C, B1, magnesium and potassium to help reduce inflammation.

Turmeric

This spice is used abundantly in Indian food and contains high amounts of curcuminoids. These healthy compounds reduce inflammation and support the liver, kidneys and bile production for more effective digestion.

Green Tea

Green tea brings antioxidant properties as well as a reduction in fat accumulation. Drinking it regularly can help to support liver health.

Your liver does so much for you; are you treating it as well as you could be? Along with healthy lifestyle choices, making these foods and herbs a regular part of your diet can help to reduce inflammation, support liver health, and minimize the risk of liver disease.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/liver-disease.htm

http://www.ur.umich.edu/0809/Apr27_09/13.php

http://aces.illinois.edu/news/study-shows-broccoli-may-offer-protection-against-liver-cancer

http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/03March/Pages/Can-curcumin-slow-liver-disease.aspx

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea

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