Out of the five vital organs, the liver is one of the most important ones. It is one of the most functional organs of the human body, responsible for detoxification and blood purification. It metabolizes most of the nutrients and medicines that a human body consumes.
Why is the liver important?
The liver plays a vital role in excreting out what the body doesn’t need. When the liver is working optimally, it takes toxins stored throughout the body and converts them into their water-soluble form. This is then efficiently excreted from the body. The liver plays a key role in flushing out foreign chemicals – for instance the ones that we pick from the environment, beauty products, or processed foods.
The American Liver Foundation recommends a diet rich in fiber including fruit, veggies, and whole grains to have an optimally functioning liver. Small amounts of non-red meat, along with low-fat dairy products are also recommended.
The food items most commonly recommended by a nutritionist to maintain a good liver function include –
Eating garlic helps in activating the liver detox enzymes. Along with this, garlic also contains 39 different antibacterial agents, making it a good supplement to aid in fighting infections off of the body.
Opting for organic and fresh garlic whenever possible has proven good for people’s immune systems as well as their liver function.
Beetroot has a high level of antioxidants in it. This is a very healthy diet for the hepatic vein. The high level of antioxidants results in improved exercise performance, along with activating the liver enzymes and resulting in better bile functioning. Upon a healthy activation of liver enzymes, the absorption of healthy fats and fat-soluble nutrients like Vitamin E also increases. This results in a better nutrient capacity of the body. Beetroot can help the liver in releasing the toxins out of the body in the bowel movements.
Adding organic apples to the diet is very beneficial for the gut. The apples which have a high content of fibers are very helpful in cleaning the bowels and introducing friendly bacteria to the intestine. Although it is important to note that organic apples are the best type. Other pesticide-laced apples otherwise cause more harm than benefit. Leaving the skin of the apples on, and having them in the breakfast along with chia seeds is known to be a very healthy source of fiber. This keeps the gut clean and healthy.
Broccoli sprouts are rich in antioxidants, and they boost up glutathione. They are even better than broccoli, resulting in better support of both the phases of liver detoxification. The benefits of broccoli sprout for the liver are many. They also contain the precursors of sulforaphane, which has been shown to help prevent certain cancers.
American Liver Foundation’s recommendation for fiber also includes watermelon in the diet. A two-cup serving is the right amount required. Watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene, which has been found to raise glutathione levels in the body. It poses good benefits to the body, including an optimal nutrient load and fiber content.
According to studies, if a person has been feeling bloated or constipated in more than three days, they can use some fermented foods in their diet. Kefir, sauerkraut, pickles – all of these introduce gut-friendly bacteria to colonize the intestines. This promotes the healthy elimination of waste.
Plus, it is really easy to prepare your own ferments at home.
These products help in easy digestion and thorough bowel movement resulting in a healthier gut and liver function.
Walnuts have a excellent overall nutritional value. They are already known for their brain-boosting powers. But secondly, walnuts are also very potent in increasing the blood flow and circulation. This results in more efficient toxin transfer from one part of the body to the other. The liver upon receiving these toxins detoxifies them and results in a better environment.
They come with 2 benefits – fibers and healthy fats.
Treatment of liver problems
Depending on the specific liver condition that the patient has – doctors recommend dietary changes or other treatment modalities including –
- Antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis
- Steroids to reduce liver inflammation
- Blood pressure medication
- Antibiotics are given to target specific symptoms, such as itchy skin vitamins
- Supplements to boost liver health
In other severe cases of liver failure, or end-stage liver disease, or liver cancer (nonmetastatic), the doctors might advise for complete transplantation of the liver from the body.
This is called a liver transplant. Liver transplant in India is done by two means –
- Living donor liver transplant
- Deceased donor liver transplant
Both of these surgical types have high success rates. The basic one-year survival rate after a transplant is over 89%. The five-year survival rate is around 75%.
The cost of the transplantation also varies depending on –
- Type of the surgery
- Age of the patient
- Postoperative care