We all are guilty of ignoring our liver health at some point or the other. There are many ways in which we inadvertently abuse this crucial organ. From eating fatty food, drinking alcohol to popping pills without doctor’s prescription, certain unhealthy habits can scar our liver forever. Even fitness enthusiasts who follow certain detox diets may be subjecting their liver to damage by consuming pills that promise weight loss. (Also read: 5 everyday foods that are harming your liver)
Dr Ameet Mandot, Senior consultant and Clinical lead – Adult Hepatology and Liver Transplant unit – Global Hospital, Parel, Mumbai in an interview with HT Digital says that maintaining a healthy body weight, regular exercise, limiting alcohol intake, including liver-friendly foods in diet and even getting vaccinated for Hepatitis can do a lot for your liver health.
Here are a few easy tips to keep your liver healthy:
1. Do regular exercises and lead an active lifestyle: Physical activity of 150 minutes per week or 10,000 steps per day can help prevent liver diseases.
2. Limit your alcohol intake and drink in moderation
3. Eat a balanced and healthy diet: Eat less fatty foods and more fibre. The diet should include low carbohydrate, high dietary fibre, food rich in omega-3. Consumption of coffee, nuts, fatty fishes and olive oil are safe.
You must detoxify your system naturally by taking a lot of fluids, indulging in healthy snacking, including plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet and avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol.
4. Watch your body weight: Liver disease is a result of unhealthy diet and a weight loss of 5-10% should be sought along with a 25% reduction in calorie intake in order to obtain a weekly loss of 0.5-1kg.
Making small changes in your lifestyle and eating pattern such as starting your day right by eating a healthy breakfast, reducing salt and fat intake, avoiding too much processed or junk food is the key to weight management.
5. Get vaccinated: It is important to get vaccinated against hepatitis A, B and C.
6. Be careful with traditional medicine and remedies.
7. Be careful of weight loss pills or fad diets.
8. Exercise caution in consuming liver cleansing and detox diets. Contrary to popular belief, no particular diet is proven to be liver cleansing. Please ask your doctor or dietitian to help you create a healthy diet.
9. Take care if you have diabetes, hypertension and/or high cholesterol. Damage to the liver is a result of type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and obesity.
10. Cut down smoking or stop smoking.
Getting a liver scan (fibroscan) done with consultation of a hepatologist in case you are having any problem is recommended.