sureway ryan richardsonRyan Richardson stocking the fruit at Sureway in Madisonville, Ky. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables promotes liver health. (Photo Gary Gates, SurfKY News)

KENTUCKY (3/6/14) — The liver is the body's largest internal organ, responsible for processing substances that enter the body and acting as a filtering system that is essential to eliminating toxic substances. What's more, the liver produces proteins, clotting factors, enzymes, and hormones essential to health.

Considering how integral a properly functioning liver can be, one can see just how vital it is to maintain a healthy liver. Unfortunately, many of the foods, beverages and medications people consume on a regular basis can affect both liver health and the overall health of the body. But men and women can take several steps to ensure their liver stays healthy.

  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. Overconsumption of alcohol damages the liver. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the liver is the primary site of alcohol metabolism. Over time, excessive drinking can damage the liver. It is best to keep your drinking to a minimum, for the health of your liver and a variety of other reasons.

  • Quit smoking. Every time you smoke you are putting more than 60 different chemicals into your body. At some point, cigarette smoke will be handled by the liver. Cigarette smoke can decrease the amount of oxygen that red blood cells carry to the vital organs of the body, including the liver. Over time, this can result in damage to the liver known as cirrhosis. In addition, the American Cancer Society notes that some studies have found a link between smoking and liver cancer. However, this relationship is difficult to discern because smokers also tend to be more likely to drink alcohol.

  • Eat healthier. A healthy diet that includes an array of fresh fruits and vegetables is good for the liver. Vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, which helps toxins move quickly through the digestive system without putting stress on the liver. Sulfur-rich foods, such as garlic and onions, can help detoxify environmental toxins that end up in the body. Turmeric, licorice and cinnamon may also support healthy liver function.

A healthy diet that includes an array of fresh fruits and vegetables is good for the liver.

  • Exercise caution with medications. Certain medications can tax the liver, especially when medications are mixed with other substances. Even seemingly innocuous medications, like acetaminophen, can cause potential liver damage over time. In fact, CNCA Health notes that acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. When taking any medications, men and women should read the information sheets that accompany prescriptions to determine if any side effects that may affect the liver are noted. Doctors may require frequent checkups and blood tests to monitor liver health when their patients are taking certain types of medications.

  • Limit exposure to toxins. Men and women can choose organic foods whenever possible to cut down on the amount of chemical residue they consume. Even switching over to natural household cleaning products can reduce the number of chemicals you are exposed to, and reducing that exposure can ultimately protect the liver.

  • Drink more water and exercise regularly. Fresh water helps flush toxins out of the body, helping the liver by not making it work so hard. In addition, exercising and sweating detoxifies the body. While exercising and after working out, replace lost fluids with clean, healthy water.

  • Steer clear of overly processed foods. Processed foods contain more chemicals, which can put more pressure on the liver. Sweetening agents, preservatives and other substances can be particularly detrimental to liver health.

  • Sip green tea. Green tea is full of antioxidants known as catechins, which have been shown to improve the functions of the liver.
Maintaining liver health is an important part of a healthy lifestyle that can benefit the entire body.

SurfKY News
Photo by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

In Other News...

Human Relations Coordinator Identifies Possible Future Deficit in Teaching Professionals

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (6/1/15) ― Hopkins County Board of Education had its regularly scheduled meeting on June 1. Hopkins… Read More

Lakeshore Invitational Set for June 6-7

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (6/1/15) — The Lakeshore Invitational is set for Saturday, June 6 - Sunday, June 7 at Lakeshore… Read More

Most Read This Week

May 27, 2015 7354

VIDEO: Sparks Fly Over Hanson Rezoning Issue

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 6712

Study of Virus Attack on Cancer Sees Success

by Julie Heflin
May 28, 2015 6459

Four Charged with Burglary for Entering Elderly…

by SurfKY News
May 27, 2015 4205

Midnight Ride on Rabbit Ridge Ends in Jail

by SurfKY News
May 26, 2015 4038

Mandarin House Gearing Up to Open Soon

by Gary Gates, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

May 15, 2015 11273

New Madisonville Business In Full Operation Soon

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 23, 2015 9082

Missing 5-Year-Old Boy Found

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

May 31, 2015 1341

Hot Button Item Draws Hanson Crowd to Zoning,…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 1245

Rods for Relay Raises Funds for ACS Relay for Life

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 1203

YMCA Summer Food Service Program

by Kelly Forbes
May 31, 2015 1101

Hopkins District Court Fines Handed Down

by SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 1022

Authorities Discover Meth Lab While Assisting…

by SurfKY News
May 31, 2015 988

Survivors, Caregivers, Supporters Gather for…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
June 01, 2015 853

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
May 30, 2015 760

Whitfield Announces Congressional Art Contest…

by Ed Whitfield
May 31, 2015 744

Hopkins County Traffic Advisory

by Keith Todd
May 31, 2015 695

LG&E and KU Unveil New Outage Texting Option…

by LG&E and KU News