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

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...

Gardening Club to Meet April 23

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (4/16/15) — The next Garden Club meeting will be at 5:30 on Thursday April 23 at the Muhlenberg… Read More

Two Charged in Connection with Powderly Firearms Theft

POWDERLY, Ky. (4/17/15) ― The Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Office has made two arrests in connection with the theft of… Read More

Most Read This Week

April 13, 2015 6119

Three Juveniles, Adult Accused of Vandalizing…

by Deputy Will Coursey
April 14, 2015 4671

Several Juveniles Charged in Connection with Fight

by SurfKY News
April 09, 2015 3889

MPD, HCSO Joint Investigation Leads to Two…

by Lt. William Poe
April 16, 2015 3287

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 09, 2015 3113

Woman Charged with Multiple Offenses Including…

by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read This Month

March 18, 2015 10016

UPDATE: Hanson Man Located in Henderson, Taken to…

by Trooper Stu Recke
April 02, 2015 8410

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 16, 2015 3287

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 16,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 16, 2015 1893

Dawson Native, Former Disney Graphic Designer…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 1302

Hopkins County Health Department Food Scores Thru…

by Barry Franklin
April 16, 2015 1296

Madisonville Police Arrest Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
April 17, 2015 1212

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 16, 2015 1135

Muhlenberg District Court Fines Handed Down

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 1133

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released

by SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 994

Business Spotlight: Community Health Centers…

by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 875

Children’s Advocacy Director Shares Information…

by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
April 16, 2015 768

Kentucky's Jobless Rate Dips to 5.1 Percent in…

by Kim Brannock