Your liver isn’t just a big lump of goo in your belly; it’s one of the most important organs in your body, responsible for everything from filtering toxins from your blood to creating bile necessary to digest food.
If you have hepatitis or are at risk of developing liver disease, you need to take extra steps to protect your liver and keep it healthy, whether it’s with these nine ways to keep your liver healthy or by scheduling regular doctor visits to perform blood tests and spot any issues early on.
Drink 8 Glasses of Water Daily
The liver performs countless functions within your body, most of which aren’t easily recognizable. One crucial function is detoxification—without adequate water intake, your liver will have to work overtime and potentially leading to other complications. So make sure you drink 8 glasses of water daily (at least) as part of a healthy lifestyle that helps you keep your liver healthy for life. This is also true with regard to any beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
Do 30 Minutes of Cardio every day
You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times: Cardiovascular exercise is essential for good health. It’s important to keep your heart healthy, and cardio does just that by keeping your heart pumping efficiently and helping you maintain a healthy weight. Keep in mind that cardio doesn’t just mean hitting up your local gym—it includes activities like walking and biking, too.
Have 3 Meals Per Day (For A Healthy Liver)
Eating three meals per day at regular intervals is one of the most effective ways to ensure your liver stays healthy. When you skip meals, your liver does more work than it has to because it’s not getting fed regularly; besides, eating too much in one sitting can also be harmful if you don’t take breaks between meals. This is especially true when there are a lot of greasy foods present at that meal—chances are they won’t just end up in your stomach!
Walk at Least 5,000 Steps per Day (For A Healthy Liver)
Research shows that people who take more than 5,000 steps per day have a significantly reduced risk of developing chronic diseases such as liver disease and diabetes. To get there, you could simply add an extra hour of walking every day. If you can’t fit in that much walking at once, try building up over time—taking an extra 1,000 steps each week until you hit your goal.
Eat Whole Grains and Fiber
Choose whole grains over refined and processed ones. Whole grains contain more nutrients and are digested more slowly, helping your liver get rid of toxins in your body. Whole grains will also help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day. Try brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth instead of white rice or pasta. Legumes are another great source of fiber; try substituting beans for meat at lunch or dinner one night each week.
Consume Fish 2–3 Times Per Week
Fish is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help build cell membranes and regulate blood pressure. Omega-3s also improve liver health, decreasing inflammation and helping protect cells from free radical damage. Consume fish two or three times per week. If you don’t like fish, look for products with concentrated amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, such as krill oil supplements.
Drink Alcohol Moderately (1–2 Drinks per day)
Alcohol is metabolized by your liver, which means it can cause damage and affect your health. If you’re worried about liver disease, don’t overdo it—consume no more than 1–2 drinks per day. Moderate drinking is not only healthy, but studies show that it may also reduce the risks of heart disease and other illnesses. For example, one study shows that moderate drinkers had lower levels of insulin resistance—an early sign of diabetes—than non-drinkers or heavy drinkers did.
Avoid Processed Foods as Much as Possible (For A Healthy Liver)
Processed foods often contain added sugar and sodium, but they also contain some very unhealthy chemicals. Some of these are called nitrates, which are used as preservatives and can create nitrosamines when exposed to high heat—and, unfortunately, many hot dogs (and other processed meats) are cooked over open flames at high temperatures. This can produce a carcinogen known as nitrosamine in your system. It’s best to avoid processed foods as much as possible if you want to keep your liver healthy.
Get 8 Hours of Sleep Each Night (For A Healthy Liver)
The liver performs a vast range of functions, including filtering toxins from your blood and processing medications. Because sleep deprivation impairs mental performance, getting enough shut-eye is crucial for healthy liver function. Getting 8 hours of sleep each night will help support your liver in more ways than one!