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How to Boost Liver Health & Why it’s Mission Critical

BY PUREHEALTH RESEARCH | Oct 04, 2021

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There are about 100 million Americans diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).1 And approximately 30 million people are living with the more severe form of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).2 Liver diseases and liver-related deaths have soared in recent times, including among 24-35-year old’s, according to Dr. Raymond Chung, director of the Hepatology and Liver Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston.3

Liver Stages

Liver TableAnd military personnel are not exempt, as this chart clearly shows a steady rise in NAFLD in the US Armed Forces.4 This rise in liver problems is not surprising. The American diet has made its citizens one of the most obese nations in the world, with 60% of the population overweight or clinically obese. This makes them ripe targets for chronic illnesses, including liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and more.5 6 Additionally, the pollutants, synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins in our modern world requires your liver work in overdrive 24-7. As you age and without support, your liver will get fatigued, then exhausted, then disease is likely inevitable.

And military personnel are not exempt, as this chart clearly shows a steady rise in NAFLD in the US Armed Forces.4 This rise in liver problems is not surprising. The American diet has made its citizens one of the most obese nations in the world, with 60% of the population overweight or clinically obese. This makes them ripe targets for chronic illnesses, including liver disease, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and more.5 6 Additionally, the pollutants, synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and other toxins in our modern world requires your liver work in overdrive 24-7. As you age and without support, your liver will get fatigued, then exhausted, then disease is likely inevitable.

Liver Table

Since the liver is responsible for over 500 critical mechanisms of health, including detoxification, digestion, energy distribution, immunity, and blood clotting, the ripple effect could affect multiple areas. It could lead to skin diseases, yellow eyes, swollen legs and ankles, chronic fatigue, chronic nausea, and vomiting.7 And it could also cause foggy brain, digestion problems, weight gain, and increases your vulnerability to infections or all the above.8

Certain types of liver damage are reversible to a degree.9 However, the best course of action is to support your liver before permanent damage occurs. And if you already have liver damage, supporting the healthy cells and mechanisms becomes mission critical. So, let’s explore ways to keep your liver happy.

Building a Robust Liver

The liver is an incredible organ that likely works harder than your heart, lungs, and brain combined. However, it’s especially sensitive to a few factors that can harm it.

Maintain a Healthy WeightMaintain a Healthy Weight – Your liver is vulnerable to belly fat. This fat is different than the fat found under your skin. Belly fat surrounds your abdominal organs, including your heart, and is known as visceral adipose tissue (VAT). VAT has harmful compounds that leak out of the fat cells and can enter your liver’s portal vein and set up shop as liver fatty deposits. Eventually, you end up with NAFLD. This causes fatigue, pain, abdominal swelling (ascites), enlarged blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface, an enlarged spleen, red palms, yellow skin, and eyes.10 This fat also skyrockets your risk for diabetes and heart disease.11

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Maintain a Healthy Weight – Your liver is vulnerable to belly fat. This fat is different than the fat found under your skin. Belly fat surrounds your abdominal organs, including your heart, and is known as visceral adipose tissue (VAT). VAT has harmful compounds that leak out of the fat cells and can enter your liver’s portal vein and set up shop as liver fatty deposits. Eventually, you end up with NAFLD. This causes fatigue, pain, abdominal swelling (ascites), enlarged blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface, an enlarged spleen, red palms, yellow skin, and eyes.10 This fat also skyrockets your risk for diabetes and heart disease.11

Eat a Balanced Diet – The typical American diet promotes belly fat and inflammation. Swap out refined carbs for gluten-free ancient whole grain bread and veggie or legume-based pasta. Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners. Instead, choose natural alternatives, such as stevia, erythritol, xylitol, monk fruit sweetener, and Yacon syrup.12 Eat plenty of vegetables (fiber), fruits (prebiotics), fermented foods (probiotics), nuts, and seeds (healthy fats). Limit grass-fed lean meats to 2-3 times a week, eat wild-caught fatty fish 2-3 times a week, and pasture-raised poultry and eggs.

The nutrients, antioxidants, and phytonutrients from these foods will help protect your liver from free radicals and inflammatory attacks while providing the raw material for repair and regeneration. The fiber helps digestion, gut flora balance and strengthens your immunity. And healthy fats like olives, avocados, walnuts, and flaxseed means your body utilizes insulin better, and your liver doesn’t need to work as hard storing energy.13

Reduce Your Toxic Load – Although your liver is a detoxification filter, that doesn’t mean toxins can’t injure your liver. Cleaning detergents, insecticides, preservatives, artificial coloring, heavy metals, aerosols, alcohol, and smoking are just a few examples that can harm your liver. Personal care products expose you to synthetic chemicals from deodorants, shampoos, body gel, hair products, makeup, shaving cream, fragrances, and more. About 60% of chemicals slathered on your skin and scalp get absorbed into your bloodstream within 26 seconds and require detoxing.14

No Chemicals

Swap out household cleaning and laundry chemicals for plant-based products. Use permanent dryer balls instead of fabric softener – saves money and energy and works fantastic. Choosing natural soaps, shampoos, deodorants, and makeup next time you purchase will dramatically lower your toxic load and aid your liver. Additionally, if you are concerned about your liver, avoid alcohol at all costs. It kills liver cells.

No ChemicalsSwap out household cleaning and laundry chemicals for plant-based products. Use permanent dryer balls instead of fabric softener – saves money and energy and works fantastic. Choosing natural soaps, shampoos, deodorants, and makeup next time you purchase will dramatically lower your toxic load and aid your liver. Additionally, if you are concerned about your liver, avoid alcohol at all costs. It kills liver cells.

Get Plenty of Exercise – It can’t be said enough, exercise can make or break your health. Regular exercise helps burn triglycerides for fuel and reduces liver fat. Clinical studies show that aerobic and resistance exercises improve peripheral insulin resistance, blocking fatty liver deposits. It also promotes fat-burning, protects mitochondria and liver cells.15 16

Liver-Supporting Foods

Adding the following to your grocery list will go a long way to improve this powerhouse organ.

  1. CoffeeCoffee – The liver is responsible for all your energy. If it isn’t working efficiently, you’re probably feeling fatigued and reach for caffeine to compensate. Well, that turns out to be a good thing. Studies show that Coffee protects the liver, even if it’s already struggling. It lowers the risk of cirrhosis (scarring) in people with chronic liver disease.17 18 19 Plus, Coffee also reduces abnormal liver enzymes, prevents the buildup of fat and collagen, decreases inflammation, and increases antioxidant glutathione levels.20 21
  1. Coffee – The liver is responsible for all your energy. If it isn’t working efficiently, you’re probably feeling fatigued and reach for caffeine to compensate. Well, that turns out to be a good thing. Studies show that Coffee protects the liver, even if it’s already struggling. It lowers the risk of cirrhosis (scarring) in people with chronic liver disease.17 18 19 Plus, Coffee also reduces abnormal liver enzymes, prevents the buildup of fat and collagen, decreases inflammation, and increases antioxidant glutathione levels.20 21
  1. Coffee
  1. Your liver is exposed to every toxin entering your body, creating free radicals that can harm liver cells. Antioxidants neutralize these bad actors. Studies also show that drinking at least 3 cups a day lowers the risk of death in people with chronic liver disease.22 In addition, research also shows that 4 cups of Coffee a day reduces your risk for liver cancer.23 However, try to avoid drinking caffeine after 1 pm. Coffee remains in your system for a long time and can disrupt your sleep, which is when your liver repairs and regenerates.
  2. So, feel free to enjoy that cup of joe! But don’t forget, if you like it sweet, choose stevia or another natural sweetener instead of sugar or artificial sweeteners that harm the liver.
  1. Green TeaGreen Tea – Some studies found that the catechin antioxidants of Green Tea help improve liver enzyme levels, reduce oxidative stress, and fatty deposits in patients with NAFLD.24 In addition, one study found that black tea extract reversed the adverse effects of a high-fat diet and improved liver markers.25 That said, between 2008 and 2015, a total of 8 people experienced liver damage from Green Tea supplements combined with multiple other ingredients. So, if your liver is struggling, drink the tea and avoid the Green Tea supplements.
  1. Green Tea – Some studies found that the catechin antioxidants of Green Tea help improve liver enzyme levels, reduce oxidative stress, and fatty deposits in patients with NAFLD.24 In addition, one study found that black tea extract reversed the adverse effects of a high-fat diet and improved liver markers.25 That said, between 2008 and 2015, a total of 8 people experienced liver damage from Green Tea supplements combined with multiple other ingredients. So, if your liver is struggling, drink the tea and avoid the Green Tea supplements.
  1. Green Tea
  1. Blueberries and CranberriesBlueberries and Cranberries – As previously mentioned, antioxidants are critical to aid your liver. Berries are crammed with these potent free radical fighters. Blueberries and Cranberries contain anthocyanins that give berries their brilliant, jeweled colors. One study found that consuming berries for 21 days protected the liver, increasing immune cell response and antioxidant enzymes.26 Researchers also found that Blueberries slowed lesions, fibrous formations, and scarring in animal studies.27 And test-tube studies showed they can block the growth of liver cancer cells.28
  1. Blueberries and Cranberries – As previously mentioned, antioxidants are critical to aid your liver. Berries are crammed with these potent free radical fighters. Blueberries and Cranberries contain anthocyanins that give berries their brilliant, jeweled colors. One study found that consuming berries for 21 days protected the liver, increasing immune cell response and antioxidant enzymes.26 Researchers also found that Blueberries slowed lesions, fibrous formations, and scarring in animal studies.27 And test-tube studies showed they can block the growth of liver cancer cells.28
  1. Blueberries and Cranberries
  1. GrapesGrapes – Red and purple Grapes are an excellent source of resveratrol that can benefit the liver. Studies show that Grapes help lower inflammation and protect genes from heavy metal cadmium damage.29 30 Another study in people with NAFLD showed improved liver function after 3 months of taking Grape Seed Extract (GSE).31 GSE delivers more concentrated nutrients that might not be sufficient from grapes alone.
  1. Grapes – Red and purple Grapes are an excellent source of resveratrol that can benefit the liver. Studies show that Grapes help lower inflammation and protect genes from heavy metal cadmium damage.29 30 Another study in people with NAFLD showed improved liver function after 3 months of taking Grape Seed Extract (GSE).31 GSE delivers more concentrated nutrients that might not be sufficient from grapes alone.
  1. Grapes
  1. Prickly PearPrickly Pear – Prickly Pear has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat liver disease. Studies show that its extract reduces the hangover effects of alcohol intoxication by reducing the inflammation caused by alcohol.32 One animal study found when Prickly Pear is consumed together with pesticides harmful to the liver, it helps normalize enzyme and cholesterol levels.33 Prickly Pear juice helps decrease liver oxidation damage and injury after drinking alcohol by keeping antioxidant and inflammation levels in check.34
  1. Prickly Pear – Prickly Pear has been used in traditional medicine for centuries to treat liver disease. Studies show that its extract reduces the hangover effects of alcohol intoxication by reducing the inflammation caused by alcohol.32 One animal study found when Prickly Pear is consumed together with pesticides harmful to the liver, it helps normalize enzyme and cholesterol levels.33 Prickly Pear juice helps decrease liver oxidation damage and injury after drinking alcohol by keeping antioxidant and inflammation levels in check.34
  1. Prickly Pear
  1. Beetroot JuiceBeetroot Juice – Beetroot juice is jam-packed with nitrates and betalains antioxidants that reduce inflammation, free radical damage and increases natural detoxification enzymes.35 36 37 38 Eating beets may offer similar benefits to the juice, yet the added fiber supports your gut flora and immunity.
  1. Beetroot Juice – Beetroot juice is jam-packed with nitrates and betalains antioxidants that reduce inflammation, free radical damage and increases natural detoxification enzymes.35 36 37 38 Eating beets may offer similar benefits to the juice, yet the added fiber supports your gut flora and immunity.
  1. Beetroot Juice
  1. Olives & Olive OilOlives & Olive Oil – Olives contain healthy fats that support the liver. One small study showed that people with NAFLD consuming 1 teaspoon of olive oil per day improved liver enzyme and fat levels.39 Another showed olive oil increased Omega 3 levels in patients with NAFLD, decreasing triglycerides, harmful liver enzymes, and significantly improved adiponectin levels that leads to fatty deposits, insulin resistance, and inflammation.40 41
  1. Olives & Olive Oil – Olives contain healthy fats that support the liver. One small study showed that people with NAFLD consuming 1 teaspoon of olive oil per day improved liver enzyme and fat levels.39 Another showed olive oil increased Omega 3 levels in patients with NAFLD, decreasing triglycerides, harmful liver enzymes, and significantly improved adiponectin levels that leads to fatty deposits, insulin resistance, and inflammation.40 41
  1. Olives & Olive Oil

Next time you reach for a product or meal, take a moment to consider whether you can make a better choice for your liver. Adopting the above tips can dramatically improve your liver health and overall well-being!

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