Liver diseases are on the rise. The reasons for this may be attributed to dietary choices, a sedentary lifestyle, increase in environmental pollutants, chemical exposure from products like soaps and cosmetics, increased use of over-the-counter medications, and frequent alcohol consumption. More and more people are suffering from liver diseases like fatty liver, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatitis infections, liver cirrhosis, and even liver cancer. It’s not uncommon to hear of people going on extreme liver ‘cleanse diets’ or ‘detox diets’, using various types of medications, supplements, and extreme juice diets. However, these can sometimes cause more harm than good. In fact, there has been conclusive research that proves that a liver cleanse can reverse liver damage.
So what must one do to maintain liver health?
The simple answer is to focus on physical activity, balanced eating, reduction of alcohol and over-the-counter drugs, and the inclusion of certain foods and herbs that may help increase liver function. Below are some foods that are known to support liver function, that you can add to your diet.
- Milk thistle is an ancient herb that has been used by Ayurveda practitioners in treating liver diseases. It contains a compound called silybin that is meant to support liver function. However, there aren’t concrete reports to prove it’s effectiveness.
- Curcumin is a compound found in a spice called haldi, which is a pantry staple for all Indian households. It’s anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants are said to be beneficial for liver health.
- Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, is rich in antioxidants that may enhance liver function greatly.
- Ginger is known to help remove the build up of toxins from the liver and has also been known to be useful in the prevention of liver cancer.
- Apple cider vinegar has been recommended for consumption before meals, as it helps metabolize fat in the liver, effectively supporting liver function. It is suggested that one must mix 2 tablespoons in a large glass of water and drink it before a meal.
In addition to these dietary additions, it is equally important to make lifestyle improvement that will add less pressure on the liver.
- Eliminate consumption of packaged and highly processed foods that are loaded with trans fats
- Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum
- Beware of over-the-counter drugs and medications like pain kills, as they can be heavy for the liver to detoxify
- Stay active through regular exercise
With liver diseases on the rise, more and more people are having to undergo expensive medical procedures to get treated. The high cost of treatment can be extremely burdening for some families to bare, which is why more people today are leaning towards the concept of medical crowdfunding. Through crowdfunding one can start a fundraiser online to raise money for treatment through a donations based system. Several platforms for crowd funding in India offer this service for liver diseases, as well as any other disease treatment – not only is it quick and easy, but also entirely debt-free.