Feature: World Liver Day, commemorated on April 19 every year, is about building awareness and understanding how important the liver is for our body and how liver diseases can be managed effectively. According to WHO, liver diseases is the 10th most common cause of death in India. This year, the theme of World Liver Day 2018 is ‘Riding New Waves in Liver Diagnosis, Staging & Treatment’.
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The liver is the second largest organ and is a key player in our body’s digestive system. Everything we consume passes through the liver. It fights infections, removes toxins, controls cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, make proteins and releases bile to help digestion.
According to Dr Manish Srivastava, consultant, Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant Department, Jaypee Hospital, Noida, general symptoms of liver diseases include abdominal pain, abnormal stools, loss of appetite, sensitivity to medications, dark urine, to name a few.
To take care of the liver, one needs to adopt a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet of grains, proteins, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and fats. Abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and drugs and exercising is equally important.
Here are the foods that can help combat liver diseases:
Garlic: It helps in detoxifying the body and is rich in allicin, an antioxidant that protects the liver from oxidative damage. It helps the liver activate enzymes that can flush out harmful substances.
Carrot: Carrots contain carotenoids called beta-carotene, which help keep the liver healthy. Carotenoids are fat-soluble, which stimulate bile to flow and remove liver toxicity.
Apple: These fruits are high in antioxidants, which are great for detoxifying the liver and protects it from various diseases.
Walnut: Like carrots, walnuts help the liver flush fat-soluble wastes. They also contain arginine, which the liver uses to remove toxins like ammonia and glutathione.
Green tea: It contains catechins that help reduce liver cancer, steatosis, and cirrhosis. Drinking 2-3 cups of green tea daily reduces the liver enzymes that are associated with the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Cruciferous vegetables: Veggies such as spinach and lettuce contain a lot of vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and antioxidants that help in flushing out carcinogens and have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of liver diseases.
Citrus fruits: Fruits like grapefruits, lemons, limes, and orange are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, both of which help in the production of liver detoxifying enzymes and have natural cleansing abilities of the liver.