With being stuck at home during the lockdown, with balancing working from home, homeschooling, and a global health crisis, it’s little surprise that many of us have turned to the drinks cabinet to help ease the uncertainty and worry.
Figures released from Alcohol Change UK revealed that over a quarter of Brits say that have drunk more than usual during the lockdown, and all that extra boxing is certainly not good for our health. and cause irreparable damage.
Why is the liver so important?
The liver, which is a large organ located in the right upper abdomen, performs over 500 vital tasks every day that is essential to our survival.
It filters out all the nasty toxins that enter our body through the food, drink, and medicines we consume. After being digested by the stomach and intestines, it is absorbed into our bloodstream and makes its way to the liver. The liver then knows to filter out the toxins, which we then excrete, or to keep the essential nutrients our body needs, releasing them back into the blood.
Alcohol can have a damaging effect
When we have drunk alcohol, the liver goes into overdrive to breakdown and filter out the alcohol so we can excrete it, but this process results in a chemical reaction that is bad for the cells of the liver, causing damage.
Consuming too much alcohol can trigger a build-up of fat which prevents the liver from performing its job.
The conditions that damage the liver can also lead to cirrhosis, or scarring as the liver tries to repair itself. Over time, the scarring will lead to liver failure, which is a life-threatening condition.
How can I look after my liver?
Here are some top tips for supporting your liver health and reducing your risk of developing complications later in life.
Cut down on alcohol
Alcohol is the worst thing for your liver. Take a break from drinking alcohol at least three days a week to allow your liver to repair and renew. Aim to drink no more than 14 units a week, or cut out alcohol completely.
Eat a healthy diet full of antioxidants
Many dark berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries, contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which may help protect the liver from damage. There are many other foods that are antioxidant-rich, such as ginger, goji berries, turmeric, basic, cumin, and coriander.
Obesity, particularly, abdominal or central obesity, is a major risk factor for developing fatty liver disease. With a little extra exercise, you can maintain a healthy weight and support your liver health. It is advised to get at least half an hour of regular exercise every day.
Protect your liver from viral infections
Always ensure you have up to date hepatitis A and B vaccinations before you travel abroad.
If you are planning on visiting a tattoo parlour or body piercing clinic, then always make sure they adhere to strict codes of hygiene and sterilisation.
Always practice safe sex
In conclusion, there’s nothing tricky about maintaining good liver health, it’s mostly about keeping a healthy lifestyle.
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