What Is The Function Of The Liver
The liver has over 500 vital functions that have been identified. Some of the commonly known functions of the liver are the production of bile which helps carry away waste and break down fats in the small intestine during digestion, the production of protein for blood plasma, the production of cholesterol and special proteins that help carry fats through the body, the conversion of excess glucose into glycogen and to balance and produce glucose as it is needed, the regulation of blood levels of amino acids, the production of hemoglobin for storing iron known as ferritin, the conversion of poisonous ammonia to urea, clearing drugs and poisonous substances, regulating blood clotting, resisting infections by removing bacteria in the bloodstream, and clearing bilirubin.
The liver is responsible for all these and more. Its main job is to regulate chemical levels in the blood and excrete bile. By doing this, waste products can be carried away in a form that is much easier on the body.
Signs Your Liver May Be Telling You Something
Though liver disease can be genetic there are problems with the liver that can be caused by a variety of other factors such as obesity, viruses, and alcohol use. Over time these factors can have a life-threatening impact on you. Recognizing the onset of liver disease or liver damage can help prevent this from occurring and allow you to live your healthiest life.
Common signs that are consistent over a period of time may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Swelling in the legs
- Swelling in ankles
- Itchy skin
- Dark urine color
- Pale stool color
- Chronic fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Bruise easily
How To Keep Your Liver Healthy
The key to keeping your liver healthy comes down to what you put inside, on, or expose to your body. Eating raw, natural foods and drinking plenty of water is the first step to a healthy liver. Foods like apples, apricots, artichokes, arugula, asparagus, sea vegetables, bananas, berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, celery, cherries, cilantro, coconut, cranberries, cucumbers, dandelion greens, dates, eggplant, garlic, figs, grapes, hot peppers, kale, kiwi, leafy greens, lemons, limes, mangoes, melons, mushrooms, onions, oranges, parsley, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, pears, potatoes, pomegranates, radishes, raw honey, red cabbage, spinach, sprouts, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, fresh turmeric, and winter squash are all foods that help the liver perform at its optimal level.
Natural herbs and supplements also support the liver so it can function at its full potential. Things like aloe vera, B-complex, ashwagandha, cardamom, ginger, goldenseal, L-lysine, magnesium glycinate, peppermint, raspberry leaf, vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, and zinc are all powerful supplements that help the liver to thrive.
Unfortunately, there is a long list of things that can hinder the liver from functioning at its full capacity. It’s difficult to eliminate everything that can hinder the liver but it’s important to be aware so you can limit or eliminate your exposure. Some groups of liver troublemakers are things like petrochemicals that are very hard on the liver. These consist of diesel, gasoline, engine oil and grease, exhaust fumes, kerosene, lighter fluid, chemical solvents, plastic, lacquer, paint, dioxins, and even gas grills, stoves, and ovens.
Limiting food chemicals in the foods you eat is always better for your liver. Staying away from aspartame, MSG also known as monosodium glutamate, formaldehyde, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners are a good start in keeping your liver healthy.
Pharmaceuticals, alcohol, steroids, heavy metals, added hormones, and conventional chemicals are other trouble-makers for the liver.
Keeping your body healthy takes work but it is the best investment you can ever make to living a long, healthy, and thriving life.