The festive period is a time where everyone is guilty for over indulging. Healthy diets and gym sessions slip down our list of priorities as we eat and drink till our hearts content and use our staple knitwear pieces to cover the damage. This is what we know and love for the festive period, but we need to make sure our body isn’t suffering, and there’s no lasting damage. So here we are going to show you why your liver is such a key player, some tips to compensate for all the treats and what foods are especially good for protecting your liver.
Sitting under your ribcage, the liver’s function is to clean your blood, getting rid of all the harmful chemicals. It does this by producing bile which breaks down fats from food and stores sugar called glucose giving you an energy boost when you need it.
Here are some tips to help compensate for this month of madness and over indulgence. Firstly, we know no one will be holding back on the beverages this December but if you can try and give yourself at least three booze-free days and limit yourself to 10 units a week then this will make a difference. Alcohol makes life harder for your liver, killing off some important cells. Something to consider is Dry January, tests have shown that a month of no drinking can reduce your liver fat by 15% as well as making improvements to your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Just a thought for the New Year.
While we are filling up on mulled wine and egg nog remember to be drinking plenty of water especially when you are nursing a hangover. It is crucial for flushing out toxins and if you are dehydrated it can mean your blood thickens making it hard to filter. Everyone should aim to be drinking 1.2 litres of water a day just to keep the liver healthy and functioning properly.
Another tip that I am sure for many of us will not find hard is drinking coffee and tea. They give people lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes. So, like everything, drink it in moderation to help maintain a happy liver.
Like every organ in our body, our liver needs exercise. Whether is it a little walk or a Saturday morning run our body is always grateful for some exercise. Get the family out on a nice winter walk and it will do everyone a little good.
One thing which we all know does our health no good is smoking. Nicotine raises the levels of fat in the blood making it hard work for the liver to filter all the toxins. While it is cold outside, and cigarettes are increasingly more expensive why not cut down throughout the week?
Cutting down on Carbs can also compensate for the alcohol consumption this Christmas. Sugary and starchy foods such as potatoes and bread are particularly bad for your liver because they turn into glucose initially being stored in the liver. So, to improve liver functions just compensate by doing a little exercise or reducing your intake.
Some foods will give you a helping hand. Grapefruits, blueberries, cranberries and grapes help because they are high in antioxidants by reducing inflammation and increasing protective mechanisms. If you’re wanting a snack at the pub or in the office have some nuts or seeds. Increasing your vitamin E can help reduce symptoms of liver disease by preventing cell damage.
Foods we already know that are super foods, such as fish and greens will maintain a healthy liver. Fatty fishes are especially good due to the omega 3 acids. Leafy greens, broccoli and sprouts will also help act as protection towards damages and improve blood levels of liver enzymes.
So, when you go to Christmas markets and see all the delicious hotdogs and steamy mulled cider, don’t worry as long as you don’t over do it and remember a few tips you will have a happy and healthy liver this Christmas.