World Liver Day observed on April 19th every year is about spreading awareness about the second largest organ of our body after the brain and diseases related to it including liver cancer. One of the most complex organs, the liver plays a key role in the digestive system – literally, everything one eats or drinks, including medicine, passes through it. One cannot survive without the liver. A damaged liver is not good news for the human body.
Why is it so important to keep the liver healthy and in top-notch condition? The reasons are more than many –
- Liver as a detoxifying agent – Besides purifying the blood, the liver also breaks down the toxic chemicals and substances produced by our body and removes them.
- Liver produces important chemicals – Yes, the humble liver is a hard-working organ singularly responsible for over 500 chemical functions from fighting infections and illnesses, regulating blood sugar, controlling cholesterol levels and helping blood to clot and thicken.
- Liver produces bile – The liver produces bile, which is an important liquid that breaks down fat and helps in digestion.
- Liver as the storehouse – Liver is the storehouse of important and vital hormones, vitamins and minerals and takes care of any shortages in the body.
Any liver problem does not come announced until fairly advanced and at a serious and damaged situation.
Suggested foods that keep the liver clean are garlic, grapefruit, green leafies, carrots, apples, walnuts, olive oil,turmeric, plenty of lemon/lime juice and tea, alternative grains like quinoa, millet and buckwheat, and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.
A healthy and balanced diet plus regular exercise and proper weight usually keeps the liver healthy. Stay away from alcohol, drugs and smoking and also exposure to harmful chemicals like pesticides, insecticides and strong cleaning agents like aerosol.
Hepatitis and liver cancer are the more serious diseases associated with the liver with or without symptoms. Getting vaccinated against Hepatitis is the only way to counter it. For liver cancer, the treatment options range from removal of the liver, a transplant or radiation therapy.
Spread the word about taking care of the helpful liver, this World Liver Day!