A healthy functioning liver is vital to your overall health and continued existence. Given this, it should not be a surprise that liver disease is something serious. Liver disease isn’t limited to those who drink too much alcohol. On the contrary, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) impacts around one-quarter of adult people living in the United States. NAFLD can progress to a more severe condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH. The good news is there are some healthy lifestyle changes to help maintain your liver health.
Eating Healthy and Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Believe it or not, the liver can regenerate itself making it possible to reverse liver damage in the early stages. Eating healthier and maintaining a healthy weight can help give your liver a rest and prevent permanent damage.
As a general rule, people should aim to incorporate the following in their diets:
- Fiber from sources like whole grains as well as fresh fruits and vegetables
- Lean protein sources, such as seafood, skinless poultry, or legumes, as opposed to fattier meats
- Avoiding raw or undercooked shellfish
- Drinking plenty of water each day to stay hydrated
This also means limiting foods that are high in cholesterol, processed foods, sugars, and saturated fats. Abiding by a healthy and balanced diet can also help keep excess weight, a common risk factor for NASH.
Make Exercise a Habit
Exercising has many benefits. When you do it consistently, it helps burn triglycerides for fuel and reduce liver fat. It enhances mood, burns fat, and improves energy levels. It is also essential in maintaining a healthy weight. Individuals should aim to achieve at least 150 minutes of combined moderate exercises and strength-training activities per week.
Drop the Bad Habits
Alcohol can damage liver cells and lead to swelling or scarring that becomes cirrhosis, which can be deadly. Limiting alcohol or avoiding it can prevent this. Toxins can injure liver cells. Limit direct contact with toxins from cleaning and aerosol products, insecticides, chemicals, and additives. Additives in cigarettes can also damage your liver, so don’t smoke.
Knowledge is the first step to better health. To learn more about South Texas Research Institute’s FREE fibroscan for adults at risk of liver disease, call (956) 284-6353, or visit our website today!