The liver is the largest organ in the human body and a vital organ that is crucial for good health, so maintaining it depends mainly on what you consume. The liver plays a very critical role in your well-being and the quality of life. The liver helps to regulate the body’s metabolism, digest and store the nutrients from foods and removes toxins from the body.
The foods to avoid for maintaining a healthy liver includes fats, sugar, salt, alcohol, Monosodium glutamate, artificial sweeteners, and pesticides.
Salt: Too much sodium not only raises your blood sugar, but it can also cause liver damage, and produce water retention and swelling that is also harmful to the liver. Some of the foods to limit are canned soups, canned vegetables, deli meat, canned vegetables, soy sauce, bacon, and sausages. Moreover, read the labels so you are aware of how much is salt in your food. Try not to exceed 1,500 milligrams a day.
Sugar: Too much sugar in your diet leads to obesity, which puts stress on your liver and causes liver damage. Sugar can also be as harmful as alcohol is to the liver. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is detrimental to your health; too much fructose can cause fatty liver, which is excess fat deposits accumulated around the liver, as well as inflammation. Avoid foods with too much sugar such as candy, pastries, cakes, cookies, soda, and anything that has added sugar, and simple carbohydrates too.
High-fat foods: Foods that have trans fats (or partially hydrogenated) causes obesity that can cause liver damage, and it also makes the liver work harder which over time can damage your liver. Foods to avoid in this group are fast foods, packaged desserts, pizza, donuts, margarine, soda, salad dressing, burgers, and microwave popcorn. These are just some of the foods with trans fats, so make sure to read the ingredients on the nutrition labels.
Artificial Sweeteners: Aspartame, Splenda, Equal, and NutraSweet can cause toxic reactions in the body, so it is best to avoid them entirely.
Pesticides & Chemicals: Vegetables and fruits exposed to chemicals and pesticides get stored in the liver and can cause liver damage. So, it is best to purchase organic food whenever possible.
If the liver is damaged, it will not be able to efficiently process the nutrients in food, which can progressively damage the liver. Also, a damaged liver cannot metabolize and break down proteins from consuming animal protein. A damaged liver is unable to process sodium causing water retention, abdominal bloating, and inflammation. Continually eating sugar, high-fat proteins, and sodium creates further damage to the liver and can provoke non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammation of the liver, and cirrhosis which can make you feel tired, moody, and bloated in some cases. Foods that can help your liver include apples, artichokes, and fresh garlic and onions that aid the liver in cleaning out toxins.