4 Science-Backed Ways to Keep Your Liver Healthy

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Your liver is responsible for getting rid of various substances, such as alcohol, pesticides, and medicines. It suffers when you over absorb, but it can also face other stressors, namely obesity, type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. (In fact, as many as 40 percent of U.S. adults have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease NAFLD, in which the liver accumulates fat for reasons other than chronic alcohol use. This organ does a lot for you. Payback yours with these repairs favor.

1. Eat more vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables

Cauliflower and other cruciferous plants — such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli — are potent sources of sulforaphane, an antioxidant that helps kickstart the liver’s natural detoxification process.

A 2019 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined broccoli consumption and its effect on levels of air-polluting chemicals in adults in China, a country notorious for its smog. Those who ate the equivalent of a cup of the vegetable for 10 days cleared 63 percent more of the pollutant benzene than those who didn’t. Sulforaphane seems to boost levels of enzymes the liver needs to eliminate pollutants.

2. Eat more whole grains

Regularly swapping out whole grains for refined grains is generally good nutritional advice — but it may also improve liver health, according to a 2019 study in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers had overweight adults eat five servings of whole grains a day grains or refined grains for three months, the whole grain group was found to have a liver enzyme profile similar to that of healthy young lean individuals. The livers of refined grain eaters showed the opposite effect. Naturally occurring phytochemicals in whole grains seem to help the body get rid of harmful liver fat.

3. drink coffee

Excess fat in the liver can lead to inflammation, which affects liver function and paves the way for serious disease. Enter: you am.java. “Coffee’s polyphenols appear to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, helping to reduce liver fat and inflammation,” says Dr. Tracey Simon, an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a liver specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. A review published in Clinical Nutrition found that drinking 3 cups (about 6 ounces each) of coffee per day can reduce the risk of NAFLD. Too much caffeine for you? Going caffeine-free appears to have similar benefits, says clinical gastroenterologist Dr. Ryan Heath.

4. Move your body

The liver is not a muscle, but exercise can still do it good. Physical activity helps reduce inflammation and liver fat. Plus: “Exercise improves how your body processes insulin and blood sugar,” says Simon, which is important because elevated blood sugar can damage your liver. In a 26,000-year study of 117 previously healthy adults, Simon and her team found that people who exercised regularly (any type of activity!) were less likely to die from liver disease during the study Sex is 60% lower than a couch potato. Even a leisurely three-hour walk a week can do the trick.

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