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4 unhealthy habits that are damaging your liver

By Dr Ashish Singhal
December 31, 2019 10:50 IST
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Your liver uses water to metabolise fats, and insufficient hydration will put stress on your liver, says Dr Ashish Singhal.

How to care for your liver

Image published for representational purposes only. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

The human liver is one of the most important organs of our body.

It is responsible for more than 50 functions including metabolism, immune system, and detoxification.

In the current times of busy and stressful life, there are many known and unknown ways we cause damage to our liver every day. 

Here are four mistakes you should avoid:

1. Eating too much saturated and processed foods

Your liver needs to make extra efforts to process saturated or processed foods.

So, if you regularly eat processed fats such as corn or peanut oil, fried foods, you can imagine the amount of harm your liver endures.

These foods are not only hard to digest and break down, but also produce a lot of toxic by-products which harm your liver.

2. Breathing polluted air

The air we breathe in is full of pollutants.

Regular exposure of car exhaust, first or second-hand smoke, and other types of industrial by-products not only harm your lungs but also your liver.

The reason is the toxins that you breathe through your lungs also run through your liver to be processed. The toxic air that you breathe overloads your liver and needs detoxification.

3. Eating processed carbohydrates

Like processed foods, processed carbohydrates can also have an impact on your liver.

Sugary drinks, white breads, pastas, and candies contain processed carbohydrates.

Regular intake of any of these items will make your liver work extra hard to break down and digest the processed carbohydrates.

When you eat these foods rich in processed carbohydrates, your liver needs to make some extra efforts to maintain your blood sugar levels and remove toxic substances present in these food items.

4. Lack of proper sleep

You need eight hours of sleep not only to get beautiful skin but also for your liver to function smoothly.

If you don’t get deep sleep by the time your liver kick starts the digestion process, there is a possibility that your liver is not getting enough time to function smoothly.

For your liver to function optimally, it is essential to get enough rest.

How to detox and keep your liver healthy

Considering the important functions it performs, it is crucial to maintain liver health by detoxifying it occasionally.

Detox, or detoxification, is the removal of potentially toxic substances from the body.

Special diets, supplements, herbs and other methods including juices help removing environmental and dietary toxins from the body.

While making your own juices at home, operate the juicer at lower speed to avoid heating and thereby damaging nutrients.

This will help add oxygen to the juice and eliminate impact shock to the fruits and vegetables.

You may also extract juices by squeezing it with your hand or use a manual presser.

Benefits of hydration

All fruit and vegetable juices consist primarily of water which helps to flush out toxins and cleanse the liver.

Your liver uses water to metabolise fats, and insufficient hydration will put stress on your liver.

While there is no exact water requirement, experts recommend between six and eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to keep your body hydrated.

You may need to drink more water if the weather is hot or humid or if you are engaging in strenuous activity.

You may also include the following two juices to boost your liver functioning:

Beet juice: Fresh beet juice is naturally sweet and contains polyphenols, natural antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cell death and damage as a result of exposure to toxins.

Blueberry juice:Rich in antioxidants, blueberry juice boosts your liver function and reduces the risk of scarring.


Dr Ashish Singhal is a liver transplant expert and senior consultant at Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Gurugram. He can be contacted on ga@rediff-inc.com.


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