Why your liver will thank you for going on a detox diet
The liver is a vital organ in our body and has multiple important functions to perform. It is the main organ responsible for regulating metabolic functions. It produces and regulates carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the body. It manufactures important proteins like albumin, coagulation factors, etc.
It is a storehouse for vitamins, minerals and glycogen. It is also involved in detoxification of toxins produced in the body as well as external toxins, alcohol, drugs, etc. In short, the liver is a full-fledged factory in the body which performs multiple functions like manufacturing, storing and waste disposal.
Therefore, it is important for us to keep it healthy. One good thing is that the liver has strong regenerating power. If not damaged irreversibly, it can regenerate to its full normal potential. (Remember, it is the only organ in the human body which can repair itself).
The liver can be damaged due to a number of causes including infections by viruses and parasites (malaria), toxins like alcohol and drugs, being overweight, etc. For a healthy liver, it is important to avoid indiscriminate use of alcohol and drugs.
Nowadays, a lot of youngsters going to gyms are lured to take supplements to build muscles. Most of these supplements contain anabolic steroids and can cause serious liver injury. So, it is important to stay away from these.
Lifestyle Changes Hold Key
For a healthy liver, a balanced diet is very important. Such a diet consists of adequate macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients are provided by vegetables and fruits.
In the past two decades, fatty disease of the liver has become an important cause of serious liver disease. Fatty liver can result in liver cirrhosis and cancer. Alcohol, a diet rich in fats and sugars, obesity, abnormal lipids and diabetes mellitus can all cause fatty liver.
There is no specific medicine for the treatment of this condition. Stopping the consumption of alcohol and harmful drugs/toxins, and bringing abnormal blood sugar and lipids under control are a must.
The cornerstone of treatment is lifestyle changes including exercise, diet control to reduce weight and change in the diet constituents.
For this, energy intake should be reduced to less than the daily caloric requirement. This is best accomplished by decreasing sugar intake to the minimum. Proteins in the form of pulses, milk products and select meats have to be increased to prevent muscle breakdown. All weightloss diets have one thing in common, that is, low/minimal carbohydrate intake.
Fruits and uncooked vegetables should be taken in plenty. Adequate fibre intake should be ensured as it is important for intestinal health. If intestinal function is breached, toxins generated in the intestines are taken to the liver directly and can cause damage. The best source of fibre is vegetables.
In summary, a detox diet for fatty liver should be low in carbohydrates, normal in fat content and high in proteins with daily intake of fruits and vegetables.