The liver is a surprisingly strong organ. Even if it is more than half damaged, it will continue to function. Even more amazingly, the liver governs the entire organization of body functions (up to 500 vital functions!) This is why in Chinese medicine, the liver is called "the general of the army."
Meanwhile, liver cancer is now one of the fastest-growing cancers in Canada. Is this due to alcohol, which is the most abused substance by Canadians? It definitely contributes to this unpleasant fact, but other issues like obesity can also play a role in liver cancer development.
So, what are the central liver's vital functions? And how can you help to help it function properly? Yes, it is possible to get life insurance to safeguard your family’s financial future if something happens to you. Still, you can also prevent any risk of illness by taking care of yourself now! Hey bonus, taking care of yourself can lower your premiums, did you know that? So let's begin!
We have selected seven of the liver’s main functions to help give you an idea of this organ’s importance. Once you have read this, you will understand the importance of taking care of your liver health! This very resistant and multi-tasking organ ensures:
- Blood filtration: it is, in fact, the only organ that can clean blood. The liver cleans the body by metabolizing alcohol, drugs and chemicals. It neutralizes and destroys these substances that are harmful to the body with the enzymes it produces.
- Hormone regulation: The liver breaks down unnecessary hormones and produces others, such as thyroid hormone, which modulates primary metabolism (the body's ability to carry out chemical processes.)
- Energy management: The liver can release sugar into the bloodstream, regulating blood sugar levels and your energy level throughout the day.
- Protein manufacturing: the liver breaks down and manufactures proteins, such as albumin, that transports iron, hormones, copper and other substances throughout your body to resist infection.
- Cholesterol regulation: our liver synthesizes more than 80% of the cholesterol in our body. The diet provides the rest and further stimulates the liver's production of cholesterol with catastrophic impacts on health.
- Management of vitamin and mineral levels: the liver stores and releases vitamins and minerals into the bloodstream, ensuring a steady supply throughout the day.
- Production of bile: this is not the last of the functions, but it is one of the most important as bile disintegrates toxic substances in the body, fat, waste from the body. So, remember the liver helps you to lighten your body daily!
While what we ingest can inflict damage on our bodies and our livers, this great organ can easily regenerate as quickly as in a month.
Here are our tips for taking care of your liver and staying healthy longer:
- Eat a varied diet from the four food groups and eat reasonable portions per day of meat and alternatives food from this group.
- Vary your intake from this food group by eating other protein types than animal protein: nuts and legumes are easier to digest!
- If alcohol consumption has become a habit, make water your basic drink and make sure you drink more than two litres of water a day. Drinking more water will help your liver to eliminate toxins.
- Choose organic foods at the grocery stores. You will relieve your liver of toxins, pesticides, synthetic hormones and other chemical substances that it will not have to eliminate!
- Eat brightly coloured fruits and vegetables: orange, red and green in foods indicate antioxidants and vitamins, a fantastic contribution to help your liver to store the necessary.
- You should also prefer to eat steamed vegetables. They will keep much more nutriments than pan-fried or boiled.
- You will gain a lot by including vegetables with high sulphur content in your daily diets, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, garlic and onion.
- For your starchy foods, choose whole grains: whole grain rice, whole grain flour, cane sugar, instead of refined and bleached products.
What about alcohol? As we said in the introduction, alcohol is perhaps the worst enemy of your liver. It can only break down a certain amount of alcohol at a time. So beware of overconsumption! Alcohol can destroy your liver cells, cause inflammation of the organ, inflict permanent scarring and even cancer.
Here is a list of medications your doctor should warn you about as it could harm your liver:
- Paracetamol, whose toxicity is increased when fasting or chronic alcoholism,
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs,
The molecules of these drugs, depending on when you take them if you have also ingested alcohol, can seriously damage the health of your liver.
As the liver can continue its work for a long time without any sign of disease, take actions to prevent the risks of health problems now. By taking care of your health, you will take care of your liver and live longer.
However, sometimes prevention is not enough. Something can happen to you for so many reasons nowadays, and not only because of health problems. For this reason, you should take care of your health and provide financial protection to your family if something happens to you. At TermLite, we think the financial protection part should be easy and quick because life’s already busy enough. That's why we created TermLite, a Simplified Life Insurance covering you for short and medium-term needs, or up to 100 years. We'll be happy to answer your questions and help you protect your family's future. To receive a free quote, please fill out a short form, and our friendly advisor will contact you as soon as possible! We would be happy to help you!
Written by Diane Taes