Did you know that taking care of your liver is important for your overall health and medical readiness? Your liver helps to:
- Clean your blood by getting rid of harmful chemicals
- Break down fat from food
- Store glycogen (sugar) to give you an energy boost when needed
Keep your liver in check with the following tips.
1. Eat Smart
Eating a well-balanced diet helps keep your liver healthy. Foods that are especially good for your liver are blueberries, cranberries, grapes, broccoli, fish, and nuts. Cutting back on processed foods, sugary drinks, and fried food will save your liver from working overtime to rid your body of toxic substances.
2. Properly Hydrate
Water helps your liver detoxify substances and digest food. Find out how much water you should drink every day.
3. Limit Energy Drinks
Between your civilian job and your Guard duties, it can be hard to stay alert when you’re constantly on the go. But drinking too many energy drinks or shots in one day can wreck your liver and prevent it from functioning properly. For a quick energy fix, try drinking a moderate amount of coffee or green tea, which can also help fight liver disease and liver cancer.
4. Monitor Your Medicine
Medicines, such as pain relievers and antibiotics, can be helpful in managing symptoms when you’re sick, but taking too much at one time can affect the liver. Many medicines are broken down in the liver – too much of any one can put a strain on your liver or even lead to liver damage. Learn how to read medicine labels and safely use medications from Know Your Dose. You can also talk to your pharmacist about the risks of using certain medicines.
5. Drink Responsibly
Know your alcohol limits and pace yourself. Drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver cells.
6. Exercise Regularly
Staying active helps you maintain a healthy weight, which prevents your liver from storing too much fat or getting inflamed. A healthy weight also helps decrease your chances of heart-related diseases such as high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks.
Keeping your liver healthy doesn’t have to be hard. If you have questions about building healthy habits to stay fit for duty, talk to your Medical Readiness NCO.
- Lower your risk of getting hepatitis, which can destroy your liver, by practicing safe sex and making sure you are vaccinated.
- Protect your liver from toxic chemicals by quitting tobacco.
- Find out if your supplement might be doing your liver more harm than good.