Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Care for Liver So It Cares for You

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Care for Liver So It Cares for You

Article excerpt

THE liver is located in the upper abdomen, to the right of the stomach and directly below the diaphragm.

The liver is the second-largest organ in the body that performs many important functions, including producing bile which helps to break down fats, and is an important part of digestion.

The liver is known as the body's "detoxifier" and is involved in a wide range of functions, including protein synthesis and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion.

The liver plays a major role in metabolism and the breakdown of insulin and hormones, as well as breaking down or modifying toxic substances including alcohol and drugs.

The liver is also important in the regulation of cholesterol levels. There is no one food that will magically protect your liver, however, a well-balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in protecting it.

Maintaining a healthy weight, eating foods rich in fibre to maintain a healthy digestive system, reducing cholesterol levels and reducing fat (particularly saturated fat) intake are important in maintaining a healthy liver.

The following is a list of recommended foods to maintain a healthy liver:

Blueberries: Blueberries and most other berries, including cranberries, boysenberries, strawberries, blackberries and cherries, are high in phytonutrients and have been shown to improve short-term memory, promote healthy ageing and lower the risk of developing chronic disease, including heart disease and some cancers.

Blueberries are high in fibre, potassium and vitamin C and have anti-inflammatory properties.

The vitamin C in blueberries helps form collagen which keeps your capillaries and blood vessels healthy and also aids in the absorption of iron.

How to include blueberries:

Co Add blueberries to porridge, muesli or cereal.

Co Eat blueberries on their own as a snack.

Co Add blueberries to yoghurt.

Co Blend blueberries, raspberries and apple juice for a fresh summer smoothie.

Co Make wholemeal blueberry muffins.

Co Make wholemeal pancakes and top with yoghurt, blueberries and other fruit of choice.

Oats: Oats lower cholesterol levels and thereby reduces risk of heart disease and prevents type 2 diabetes.

It is thought that this is because oats have a high soluble fibre content, a low glycaemic index (slow-release energy) and are a wholegrain containing a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

How to include oats:

Co Add oats to muffins and cookies.

Co Cook oats as porridge and top with fruit of choice (banana and honey, strawberries and sliced almonds).

Co Make your own muesli by combining oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sultanas and walnuts or almonds Co top with yoghurt and fresh fruit.

Yoghurt: Yoghurt contains a high amount of calcium important for healthy bones and has the added benefit of pre and probiotics Co healthy bacteria which promote a healthy digestive tract as well as protecting the immune system and aid in the absorption of some vitamins and minerals. …

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