Posted by Nicole on March 10, 2014

Whether you're occasionally enjoy a glass of wine, or just enjoy living, a liver's a good friend to have. It's one of the largest organs in your body, and handles a lot of the important functions that you need to stay healthy. The most important of those functions is the filtration of your blood to detoxify it. Without a healthy, functional liver, you wouldn't be able to get nutrients from food, or get rid of the toxins that you ingest on a daily basis. You'd accumulate loads of negatives, and miss out on all of the positives that come with eating and drinking.

On that note, alcohol can damage your liver. It's not the occasional drink that does it, but repeated binge drinking sessions without proper hydration can really take a toll on one of the most important components your body's got.

Keep Your Liver Lively

Livers are also our chief defense against the dreaded hangover. It deals with both the alcohol, and the chemical byproducts that ethanol produces in our bloodstream. Unfortunately, without support, your liver will essentially be doing “overtime,” working to both keep your blood clean and dealing with this new onslaught of toxins.

The best way to support your liver is to moderate how much you drink, of course. If you think of your liver as a worker in an office, heavy drinking just puts pile after pile of paperwork on its desk, to the point where it may not get done in time. The employee gets stressed, work quality goes down, and the whole office will suffer as a result.

Here are a few more tips you can follow to make sure your liver's a happy worker:

  • Give it Milk Thistle
    Milk thistle promotes the growth of liver cells, and it staves off the process of oxidation that can damage existing cells. It also provides defenses against toxins in the membrane of the liver, which means the liver itself will be protected from the very toxins it's filtering.

  • Watch Your Weight
    Being more active and watching your waist line means reducing the chances of fat building up in your liver. Fat stores toxins, and it impairs the natural function of the liver. Stay active; cardiovascular fitness also means more blood flow to your liver, giving it the supplies it needs to do its job.

  • Eat More Veggies
    Fiber can act as a net that goes through your digestive tract and takes toxins and harmful deposits with it. The more fiber that you have in your diet, the better it works. We're omnivores for a reason, after all. Cut a few ounces from your steak and consider cruciferous vegetables, as they can boost your liver's detoxing power.

Another note: If you're currently taking any medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before you drink alcohol. Most will tell you up front not to drink in some cases, because medications are filtered through your liver. Stressing it with alcohol is a bad combination.