Most alcohol drinkers like to joke about the effect of alcohol on the liver but there are in fact several other foods that damage the liver that you might be consuming every day. When this vital organ malfunctions, the symptoms you can experience can range from dull to severe, even death. Liver problems can be hereditary but is some cases; it is a matter of your diet’s effect on your body.
Before discussing which foods can damage the liver, it’s important to know what it actually does. The most well-known functions of the liver are to detoxify and flush out waste from your body. It “cleanses” the blood that passes through your body in order to separate what you ingest into useful nutrients and waste. It also turns excess sugars into glycogen that can be stored in the body and influences the regulation of amino acids in the bloods. On top of that, it flushes out harmful bacteria and therefore fights infection.
The liver is a very busy organ, performing up to 500 functions in order to keep you in good health. When your liver starts failing, you can expect to experience fatigue, diarrhea, nausea and a poor appetite. If you’re not treated, symptoms can advance and cause mental confusion, abdominal swelling and bleeding. The worst case scenario is to either fall into a coma or even die.
The 7 substances and foods that damage the liver are:
In moderate doses, alcohol can have little effect on the liver but when consumed excessively and regularly, it can start damaging your liver gradually. Your liver is responsible for cleansing and excreting toxins. Therefore, when you drink too much, you’re pressing this organ to work twice as hard. Regulate your intake and opt for wine instead of ciders and strong liquors.
Like alcohol, there is nothing dangerous about consuming it especially when you use it to season food. There are certain foods, however, that contain too much sodium and when you consume these more than you should, it might end up causing liver damage. These foods are usually store-bought and include soups, canned foodstuffs and some convenience food.
3. Vitamin A-rich foods
Lack of this vitamin can lead to illnesses but too much of it can lead to liver failure.
4. Fatty foods
Here, it’s important to differentiate between bad and good fats. Healthy fats are those you find in nuts and avocados and olives. Unhealthy fats are saturated and hard to digest. Common sources are fried and processed foods.
5. Excess protein
Too much protein without enough carbohydrates can lead to the liver malfunctioning. Balance meats and eggs with vegetables and starchy foods.
Carbonated drinks have too much sugar and caffeine and because sugar needs to be converted into storable glycogen, they qualify as foods that damage the liver when you consume too much.
7. Fast food
Regardless of the convenience and great taste, fast food is too high in calories and too fatty which might result in liver problems over time.