Here we will post evidence based, healthy eating and well-being tips and information for Alcohol and Other Drug Consumers

About the Liver

Produced by Peta Gava - Hep C Peer Harm Reduction Education Program

Liver diagram

It is the second largest organ in the body.

It is located under the ribs to the upper right.

A healthy liver is smooth & firm to the touch.

Blood from digestive organs, like the stomach, flows through a large vein to the liver carrying nutrients from food, medication and also toxic substances. Once everything reaches the liver, it is processed, stored, altered, detoxified and passed back into the blood or released into the bowel for elimination. So, not only does the liver clean the blood of toxins, it breaks down what you eat so your body can use it for energy, it stores vitamins and minerals and builds protein. These proteins are important for many bodily functions like blood clotting, which stops bleeding when you cut yourself or have a shot.

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filters blood

How to Keep Your Liver Healthy

liver with flowers

Whether your liver is damaged or in great shape, here are some simple things you can do to keep your liver healthier.

1. Cut back on how much alcohol you drink, especially if you already have liver scarring. Heavy alcohol intake will make liver damage worse.

bottle of wine

2. If you are a person who injects drugs, you are at an increased risk of contracting hep C. Ask your health professional about regular testing for hep C. Leaving hep C untreated can lead to liver disease.

leanne and tahnee

3. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet with plenty of vegetables and fruit and that is low in sugar, salt and fat can help your liver function better.

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4Take regular exercise. Even if it is just going for a walk.

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Some Simple Food Tips to Help You LOVE Your Liver

Food with lots of fibre can help your liver work at its best. Want one that's a great way to start your day? Try oatmeal. Research shows it can help you shed some extra pounds and belly fat, which is a good way to keep away liver disease.

Add lots of veggies to your diet if you want to keep your liver healthy. Broccoli can be part of this strategy. Some studies suggest this crunchy food can help protect you from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. If steamed broccoli sounds a little too blah, shred it into a slaw and toss it with sliced almonds, dried cranberries, and a tangy vinaigrette. It's also delicious roasted with garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Leafy greens have a powerful antioxidant called glutathione, which can help keep your liver working right. And spinach couldn't be easier to prepare. It makes a great base for a dinner salad, and it's also delicious sautéed with garlic and olive oil.

One of the best things you can do for your liver is keep a healthy weight. Get in the habit of drinking water instead of sweetened drinks like sodas or sports drinks. You'd be amazed at how many calories it will save you each day.

Nuts - especially almonds - are good sources of vitamin E, a nutrient that research suggests may help protect against fatty liver disease.

Almonds are good for your heart, too, so grab a handful the next time you feel like snacking. Or try them in salads, where they add a nice crunch.

Early research suggests a diet high in sodium may lead to fibrosis, which is the first stage of liver scarring. Too much of the sugar can also take a toll on your liver. That's because part of its job is to convert sugar into fat. If you overdo it, your liver makes too much fat, which ends up hanging around where it doesn't belong, contributing to fatty liver disease. So do your liver a favour and make sweets an occasional treat.

Next time you feel the call of the vending machine, reach for a healthy snack instead. The problem with chips and baked goods is that they're usually loaded with sugar, salt, and fat. Cutting back is a relatively easy diet tweak with a little planning. One good strategy: Bring a stash of healthy snacks with you to work. Your body needs some salt -- just not nearly as much as you probably get.

good food bad food

A Nutrition Guide For Consumers

Produced by WANADA

Below is a fantastic all round resource produced by WANADA.

Follow the link to download.

181219-ACT-WFD-A nutrition guide for consumers

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