The liver is the body’s largest and most complex organ, and it works continuously to produce the bile necessary for fat digestion and blood detoxification. The primary function of this organ is to remove various toxins from the body. These include chemicals, alcohol, preservatives and other by-products that would otherwise build up in a person’s bloodstream and cause health problems. More than one liter of blood is filtered through the liver each minute. When liver enzymes are elevated, it is a symptom that the liver is working too hard. Fortunately, people can lower liver enzymes with lifestyle changes.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use
According to the National Institutes of Health, there is a direct link to high alcohol consumption and liver disease. Fortunately, substituting alcoholic drinks for healthier beverages can significantly lower the risk of various types of liver disease. Even simply limiting the use of alcohol to less than three drinks per week substantially lowers liver enzymes in almost all individuals.
Reduce Exposure to Toxins
Environmental toxins, including disinfectants, detergents, chemical cleaners, paint fumes, and personal hygiene products all contain toxins. Even second-hand cigarette smoke can eventually damage the human liver with continuous exposure. Exchanging regular hygiene products and cleaners for chemical-free options and avoiding cigarette smoke can prevent these toxins from negatively affecting the liver and increasing liver enzyme quantities.
Stop Unnecessary Medications
Certain individuals must take prescription medications. However, overusing over-the-counter drugs or home remedies may elevate liver enzymes. This because the liver must work to detoxify the blood, and byproducts from the breakdown of medications can eventually overtax the liver. Interestingly, over-the-counter drugs often pose a greater risk to the liver than many prescription drugs. People who are unsure about which medications they can safely eliminate should speak to a licensed healthcare professional.
Eliminate or Reduce Processed Foods
Most prepackaged foods contain excessive amounts of refined sugar, sodium, and chemicals. These substances cause the liver to work much harder than necessary under normal conditions. For this reason, it is wise for anyone with elevated liver enzymes to reduce or eradicate such foods from their diet. Completely eliminating foods high in preservatives and chemicals and switching to more natural or organic options can improve liver health in as little as 24 hours.
Regularly Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to boost liver function and reduce the presence of dangerously high triglyceride levels. Although the latter is a natural substance, excessively high levels can elevate liver enzymes and make the liver less efficient. Fortunately, adding omega-3 fatty acids is not difficult, as supplements are readily available. These healthy fats are also found in flaxseed, salmon, avocados, and tuna. It is possible to have too much omega-3, however, so it is a good idea to check with a medical professional.
Exchange Red Meat for Chicken and Fish
Red meat is typically high in fat and protein, both of which are difficult to digest if one already has elevated liver enzymes. When such foods are eaten frequently, the liver must break down fat and protein on a continuous basis. This results in the liver having to store too much waste and too many by-products, which can further elevate enzymes. Choosing leaner meats, such as poultry and fish, as well as consuming beans, nuts and legumes, can significantly lower harmful liver enzymes in most individuals.
Eat Green Leafy Vegetables
Consuming significant amounts of green leafy vegetables is a proven way to lower liver enzymes because foods of this kind are rich in vitamin K. Such vegetables include romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and collard greens. Adding just one large green leafy salad three times a week effectively accomplishes this goal.
Staying hydrated is a simple yet highly effective way to lower liver enzymes and promote liver health. This is because water assists the liver in flushing out toxins and boosting the organ’s efficiency. Ten full glasses of water a day is ideal, but even a moderate increase is beneficial.
Take Milk Thistle Supplements
To prevent liver disease and lower liver enzymes, people may also choose to add milk thistle supplements to their diets. Milk thistle has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for various ailments, particularly those associated with the kidneys and liver. However, it is always wise to speak to a doctor or other licensed health care practitioner before taking any supplements.
Consult With a Nutritionist
A proper diet is one of the primary ways to reduce elevated liver enzymes and keep the liver healthy. Fortunately, there are many ways to enhance liver function through simple dietary changes. Booking an appointment with a registered nutritionist or dietitian is a wise course of action for anyone who needs help creating an ideal eating plan. Once this is accomplished, dangerously high liver enzymes can often be moderately to significantly lowered.