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Here's your liver cure

Many people I know who have high cholesterol are very careful about the amount of fat they eat. They almost go on a fat-free diet to bring their bad cholesterol under control. Still, their cholesterol stays out of balance. Here's why, answers Dr Shikha Sharma.

health and fitness Updated: May 03, 2011 15:21 IST
Shikha Sharma

Many people I know who have high cholesterol are very careful about the amount of fat they eat. They almost go on a fat-free diet to bring their bad cholesterol under control. Still, their cholesterol stays out of balance.

We’re used to making knee-jerk reactions. When we learn that we have high cholesterol, we stop eating foods that contain fats and oils. When we learn that we have high blood sugar, we replace sugar with artificial substitutes. There’s no doubt that these actions help us manage our problems, but only up to 50 per cent, no more.

That’s because the body is not a box where you put in or avoid calories and substances to stay healthy. In all alternative systems of medicine, the liver is given a lot of importance due to its vast range of functions. These include maintaining the glow of the complexion, controlling hormones, ensuring the body eliminates excess cholesterol and sugar, etc. In this column, I will explain how the liver helps bring down cholesterol.

The liver is the seat of digestion. After being partially digested in the intestines, food goes to the liver for further metabolism. A strong liver can digest anything, but a weak liver causes several problems. Studies have shown that people in Africa who eat red meat daily have no cholesterol problems. But African-Americans who eat red meat a few days a week have cholesterol problems. Why?Because their livers have to cope with food that contains chemicals and pesticides, large quantities of alcohol, lack of exercise and the stress of living in a metro. A low-cholesterol diet is not enough to reduce cholesterol in the blood. So we need to detoxify and strengthen the liver.

FruitsThere are two aspects to liver health:

One: Avoiding or eliminating substances that could harm the liver, such as alcohol, excessive painkillers or unsupervised medications, foods containing too many chemicals, and junk food.



Two:
Eating those foods and tonics that lead to liver health, such as:

Aloe vera juice – 2 tablespoons daily

Amla juice – one amla a day

Vegetable juice containing seasonal vegetables

Fresh leafy vegetable soup such as spinach soup, etc

Citrus fruits like oranges, sweet lime, lemons

Barley water

Brown rice

Coconut water

- From HT Brunch, May 1

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