Can Your Liver Heal Itself?

The liver is arguably one of the most complex and fascinating organs in the human body. It is responsible for important tasks such as converting toxins into waste products, cleansing your blood, and metabolizing nutrients and medications so that your body can take in important proteins. 

With such a heavy workload, damage to the liver can heavily impact your overall health and wellbeing. A sedentary lifestyle, high-fat diet, and high alcohol consumption are large risk factors in many of the most common liver diseases, but they can be adjusted to help boost liver function and get you on the path to a healthier liver

Keep reading to find out:

  • Can your liver heal itself?
  • What can you do to help your liver heal?
  • What you can do to keep your liver healthy once it’s healed!

Can liver damage be healed?

The answer is yes! The liver is the only internal organ that is able to heal itself, or at least regenerate cells. Like your skin, the liver is able to heal its wounds over time. 

As with anything, there are many factors that impact the healing process of the liver, including a person’s age, weight, overall health, and what kind of liver disease they are suffering from. Depending on the extent of the damage, the healing process can be as short as a few days or as long as several months.

While the liver is able to heal itself, there are limits to its ability. Extensive alcohol abuse can lead to the common liver disease, cirrhosis. Cirrhosis, which consists of extensive scarring of the liver, is irreversible but can be slowed by many of the same things that help to heal from other reversible diseases. 

Fiberous foods like leafy greens and acidic foods like pomegranate can help heal your liver.
Green salads with pomegranate are great meals that boost your liver's ability to heal.

How can you help your liver heal?

There are many ways in which you can help your liver heal and give yourself the best shot at regaining full liver health despite prior liver damage. Having a healthy diet and active lifestyle are essential to improving liver health, including things like:

  • Drinking lots of water
  • Exercising regularly
  • Having a balanced diet
  • Avoiding and/or limiting alcohol and drug intake

Hydration for regeneration

It’s no secret that water is essential for life, but in today's world it can be easy to forget how fundamental water is to your health. When trying to improve liver health, water can be especially helpful with supporting your liver’s healing process. 

While drinks such as ice tea and juice are high in water content, it’s important to make sure you are drinking pure water and staying well hydrated throughout the day. Water not only aids your liver in flushing toxins but it helps your body stay energized and your mind sharp. 

On average, doctors recommend that men drink 3.7 liters of water per day and women drink 2.7 liters of water per day. If improving liver health is your goal then it may be smart to aim a little higher than the average recommendation, as your body is in need of more assistance than a fully healthy individual. It is always a good idea to discuss these steps with your healthcare provider. 

Regular Exercise 

Getting regular exercise can help to improve all areas of health, including liver health. Not only can it help to improve liver health, but it may help to prevent further damage that may be caused to your liver. 

Exercise can aid in weight loss and eliminating extra fat in your liver. You do not have to make a commitment to run a marathon right away, but making an effort to be active for twenty to thirty minutes a day can help to give your liver, and body, the boost it needs to regain full health.  

A liver-friendly diet

A balanced diet is extremely important for general health. Making sure that the foods and drinks you are consuming are liver-friendly is incredibly important when helping your liver heal itself. 

Foods and beverages that help your liver heal:

  • Lots of vegetables
  • Acidic fruits like citrus and berries
  • Foods that are high in Omega-3, such as fish and nuts
  • Drinks like green tea and coffee

Foods and beverages to aren’t liver-friendly:

  • Foods with high fat content or grease
  • Starchy foods like bread or pasta
  • Highly sugary or salty foods
  • Sodas or alcoholic beverages

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are great for detoxifying liver and balancing liver enzymes. Red beets are another great vegetable for your liver. Full of antioxidants, beets can help prevent cancers and may help to reduce inflammation. 

When it comes to beverages, water is your best friend. That said, drinks like green tea and coffee can also have some beneficial qualities when in moderation. Though coffee has had some controversy surrounding it’s benefits, it has been shown to help prevent cirrhosis of the liver and may help to regulate liver enzymes. 

Even low to moderate activity like yoga has many benefits for liver health.
Exercise like yoga and pilates can help to maintain liver health and boost energy.

How can you keep your liver healthy?

When it comes to health, sometimes maintaining good health can be more difficult than working to improve your health. When you’re working on improving your liver health, or your overall health, it can be easy to set goals for yourself and find the motivation to meet those goals. That said, maintaining good health is just as important as working to repair liver damage. 

Incorporating liver supplements can help maintain your liver health even if you find yourself having a cheat day every once in a while. While it’s alright to have a cheat day from a diet every once in a while or have rest days throughout your week, you should be careful to avoid alcohol and drugs and make sure to maintain a high intake of water no matter what you’re doing. 

Wherever you are in your health journey, be proud of yourself for the steps you’ve taken to get better. Rebuilding your routine can take time and be difficult to stick with at times. Allow yourself time and patience and reach out to those in your life that can help you maintain healthier routines. 

You should consult a licensed health care professional before starting any supplement, dietary, or exercise program, especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing injuries or medical conditions.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.