When we talk about digestion, we imagine the whole process through the intestine and this is true although there are a few processes that occur in the intestine. One, is the digestion of fats. Fats need to undergo a digestion process that ensures our “byproduct” or faeces don’t turn slimy and greyish.
So how do fats get digested in the body? Bile is responsible for the job. Bile is a dark green or yellowish brownish fluid that aids digestion of fats in the small intestine. Bile helps to break down fats into fatty acids so it can be easily digested and absorbed.
Bile is extremely important for waste removal
Bile plays an extremely important role in the digestive system. As mentioned earlier, bile helps with the digestion of fats in the small intestine, thus increases the absorption of fat into the body. With the absorption of fat into the body, bile also helps with the absorption of lipid-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, E and K.
Besides this, bile neutralizes stomach acids into alkaline to prepare it for the digestion in the small intestine. Bile flushes out waste products such as bilirubin and excretes it as faeces. This is how faeces get its yellowish to brownish colour. In case of lack of bile, the fats are unable to be digested and absorbed efficiently will lead to a condition called steatorrhea, which then causes fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins deficiencies.
Signs and symptom of bile deficiency include:
- Vitamin deficiencies, specifically of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K
- Jaundice, the classic yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
- Stunted or abnormal growth
- Loss of liver function
- Liver failure
Which organ produces bile and how do we maintain its optimal function?
Bile is originally produced by the liver and then stored in the gallbladder. After we are done eating, bile is released into the duodenum. Duodenum is the first part of your small intestine. Therefore, it is also very essential to keep the liver healthy so it can produce sufficient bile.
Besides producing bile, the liver too has other functions. The liver plays vital roles such as filtering our blood from the toxins and harmful substances that result from various environmental and dietary factors, metabolises drugs, synthesis of carbohydrates, fats and protein and acts as a storage for vitamins A, D, E and K and glycogen.
Natural ways to detox the liver
In order to maintain the health of your liver, it requires nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the liver is able to self-cleanse, it’s function may be interrupted with the continuous burden from dietary and environmental toxins such as oily and processed foods, chemicals from skincare, preservatives and pollution from the environment. All of which can make us tired, sick and give our liver a whole lot more work to do. Hence, it is a good idea to regularly detox our liver.
There several natural ways that we can do to help our liver to function better:
1. Drinking natural green tea
Tea is widely known for its health benefits including to the liver. A study conducted in Japan revealed that green tea may help to improve liver health. This is not a surprise since green tea is packed with plant antioxidants.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage and kale are a major source of glutathione, which will signal the enzyme in the liver to cleanse itself. Cruciferous vegetables promote the production of glucosinolate, which helps to eliminate carcinogens and other toxins.
Turmeric has an ingredient called curcumin, which has incredible biological properties. It helps to promote activation of enzymatic activities in the liver to flush out toxins while also helps to promote liver cells repair. Turmeric also helps the promotion of secretion of bile.
Citrus not only provides vitamin C, but it also helps the liver to synthesise harmful toxic material into water-soluble. Fruits rich in vitamin C such as grapefruit have powerful antioxidants like naringin and naringenin that help to protect the liver from inflammation and injury.
Beets promote effective oxygen supply into the blood circulation. Beets are high in vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber which are beneficial for detoxing the digestive system. Beets protect the liver and promote the production of bile, thus stimulating better liver functions.
Garlic is high in sulphur. Sulphur is a chemical ingredient which helps to detox the body. Other than that, garlic also contains selenium to help boost enzymatic activities and increase natural antioxidants in the liver. Diet high in selenium may protect our livers from the damage due to oxidative stress.
It is incredibly important to keep our liver healthy by giving it the essential nutrients it needs. It is also best to avoid fatty food or processed food that could burden our liver as well as expose ourselves to the harmful environment such as pollution, and sunlight as this could increase the attack of free radicals.
This article has been republished with permission from PurelyB