Are you looking after your gallbladder?

By naturopath Margaret Jasinska

In recent months I have seen more people with gallbladder conditions than any other health problem. Much of the time people are unaware there is a problem with their gallbladder. They usually first experience symptoms after a period of overindulgence. This is often Christmas, Easter, a birthday celebration or school fete. A high dose of sugar and fat rich foods can leave you in a lot of discomfort if your gallbladder is unwell.

Gallbladder problems are much more common in women than men; particularly women over 40 and those who have had several children. These are only risk factors though; if you eat well and do the right things to care for your gallbladder, you should be able to avoid problems.

Here are our top tips for looking after your gallbladder

Eat lots of green vegetables

Green vegetables are so good for your liver and will ensure it produces good quality bile. Your liver manufactures bile and your gallbladder stores and concentrates it. If you want to be producing good bile, you need to look after your liver. Eating a mix of raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, drinking raw vegetable juices and taking a liver tonic like Livatone Plus should all help. There are many suitable juice recipes in Dr Cabot’s book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life.

Acidic things

Acidic things help make your bile thinner and make it easier for your gallbladder to contract. Apple cider vinegar, fresh lime juice and fresh lemon juice are all immensely helpful. Use them as salad dressings or pour a little apple cider vinegar into warm water and drink it before meals.

Sugar and dairy products

Sugar and dairy products can both make your bile thicker, increasing the risk of bile sludge. Try to limit them in your diet as much as possible. It’s also important to reduce your overall carbohydrate intake because that can raise your cholesterol and triglycerides, which get excreted in bile, also making it thicker.

Keep well hydrated

Keep well hydrated and make sure you are drinking plenty of water or herbal tea each day. Coffee is actually very good for your liver, so you can enjoy this delicious indulgence. Just make sure there’s no cow’s milk or sugar in it.

Hot spices

Hot spices are good for the liver and bile ducts and good choices are wasabi, horseradish, mustard, garlic, curry, turmeric and chilli. If you have a sensitive stomach or gastritis only use small amounts of these spices or avoid them.

Food intolerances

Check if you have a food intolerance. This is actually an extremely common cause of poor gallbladder function and all sorts of digestive discomfort. Often people with food sensitivities are the ones who continue to suffer with symptoms after they’ve had their gallbladder removed.

St Mary’s Thistle

The St Mary’s Thistle in Livatone Plus capsules helps to support liver detoxification. Taurine is an amino acid that supports healthy bile production. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and helps provide relief from digestive discomfort.

For more information see the book Save Your Gallbladder and what to do if you’ve already lost it. Please see your doctor if you have any concerns about your health.

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