The gallbladder is an important organ to healthy digestion. Many doctors view the gallbladder as unnecessary, but in reality it is a very important organ.
What is the gallbladder?
It’s a small organ that sits just below your liver, it stores the bile produced by the liver. When you eat a meal, the gallbladder gets a signal from your brain that it needs to secrete bile into the small intestine. The bile aids the body with digestion, particularly fat digestion. In this article I am going to explain why the gallbladder is an important organ and what you can do to keep it healthy.
What happens if you don’t keep your gallbladder healthy?
If you do not keep your gallbladder healthy, it can cause painful side effects from gallstones. This can lead to having to have your gallbladder removed. Doctors will tell you that you do not need your gallbladder, which is true, you can live without it, but without it your body will have a hard time digesting fat and you may later be faced with other complications such as poor absorption of fat soluble vitamins. I had my gallbladder removed in 2008 after having numerous gallbladder attacks while I was pregnant with my first daughter. She was born in the beginning of October and by the end of October my gallbladder was removed. It is my goal to help people keep their gallbladders healthy, so they don’t have to go through what I go through now that I do not have a gallbladder.
How do you keep your gallbladder healthy?
- Avoid bad fats such as vegetable oils, trans fats, highly processed foods, and excess processed sugar or refined carbohydrates.
- The body has a hard time breaking down processed oils and trans fats, they become rancid easily which can lead to gallbladder problems.
- Eat healthy fats such as olives, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocados, fish, ect. Eat foods that are supportive to healthy bile such as beets, artichokes, asparagus, citrus, bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, radishes, dark leafy greens and carrots.
- Why is eating healthy fats so important? When you eat healthy fats, the gallbladder contracts to secrete it’s bile, if you are not eating enough fat, the bile does not get secreted and it sits in the gallbladder and over time the bile becomes viscous, thick and sludgy. This eventually leads to gallstones.
- Take your time to eat your food in a relaxed state.
- When you are relaxed your body is much more equipped to digest the foods you eat. Taking time to really chew your food (20-30 chews per bite) helps with the digestion process.
- Drink plenty of water, aim for ½ your body weight in ounces, for example someone who weighs 150 lbs should drink 75 oz. of water daily. Limit diuretics such as caffeinated tea, some herbal teas, coffee, etc. When you do drink diuretics, add extra water. For every ounce of diuretics add one and a half ounces of water to your original water goal.
- Keeping hydrated helps the bile stay more fluid, when you get dehydrated so does your bile, it becomes thick and moves much more slowly.