Spleen is a very small organ of one’s fist size, located in the left side of the body below the ribcage behind the stomach. This organ forms a part of immune system by producing lymphocytes which fight against disease causing microbes. It also filters the blood and removes the old and torn out cells of the blood. Spleen also maintains the fluid balance in the body. It is, hence, very essential to ensure a good spleen health. There are certain foods which help us to achieve a better spleen health which will be discussed here.
What Happens If Spleen Does Not Work Properly?
If spleen does not work properly, it leads to many disorders or diseases causing unhealthy conditions. If spleen is infected, ruptured or increased in size, it can cause many complications. If spleen is enlarged due to collection of more blood cells including the healthy ones, it causes hematologic problems. If more red blood cells are removed, one may suffer from anemia; affect the immune system if more white blood cells are removed and even a small wound may result in more bleeding if platelets are reduced in number. If spleen is infected, immune system weakens and also causes blood infections. If ruptured, it needs immediate medical support.
Importance of Foods and Supplements for better Spleen Health
It is found out from many researches that there is a relationship between the digestion – metabolism and spleen functions. Along with the medication, if the person is supplied with the food which helps for easy digestion and metabolism, many complications could be avoided. When it comes to food and nutrition, there are two main things to be kept in mind.
- The first category of nutrition aims at keeping the health of spleen in good condition.
- The second category is a therapeutic nutrition. This category of nutrition has different objectives. They are.
- Nutrition for people who have spleen infection.
- Nutrition for the people suffering from splenomegaly.
- Nutrition for people who have ruptured spleen and under keen medical supervision in hospitals.
- Nutrition for asplenic people.
- When food is to be advised for asplenic people, it should be kept in mind that, they are more prone to infections. There would be many risk factors for the patients without spleen.
Best Spleen Health Foods and Supplements
The diet consisting of various nutrients helps to keep the spleen healthy and efficient function. They are listed below.
- Water. An adult needs approximately 8 – 10 glasses of water every day. This would help him/her to get rid of the toxins released by spleen by cleansing action. One may get fluid from normal water, milk, herbal teas, fruits and vegetables having more water content like plums, peaches, tomatoes, watermelon, cucumber, lettuce, celery.
- Anti-inflammatory Foods. Ginger contains terpene called zingiberene which is found to decrease inflammation. It is also found to improve digestion. Zingiberene improves immune system and supports detoxification process.
- Raw Vegetables and Fruits. Vegetables like bell pepper, cucumbers, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, celery and fruits like oranges, strawberries are rich in minerals and contain vitamins. The enzymes which help for detoxification and digestion are present in vegetables and fruits. It is desired to consume these foods fresh or raw.
- Omega 3 – fatty Acids. Fish mainly salmon, macherel etc. are rich in omega 3 – fatty acid and are found to decrease the inflammation and increase digestion. They also help in detoxification. Some other foods which are rich in omega 3 – fatty acids are flax seeds, soybeans, pumpkin seeds. Walnuts also have the same benefits.
- Beta-glucan as a Best Spleen Health Food. It is found to increase the immune cells in the spleen. Beta-glucan also checks the growth of tumor or reduces the rate of growth. It lowers the risk of cancers. Beta glucan is mainly found in mushrooms.
- Dietary Fibers. The foods which contain dietary fiber include wheat, rice, millet, barley, vegetables such as carrot, beans, sea foods like mackerel, oysters, cuttlefish, squid, and spirulina.
- Oils that are Good for Spleen Health. Olive oils, flax seed oil, almond oil are proved to maintain the health of spleen.
- Other Foods. Dates, honey, and cinnamon are found to promote good digestion hence good for spleen.
Foods to Avoided for Good Spleen Health
There are some foods to be avoided to maintain the health of spleen. This is because these could be the reason for abnormal functioning of spleen. There are some foods which gives more work for pancreas like sugars. They are not required for spleen also. Some of the foods to be avoided in the diet are listed below.
- Cold Foods. Foods direct from the refrigerator is not advisable as they decrease the feeling of eating by snuffing out the ‘digestive fire’.
- Sugar. Excessive intake of sugar that stresses pancreas is not good for spleen also.
- Fat and Alcohol. These foods which overload liver and pancreas should not be included in diet. They stress spleen as well.
- Raw Foods. It is most important that some vegetables should be eaten raw whereas not every vegetables should be eaten raw as it can they damage the spleen.
Eating Pattern to Attain Best Spleen Health
Along with the balanced diet, the way of eating also counts to achieve good spleen health. Some of the eating patterns which are to be inculcated and some to be avoided are listed below.
- Eating at regular intervals is important. There should be neither irregularity nor skipping of meals.
- Overeating must be avoided. Required amount of meal must be eaten.
- Eating in a hurry must also be avoided. It is important to chew the food properly and swallowed.
- Eating when the person is under stress, anxiety or angry is to be avoided as it affects the digestion process.
- It is important to drink the beverages at room temperature or else in a little warm condition.
- Erratic eating patterns are to be avoided. They affect the spleen and weaken it.
- Very hot and too spicy foods should also be avoided. Avoiding cold foods does not mean that foods to be taken when they are in high temperature.
- A walk after having a meal is advisable.
- Last but not the least, doing exercises and yoga to attain the best spleen health condition. It makes the person healthy by improving the digestion.
Spleen is a very small organ in the body performing a number of functions. Its function goes hand in hand with digestion. If the digestion is poor in a person, he/she is more prone to spleen and/or liver damage. Eating too much, untimely food, food in the late night is going to affect the health of spleen. The inclusion of good food and supplement in the diet is as important as avoiding the bad food. If a person is consuming a good diet and even then the spleen is not responding, it indicates that the person is under stress, is worried or having an illness. It may also happen even if the person is not exercising regularly which helps in keeping the body in a good health condition. Inculcating good food habits and following a good eating pattern may be helpful to maintain the health of spleen.
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