The gallbladder is a small organ situated below the liver. The gallbladder stores the bile produced by the liver. Later when food passes through the digestive tract, it is released into the small intestine to help in digestion. The gallbladder is a sensitive organ.
Gallstones begin with excessive production of bile. The body produces it to help with the digestion of fats. In addition, it also helps the absorption of certain vitamins. The fat in food triggers the release of specific hormones. Therefore, causing the gallbladder to contract and release bile into the intestine.
Taking a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods keep the gallbladder in ideal health. Some particular foods can protect and promote a healthy gallbladder. On the other hand, some can increase problems such as inflammation or gallstones. If these conditions worsen over time, it can be removed.
Are you not producing enough bile?
Insufficiency of bile may lead to various conditions such as Gallstones, Jaundice, Gallbladder attack, Cholecystitis, Pancreatitis, and Cholangitis. When we talk about stones, an image of rocks forms in our mind! Doesn’t it?
But let me tell you, gallstones are certainly not those rocks. When bile is not produced in an appropriate amount, cholesterol may accumulate in different regions. In Gall Bladder, this cholesterol gets concentrated and forms stones.
You can lower your risk of gallstones by following a healthy eating plan and getting regular physical activity to help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Foods to Eat In case of gallstones
Here are some suggestions regarding foods to be included or excluded in your diet according to the requirement of your gallbladder:
Choose monounsaturated fats and avoid saturated fats. Go for olive oil and canola oil. Omega-3 fatty acids found in avocados, canola, flaxseed, and fish oil, may minimize the risk of developing gallstones. So, if you eat meat products, prefer low-fat options like lean chicken over red meat. Also, drink skim milk and low-fat yogurt in place of whole milk.
Take enough amount of fiber in your diet to improve your digestive system. Eat whole-grain bread, cereals, fruits, and vegetables as they are a good source of fiber. It will help you lose weight and may prevent gallstones.
According to studies, people who follow a fiber-rich diet are at a lower risk of developing gallbladder problems. People who are losing weight suddenly are at a higher risk of gallstones should incorporate fiber foods.
Peanuts, almonds, and walnuts help prevent gallstones.
To repair and growth of tissues, protein is vital. However, protein products such as dairy milk and red meat can be high in fat that can increase the chances of gallstones developing. In such cases, low-protein food is a suitable option. Low-fat protein food items include-
- Soy and soy products
- Legumes such as beans and lentils
- Dairy alternatives
Vitamin C, Magnesium and Folate
All these minerals are vital to prevent the development of stones in the gallbladder. Some good sources of Vitamin C are-
- Red and green peppers
- Oranges and other citrus foods
Some foods that are rich in Magnesium
- Almonds and cashews
- Peanuts and its butter
- Soy milk
Rich sources of folate are-
- Beef liver
- Black-eyed peas
- Fortified cereals
Foods To Avoid When Suffering From Gallstones
Our body breaks the carbohydrates into sugar. This implies foods like pasta, white bread, and other carbohydrate-rich foods can increase your risk of gallstones. Clearly, excluding these foods can only have a positive impact on your condition.
Having too much sugar in your diet may increase the risk of gallstones. Above all, it’s better to avoid sugary foods and choose low-sugar food alternatives when possible.
Alcohol and coffee
Drinking coffee and alcohol can dehydrate the body. This, in turn, may render the body waterless. So, avoiding or moderate consumption of alcohol and coffee can prevent gallstones.
The bile produced by the gallbladder helps to break the fats. However, when the intake of fats excess, it can put strain on the gallbladder.
Unhealthy fats should be avoided such as-
- Red, fatty meats
- Processed meats
- Full-fat dairy products
- Fried foods
- Junk foods
- Prepared salad dressings and sauces
- Prepared baked items
- Chocolates and other candies
- Ice cream
Recommended diet to prevent gallstones
Eat more foods that are high in fiber, such as
- Fruits, vegetables, beans, and peas
- Whole grains, including brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread
- Eat fewer refined carbohydrates and less sugar
- Eat healthy fats, take fish oil and olive oil, to help your gallbladder
- Avoid unhealthy fats, like those often found in desserts and fried foods
Diet plays an essential role in the treatment of gallstones. Patients suffering from gallstones should aim to lose extra kilos by following a strict food regimen and exercising regularly. Moreover, people who have undergone surgery for gallbladder should also keep an attentive eye to their diet.