The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped body organ that is located below the liver. It is connected to the liver and collects and stores bile.
The gallbladder can suffer from two common conditions namely gallstones and cancer. How to keep the gallbladder healthy? Which foods are healthy for this body organ? Read on to know about gallbladder-healthy foods.
The gallbladder is a small organ and is pear-shaped. It is located below the liver and collects and stores bile. It contracts after the food is taken into the stomach.
This, releases the bile into the duodenum and thus assists in the digestive process. Two common conditions can affect it and these are gall stones and gall bladder cancer.
If one eats healthy and follows certain diet tips, one can prevent these conditions. Research has shown that people who eat healthily have reduced risk and development of diseases of the gallbladder.
There is no specific diet that can keep this organ healthy. But certain guidelines exist that can keep it healthy and its function intact.
The study on foods and gallbladder
There was a study in 2015 in which 114 women participated. Researchers from the National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, (WHO Collaborating Center), Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran carried out this study.
The dietary habits of these women and their risk of developing gallstones were studied.
The research team put the dietary habit as healthy if the woman had a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, fruit juice, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and low-fat dairy products in her daily diet.
Their diet was in the unhealthy category if she had high amounts of processed foods, red meat, refined grains, sugary drinks, sugar, full-fat dairy products, fatty snacks, potatoes, salt, pickled foods, and eggs daily.
The study showed that women on a healthy diet had fewer chances and risk of developing gall bladder diseases. A healthy diet was related to a healthy gallbladder. It implied that the gallbladder does bear the brunt of an unhealthy diet regime.
Healthy foods include those that come from plant origin. Plant foods are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and beneficial antioxidants. All these also play a major role in protecting the gallbladder and preventing diseases in it.
High-fat foods put a load on the gallbladder. Hence low-fat foods and protein foods are great and serve as gallbladder-healthy foods.
These include poultry, lean meat, nuts, seeds, fish, low-fat milk and milk products, soybeans, legumes, etc. Avoid packaged foods as they are high in salt and food additives.
Prefer fresh foods that have minimal processing. Another study showed that a high intake of vegetable protein was associated with a lower risk of gallbladder disease.
Read more: 8 liver-protective foods!
High-fiber foods are good as they move the food inside the intestine and prevent secondary bile acid production. This reduces the formation of sludge in the gallbladder and hence lesser disease.
Unsaturated fats from fish and nuts are also good options to protect the organ. Coffee in moderate amounts and calcium also protect the gallbladder. Foods rich in folate, vitamin C, and magnesium are also excellent for the good function of the gallbladder.