Bile is a critical digestive fluid that is produced in the liver and concentrated in the gallbladder. Bile’s main digestive responsibility is to emulsify fats in order to create fatty acids that can be digested and used by the body. Additionally, it has an anti-microbial effect that helps to kill off unwanted pathogens.
When the body has metabolic dysfunctions that lead to poor bile production and sluggish bile flow, it can cause serious health problems (1). This article goes over 25 ways you can improve gallbladder health and optimize your bile flow.
These strategies help to strengthen liver function and bile flow formation while they improve gallbladder health and bile duct motility. If you have had your gallbladder surgically removed than it is even more imperative to follow these action steps in order to strengthen the liver and the formation process of the bile.
1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet:
A healthy diet that is high in good fats is critical for cholesterol production, bile production and secretion. Good fats that should be staple parts of the diet include avocados, olive oil, grass-fed butter or ghee, wild fish, coconut oil and grass-fed beef.
2. Super Hydration:
Water is extremely critical for bile production and dehydration will create thicker bile that moves very sluggishly. Drink a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of clean, purified water. I recommend drinking 16-32oz of water within the first 30-60 minutes of waking in the morning and then drinking at least 8oz of water between each meal (starting an hour after eating).
3. Lose Weight:
People who are overweight or obese have a significantly higher rate of gallstones. You want to get to an optimal weight, but not too quickly. People who undergo rapid weight loss are at a higher risk of developing gallstones.
4. Strengthen Stomach acid Production:
Stomach acid is a major stimulator for the secretion of bile into the small intestine. Daily practices to improve stomach acid production are also important for bile production and utilization. You may also consider supplementing with betaine hydrochloric acid.
5. Use Lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar:
Both of these help to improve both stomach acid and bile activity. Squeeze fresh lemon in water, on salads and meats. You can also use lemon essential oil in water. Put a tbsp. of apple cider vinegar in 8oz of water and drink throughout the day. This will help to thin the bile.
6. Eat Bile Healthy Foods:
Some of the best things for bile flow include beets, radishes, artichoke, asparagus, celery, lemon, lime, grapefruit, cucumbers and carrots. Juicing these veggies or have a big salad with fresh squeezed lemon everyday.
7. Use Bitter Herbs:
A common saying in natural health is that “bitter is good for the liver.” Anything good for the liver is good for the gall bladder. This includes ginger, arugula, endive, cilantro, turmeric, dandelion, cumin, fennel, mint, milk thistle, yarrow, leeks and parsley.