The gallbladder is your body’s silent soldier. It’s the small, pear-shaped organ that stores and releases bile (a fluid produced by the liver) to help your body digest fats.
Among the different problems that plague this tiny organ, the most common are gallstones, which are hard crystal-like stones that form in the gallbladder.
Gallstones occur when there is too much cholesterol or too much of a substance called bilirubin in your gallbladder. While certain dietary factors may make it more or less likely you develop these stones, no food can actually get rid of gallstones. Gallstones that don’t cause symptoms don’t need to be treated, as most are small enough to pass out of the body without problems. The removal of the gallbladder is the most common treatment for those causing symptoms, but they can also be dissolved using medication or shock waves.
For the many Americans who suffer from gallbladder issues, like gallstones, on a daily basis, it’s important to learn more about nutrition with a special focus on foods that won’t intensify the condition. After all, the side effects of gallbladder problems can range from serious discomfort (like loss of appetite) to intense pain (nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps).
1. Whole wheat grains
A diet rich in fiber helps to eliminate fats and decrease gallstones.
It’s necessary to consume at least one portion of whole grains a day. When they pass through the intestine, the fiber captures the excess bile juices that are released and eliminates them.
This way, they’re not reabsorbed and the bile vesicle is released.
Among the foods that you should consume are:
- Wheat bran
- Brown rice
2.Fresh Fruits And Vegetables
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables detoxifies the liver and gallbladder, lowering the risk of gallstones
The gallbladder works with the liver to remove toxins from your body. So, to prevent cholesterol and calcium from crystallizing and forming gallstones, your gallbladder and liver should be detoxified regularly. Eating alkalizing fruits and vegetables like lemons, apples, beets, celery, and tomatoes reduces inflammation and detoxifies both the liver and gallbladder. Drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices is also beneficial for this very reason. Unfiltered, raw apple juice – in particular – is quite helpful as it contains a high amount of pectin, which not only softens existing gallstones but also prevents the formation of new ones.
3. Foods Rich In Healthy Fats
Foods rich in healthy fats like fish and olive oil reduce cholesterol levels and hence gallbladder risk
A sufficient intake of healthy fats (monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids) reduces the level of cholesterol in your body, lowering your risk of gallstones.
Because your body can’t produce many of such fats, incorporating foods rich in them can benefit you. Add olive oil to your foods for monounsaturated fat supply. Also, eat fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, mackerel, and sardines to supply your body with polyunsaturated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. You could add a dash of lemon to olive oil to make a tangy, healthy homemade vinaigrette. Add it to fresh salads and eat them regularly. Such a vinaigrette goes well with fish too.
In addition, eating buckwheat also helps to decrease the appearance of gallstones. Plus, it keeps your body fat levels low, since it’s rich in insoluble fiber.
Buckwheat provides us with vitamins B and E and is an excellent source of minerals. If you’re one of those people that really loves bread, a great option is to switch regular bread for bread made from buckwheat.
5. Foods rich in lecithins
There are components in bile like lecithin or phospholipids that are in charge of keeping gallstones from forming. When this component is not found in the correct quantities, gallstones appear.
By consuming foods that contain this component, you will help reduce the size and risk of the formation of these stones.
Among the foods that contain lecithins are:
- Garbanzo beans
We recommend that you include these foods in your daily diet. Just remember to watch your portions, since they’re rich in carbohydrates and can make you gain unwanted weight.
Caffeine in coffee may lower gallbladder risk as it stimulates flow of bile
Those who drink 1-2 cups of coffee a day are said to have a lower risk of gallstones than those who don’t. Caffeine’s effect on lowering the risk of gallstones can be associated with its ability to stimulate bile flow. While one cup of coffee usually does no harm, consult your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake.
7. Grapes and blueberries
Grapes and blueberries are rich in resveratrol, a component with a high antioxidant index that fights the damage that the vesicle could have suffered because of gallstones.
In the case that you are already following a treatment to deal with this problem, the resveratrol will help with your recuperation.
The ideal thing to do is eat a half cup of grapes or one of fresh blueberries.
If you don’t have any of these fruits handy, you can opt for a half cup of blueberry juice or a cup of red wine.
In the case that the doctor has told you that the gallstones have recently formed, it is important that you:
– Don’t skip any meals.
– Avoid gaining weight.
– Reduce your consumption of foods rich in unhealthy fats.
– Also, remember to follow the instructions that your doctor gave you.