The gallbladder is not an organ that you often hear about but it has an important role.
This pear-shaped organ sits just under the liver and is responsible for storing and producing bile to aid in the digestion of fatty foods. When your gallbladder is not working at 100%, there are no real side effects, but if gallstones develop, symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting and nausea can occur.
There are a number of foods that can promote a healthy gallbladder, and on the flip-side, some foods can encourage gallstones and inflammation.
Let’s firstly take a look at some gallbladder-friendly foods.
A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and complex carbohydrates will help to keep your gallbladder healthy and producing quality bile. In particular, you can increase your intake of:
Fruits - including oranges, lemons, pawpaw, kiwi fruit, strawberries, and pineapple
Vegetables - including capsicum, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables
Legumes - including beans, lentils, tofu, and tempeh
Wholegrains and nuts - including unsalted nuts, oats, brown rice; pumpkin, sunflower and flax seeds.
Now, let’s take a look at the foods that you should avoid if you already have gallbladder issues.
As you may suspect, it is unhealthy and processed foods that can do the most damage to your gallbladder and encourage the development of gallstones. The gallbladders main role is to help the digestion of fatty foods, so by cutting back on some of these, then you are technically giving your gallbladder a break.
Avoid or reduce where possible, all foods that are oily, fried, greasy, processed or refined. This may include:
Animal products - including, bacon, fatty beef and deli meats, cheese, cream, and full fat milk.
Grains - including, sugar, baked goods, white flour, pasta and bread
Oils - including vegetable oils, peanut oil, butter, and margarine
The Final Word
As we’ve mentioned above, you might not often hear of the gallbladder, but it still has an important role in your body. To keep it healthy and functioning well, remember to eat a healthy and balanced diet, void of as much fatty and processed foods as possible!
This post was written by Claire Troy. Claire is a health coach and freelance writer from Melbourne, Australia. She has been working in the health and fitness industry for over 5 years, providing support and advice to those in need.