Liver Diet: Top 15 Foods and Drinks That Are Good for Your Liver Health
Bajaj Finserv Health Team, Gastroenterologist
November 02, 2020
The liver is an essential organ that regulates several key functions and is the largest internal organ in the body. It manufactures proteins, cholesterol, and triglycerides and produces bile. Naturally, improper care, by means of diet or medication, is bad for you and can leave you with a damaged liver. In fact, liver diseases include cancers and can cause liver failure. Among these, a particularly important one is the Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and it occurs when abnormal amounts of fat accumulate in the liver. Some of the reasons for a fatty liver are:
The fact that you can have a fatty liver even if you do not drink alcohol may seem worrisome. Thankfully, you can reduce the risk fat build-up by incorporating a few drinks and foods good for liver into your everyday routine. Read on to know more.
11 foods good for liver health
Almonds serve as an incredible protective food against liver problems that you may be vulnerable to. These nuts are packed with protein, making them a great snack, and are also high in vitamin E content. This can protect you against liver damage while the healthy fats and fibres in almonds detoxify the body.
Blueberries and cranberries
Rich in anthocyanins and antioxidants, both cranberries and blueberries have been linked to improved liver health. They protect you against liver damage and blueberries were also found to boost antioxidant enzymes and immune cell response. One study even found that blueberry extract inhibited the growth of liver cancer cells in a controlled environment.
Grapefruits are among the many fruits good for liver health because of their high antioxidant content. Grapefruit helps reduce inflammation and protects the cells too. Further, the antioxidants founds in grapefruit also help control excessive build-up of connective tissue within the liver. This can cause much damage if left unchecked.
Walnuts are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which are key to maintaining liver health. This is especially important to those with NAFLD as omega-3 fatty acids help reduce liver fat and inflammation. Walnuts also boost overall health, which is why they should be part of your diet.
Oatmeal is an all-rounder when it comes to improving and maintaining liver health. It is high in soluble fibre, which reduces cholesterol levels in the liver and blood vessels. It is also rich in protein, which is an important nutrient for repairing damaged tissues, while preventing fat build-up and damage to liver cells.
Widely known for its health benefits, tea is also quite popular for boosting liver health. This is especially the case with green tea, which is high in antioxidants. A study found that green tea helped improve liver enzymes levels. Moreover, the study also concluded that green tea reduces oxidative stress in patients with NAFLD and in doing so improves liver fat content. Green tea may also lessen the risk of liver cancer.
Known to improve heart and metabolic health, olive oil is a healthy fat that has numerous health benefits, even for the liver. As per a study, even as much as one teaspoon of olive oil per day improves liver enzymes and proteins linked to positive metabolism. Another study found that olive oil also betters the blood levels of liver enzymes, improves insulin sensitivity, and helps reduce fat accumulation in the liver.
Beetroot, especially its juice, is high in nitrates and antioxidants called betalains, which may help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver. Beetroot juice also increases the natural detoxification enzymes. These properties help beetroot earn its spot among the foods good for liver health.
A common type of edible cactus, the prickly pear or Opuntia Ficus Indica is an age-old remedy for treating liver disease. It helps reduce inflammation, decreases oxidative damage in the liver, and stabilises antioxidant levels.
Studies have found that moderate coffee consumption has value in protecting the liver against disease. This is because it lowers the risk of cirrhosis, which is the scarring of the liver caused by liver damage. Moreover, it is also known to decrease inflammation, prevent the build-up of fat and collagen, and minimise the risk of liver cancer.
Exposure to toxins can increase the risk of liver damage and grapes help counteract this. Grapes are among the fruits good for liver health because they lower inflammation and increase antioxidant levels in the body. Moreover, grape also contains the plant compound, resveratrol, which is known to have numerous health-benefits, making it a liver-friendly food.
With a clear understanding of what the right food for fatty liver treatment looks like, you should also know what foods can damage your liver. To give you an idea, here is a list you can refer to.
Foods that damage the liver
- Added sugar
- Excess supplement vitamin A
- Soft drinks
- Trans fat
- Fried foods
- Red meat
- Fructose-rich fruits
If you’re experiencing health issues due to your liver, the smartest approach is to visit a specialist. To counteract a fatty liver, diet changes are usually the first suggestions, followed by medication. Here, the best food for liver health is recommended in the right serving sizes, thereby ensuring controlled recovery. To get the best results this way, it is important that you find a good hepatologist or a gastroenterologist for treatment.
A fast and convenient way to find these specialists in your vicinity is to use the Bajaj Finserv Health app. It enables you to avail quality healthcare in a fast, easy and secure manner, all via your smartphone. With the app, not only can you find the best doctors in your area, but also book appointments, maintain digital patient records, and send these records to doctors for optimal treatment. To add to that, you can also use the app to schedule medication reminders so that you never miss doses even on busy days. To enjoy all these benefits, get the app on Google Play or the Apple App Store for free!