Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease and its prevalence is increasing worldwide, says the American Institute for Health.
Healthline.com says that fatty liver disease affects one-third of the adult American population and is one of the leading contributors to liver failure.
The National Centre for Biotechnology Information states that it is rapidly becoming the most prevalent cause of liver disease globally, confirming it affects 20 to 30 percent of Western culture populations. This illustrates the need for change in order to capitalize on the benefits of diet alteration.
Due to this high percentage of affected persons, it is imperative to take care of physical health. This can be done by using nutrition for preventative and medicinal purposes. Generally, foods that should be increased in a fatty liver diet include lots of fruits and vegetables, high-fiber plants, and foods with little-added salt and sugar, and minimal trans and saturated fats.
There are, however, 10 specific foods that can be included daily, for optimum liver health.
Coffee hasn’t always received the best publicity. There have been negative reports about its stress-creating, dehydrating properties. However, like anything, coffee in the right quantities can, in fact, be beneficial to long-term health.
The World Journal of Gastroenterology records that regular coffee drinking was first reported to have a protective effect against the development of cirrhosis close to two decades ago. Healthline.com says that coffee drinkers with fatty liver disease have less liver damage than those who don’t drink caffeinated beverages.
This is because caffeine lowers the number of abnormal liver enzymes in the livers of those with a high chance of developing liver diseases. Many scientists now say that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of liver disease by as much as 70 percent. This is a good reason to say ‘yes’ to a regular cup of Joe and to make sure that coffee shop invitations with friends don’t get turned down.
2. Sunflower Seeds
Classified by many as a superfood, and even enjoyed by Hollywood’s elite for enhancing skin and hair health and beauty, these nutty-tasting seeds can protect the liver from further damage. This is because they are high in Vitamin E.
This vitamin is an antioxidant that has protective functions, which extend to the protection of the liver. Almonds and linseeds are also rich sources of Vitamin E and are therefore an excellent source of the s the liver needs to detoxify. They lessen the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals have been shown to contribute to liver diseases such as hepatitis C.
Sunflower seeds are also good sources of Vitamins A, B, and D, as well as various minerals that assist the liver in metabolizing fats. Add sunflower seeds to a smoothie or salad, or eat them as a snack. They can be purchased at health stores and at most supermarkets.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is super healthy for the reason that it contains omega-3 fatty acids. It has been recommended using olive oil, instead of other oils like margarine and butter, to nurture and protect the liver.
Liversupport.com says that this healthy oil both helps to control weight and alleviate stress on the liver, through lower liver enzyme levels.
A Tunisian investigation on Medical News Today confirms this health benefit of olive oil.
Through the investigation, it was demonstrated that extra virgin olive oil could protect the liver from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can be defined as cell damage associated with a chemical reaction between free radicals and other molecules in the body.
In the experiment, lab rats were given toxic herbicide. After this, some of the rats were fed on a diet containing olive oil. The oil appeared to partially protect the livers of the rats which had consumed it.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is not just great for detoxifying the system. According to the Healthline website, this kind of tea interferes with fat absorption. While researchers continue to study the benefits of green tea, it has been ascertained that drinking this tea reduces fat storage in the liver and improves liver function.
Other health benefits associated with drinking green tea include lowered cholesterol and alleviation of insomnia.
Researchers from the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial in non-alcoholic fatty liver patients.
In this study, conducted over a period of 12 weeks, research participants received either green tea extract or green tea supplement. At the end of the 12-week period, it was concluded that green tea extract significantly reduced the liver enzymes associated with fatty liver disease. Two to three cups of green tea daily will benefit the liver.
Avocados are high in healthy fats. They also contain chemicals that can slow liver damage and contain fiber, assisting with weight control. According to an article on the ScienceDaily website, findings from a research study done in Japan, presented at the 2000 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, showed that avocados positively affect liver functioning.
In the study, lead researchers from the University of Shizuoka, Japan set out to evaluate the protective activity of food against liver injury. They fed 22 different fruits to a group of rats with liver damage caused by galactosamine. Galactosamine is a powerful liver toxin.
The researchers then measured the effects of the different types of food given to the rats, specifically focussing their attention on the prevalence of liver enzymes in the rat’s livers. What their findings showed was that avocado was the most potent of the fruits tested in slowing damage to the liver.
People with a fatty liver disease who eat walnuts regularly see an improvement in liver function tests because these nuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. The World Journal of Gastroenterology describes nuts as nutritionally-dense fruits. They consist of a blend of fatty acids, bioactive compounds, and essential nutrients.
In a study done by a group from the Storr Liver Unit, walnut consumption and its effects were measured. The study included 106 participants who consumed walnuts in various quantities over a period of six months, as well as a control group of participants, who consumed no walnuts.
The results showed walnut consumption to be positively correlated with improved liver functioning. The study further tested the therapeutic value of vitamin E, where vitamin E was seen to significantly improve liver functioning. Walnuts are high in Vitamin E. Just an ounce serving of walnuts provides a third of a person’s daily Vitamin E requirements.
Since dairy is high in whey protein, it is believed that drinking sufficient milk can provide a buffer to damage to the liver. The American Society for Nutrition records a study in which whey protein was fed in varying amounts to rats. Through the study, it was demonstrated that the administration of whey protein products to the rats resulted in a reduction of hepatic triglycerides, lipid peroxidation, and serum glucose.
This resulted in healthier livers in the rats fed the whey protein, compared to the livers of a control group of rats who were fed no whey protein.
The study further showed that whey proteins had a positive impact on the body’s regulation of liver biochemistries. The condition of the livers of the whey protein group of rats in the study was improved and appeared with less fatty infiltration of hepatocytes than the livers of the rats in the control group.
Broccoli is an excellent source of sulfur-containing compounds, which are cancer-fighting, and toxin-reducing. This powerful vegetable is also packed with antioxidants, which benefit the whole system, including the liver.
A scientific study conducted by scientists from the College of Agriculture at the University of Illinois confirmed that consuming broccoli can help reduce the risk of a person developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Eating broccoli also serves medicinal purposes. The PubMed website says that in an experiment with mice, mice receiving freeze-dried broccoli exhibited lower scores for liver dysfunction, as compared to a control group, ingesting no broccoli. The results showed that long-term consumption of whole broccoli countered fatty liver disease development.
Other studies indicate that it is important to ingest the correct quantity of broccoli, as eating too much of the vegetable brings its own set of problems. The site recommends eating broccoli three to five times each week to fully benefit the liver.
A good dose of garlic is not only tasty in dishes but is recommended for every diet as it has many health benefits. These benefits extend to people with fatty liver disease.
An article on the Fattyliverdiary website emphasizes that garlic’s high level of antioxidants helps to keep the levels of toxic substances in your body low.
Since the liver is so directly involved in reducing toxicity in the body, the low level of toxic substances in the body. As a result of antioxidant-rich foods helps keep the liver healthy by easing the strain on the organ.
It is recommended that garlic is crushed, chopped, or minced before adding it to food, to fully release its health benefits. An article from Advanced Biomedical Research states that garlic can be beneficial taken in various forms. Garlic powder supplements can also be effective in reducing body weight and fat in people with fatty liver disease.
Turmeric doesn’t just spice up dishes, it has phenomenal health benefits. This distinct yellow-pigmented spice contains a bioactive compound that has various medicinal properties, and those who ingest it regularly swear by its health benefits. It is anti-inflammatory, as well as antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. As a result of these properties, it helps to protect the liver from liver diseases and injury.
It does this by reducing inflammation and minimizing oxidative stress. It also improves insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism. Scientific researchers from the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, Israel, recently conducted an experiment on rats with induced liver cirrhosis.
Over a 12-week period, the rats were supplemented with turmeric. At the end of this period, the scientists found that the anti-inflammatory property of turmeric stopped the further formation of liver cirrhosis in the rats. It is recommended to consume 1 to 3g of turmeric per day for health benefits.