The liver is the largest gland of the body. It plays a very crucial role in keeping us healthy. The liver is responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, removal of toxins and detoxifies our body.
Poor liver health is associated with diseases like diabetes, cirrhosis and many metabolic disorders.
Fatty liver is a medical condition in which there is too much accumulation of fat in our liver. Fatty liver is of two types - alcohol-induced and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver affects the normal functioning of our liver in which its ability to remove toxins and metabolise food reduces. If this condition is left untreated then it may worsen leading to scarring of liver cells and cirrhosis of the liver.
In this article, we will discuss some of the foods which are good for our liver health especially during the fatty liver.
1. Green Vegetables - Vegetables are a must in the diet if aiming to keep your liver healthy. Studies have shown that vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach mustard greens, fenugreek leaves and collard greens prevent fat from getting accumulated in the liver. They are rich in dietary fibre, phytochemicals and antioxidants which keeps our liver healthy and promotes the elimination of toxins from the body.
2. Fatty Fish - Fatty fish like salmon, sardine, tuna and mackerel are excellent for treating fatty liver. This is because omega 3 fats aids in the removal of bad or LDL cholesterol from the body and promote good cholesterol levels. EPA and DHA present in the omega 3 fats suppress inflammation and improve the functioning of liver cells. A study conducted in 2016 found significant improvement in total triglyceride and HDL levels of patients who consumed omega 3 fatty acids and were suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In case of lack of dietary sources, a person can opt for a fish oil supplement as well.
3. Garlic - Garlic is another herb that has been in use since traditional times to treat diseases due to its medicinal properties. It has an excellent role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Similarly, a study conducted in 2016 observed that a daily intake of 400 mg of garlic powder was able to improve the symptoms of NAFLD. Participants had reduced body weight and overall fat mass.
4. Green Tea - Green tea is popular among people aiming to lose weight and boost metabolic rate. It is packed with flavonoids - catechin which are powerful antioxidants having anti-virus, anti-hypertensive, anti-cancer and anti-arteriosclerotic effects. Green tea efficacy was also assessed on liver enzymes among patients with fatty liver under a study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine. Fatty liver patients were given 500 mg green tea extract supplement for 90 days. Results reported that patients who consumed green tea tablets have better serum levels of liver enzymes and it was suggested that green tea can be prescribed during the treatment of fatty liver.
5. Coffee - Coffee is another magical beverage that has hepato-protective attributes. Coffee has been associated with improved symptoms of many liver-related conditions like hepatitis, fatty infiltration and fatty liver. Researchers believe that coffee has the potential to activate the enzymes which stimulate liver detoxification. The presence of specific compounds like kahweol and cafestol makes coffee good for liver health due to its strong antioxidant properties and ability to prevent the worsening of hepatic fibrosis.
To sum up, the liver is the organ that plays a key role in various metabolic pathways. Processes like detoxification and secretion of bile are dependent upon the liver. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy cholesterol profile, maintain an active lifestyle and consume a diet rich in plenty of fruits and vegetables. Some of the other ways by which we can keep our liver healthy are by avoiding alcohol intake, sugar-based foods and beverages, refined carbs, minimising intake of fried, junk foods, red meat and salt.
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