What to Consume and Avoid for a Healthy Liver

July 01, 2023

What to Consume and Avoid for a Healthy Liver

With most of us having a busy schedule to follow, we often try cutting corners in some areas of our lives to make things easier. This might include resorting to convenient meal options like a boxed meal from your local supermarket or making a quick trip to the nearest fast-food drive-thru station. And why not, we ask ourselves. After all, we can now fully dedicate ourselves to more time-sensitive activities and decisions.
Alas, our food choices often end up affecting our overall health, and in some cases the functioning of specific vital organs like the Liver. Worry not, though – help is at hand and sometimes, all we need is a little guidance.
Here are a few pointers on what to eat and what not to improve liver health and reduce the risk of fatty liver disease:

Make fruits and vegetables a mainstay of your diet 

Growing up, we’ve all often heard that fruits and vegetables are good for our health. When it comes to liver health specifically, this fact rings true.
For instance, leafy green vegetables like spinach contain compounds such as nitrates and distinct polyphenols that lower the risk of liver disease. This isn’t to say that green salads are to be your only meal for every meal; rather, try consuming small amounts of green leafy vegetables on a regular basis.
Additionally, adding some fruit to your breakfast, snack, or opting for a post-workout smoothie can aid in improving liver health. As far as fruit intake goes, grapefruit, for one, is a great choice! Containing naringenin and naringin, consuming grapefruit helps sustain liver health, combat inflammation, and protect cells. Other options include blueberries and cranberries, which are packed with antioxidants like anthocyanins that provide a variety of health benefits to the liver.

Consume fibre-rich legumes and wholegrains 

When it comes to legumes and wholegrains, there are quite a few options at hand - you can take your pick depending on your tastes and preferences.
Legumes like lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, and beans are nutrition-packed and are great to help you combat high blood glucose levels and triglycerides.
On the other hand, whole grains help your liver steer clear of inflammation, are high in B vitamins, and contain healthy fibre. So, if you’re a bread or pasta lover, you can enjoy a delicious sandwich with some warm country-style wholegrain bread or indulge in your favourite creamy pasta with some whole grain varieties. Just pick your favourite pasta shape and get set to dig in!

Embrace fats 

Don’t let the name scare you. Healthy fats are essential to being healthy; after all, it’s in the name!
Healthy fats keep you satisfied for longer which means you are less likely to grab that packet of crisps that is lying around. We needn’t shy away from monounsaturated fats like those found in avocados and olive oil, or omega-3 rich fats contained in fish like sardines or salmon - they’re actually good for you.
When consumed in healthy proportions, monounsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory properties. Similarly, Omega-3 rich fats combat inflammation, and may reduce the accumulation of fat in the liver. That’s right! It’s time to try that baked salmon recipe lying around in your kitchen drawer, and generously drizzle some olive oil in your favourite meal. Savour the flavour and take in the joy that healthy fats bring to your life!

Bid adieu to consuming fast food regularly  

We’re sure you saw this one coming! It might be time to part ways with the regular fast food menu rotation you’ve got going on. It’s alright to occasionally enjoy a bucket of fried chicken – it’s the frequency with which you consume such foods that may impact your liver’s health. After all, these foods are rich in added sugar, saturated fats, and all those undesirable preservatives that invariably impact liver health.

All that sugar is not good for your liver

The band ‘Maroon 5’ famously sang the lyric, “Sugar, yes please” – convincing, don’t you think? Unfortunately, this response shouldn’t apply when it comes to your liquid intake.
Sugary drinks and soft drinks are not liver-happy options. Soft drinks usually contain high amounts of high-fructose corn syrup, which contributes to increased liver fat deposits regardless of the number of calories you're shown to be consuming per serving.
Change is inevitable, but it takes time. You don’t have to go cold turkey and make a switch overnight. You can start incorporating these tips gradually, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier liver and improved overall health in due time.


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