Fatty liver can be caused by overconsumption of alcohol, prescription or non-prescription medications, weight gain, inherited genetic conditions, and even ageing. If you have this condition, it’s important to know what diet changes you should make to help get rid of your fatty liver once and for all. Here are the 8 best foods to eat when you have a fatty liver
How to manage fatty liver with diet
While there are plenty of dietary supplements that claim to help ease and prevent fatty liver, there is no supplement that can compete with real, whole foods. So what does diet have to do with fatty liver? Everything. Certain foods may be better for you than others when it comes to helping you manage your fatty liver. Try adding these eight types of food into your diet
Almond milk or low-fat cow’s milk
Both almond milk and low-fat cow’s milk are good for your liver. Almond milk provides plenty of healthy fats, which help you absorb vitamins and minerals from other foods. Low-fat cow’s milk has plenty of protein, B vitamins, iron, and selenium—nutrients that are all important for healthy liver function. If you have trouble digesting dairy or almonds, however, try swapping out almond milk with rice or soy milk instead. The best diet for fatty liver is an alkaline diet.
Many people with fatty liver (not caused by alcohol) have elevated liver enzymes, and drinking coffee can reduce levels of these enzymes. If you drink coffee, 2-3 cups per day can be beneficial. Additionally, coffee is an excellent source of antioxidants. These compounds help protect your body from free radicals that cause damage to cells and tissues. They also promote liver health by neutralizing harmful toxins in your body. Coffee is also rich in potassium, which helps maintain normal blood pressure levels. The high fiber content in coffee may also help prevent constipation, which is common among those who have fatty livers due to obesity or diabetes.
Foods rich in vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can reduce liver inflammation and improve fibrosis in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Additionally, vitamin E may help prevent heart disease, which many people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease are at increased risk for developing. Eating foods rich in vitamin E regularly can be a great addition to any diet for fatty liver.
Although there are some exceptions, most people should drink around eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Many studies have found that those who drink lots of water lose more weight than those who don’t. One study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who drank five or more glasses of water a day lost an average of 5 pounds over 12 weeks. Another study in BJU International found that drinking about 17 ounces of water before each meal resulted in losing an average of 6 pounds over 14 weeks.
Researchers have found that extra virgin olive oil has properties that may help reduce fatty liver disease. Olive oil contains an antioxidant called oleocanthal that has been shown to protect cells from damage. And, of course, olive oil is also full of healthy fats, which can benefit your heart health and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
Flax and chia seeds
These seeds are chock-full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help fight inflammation in your liver. Enjoy it in a morning smoothie or sprinkle on cereal or yogurt. Pine nuts: In addition to being rich in unsaturated fats and protein, pine nuts are also high in phytosterols that can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce fat build-up in your liver.
Studies have shown that garlic can lower triglycerides, which is one of the things that causes fatty liver disease. Garlic is also effective at lowering cholesterol levels, so it’s also good for anyone with high cholesterol as well. It’s hard to eat too much garlic, but some recommend starting off with two cloves a day and gradually increasing your intake.
In Asian diets, including soy in your diet is crucial for long-term liver health. Traditional Chinese medicine has revered soy as a miracle food for centuries; it was even thought to have anti-aging properties! While we still can’t say that soy is an age-defying superfood, there’s no denying that it can be good for your liver.
Other ways to reverse fatty liver disease
You can help to reverse fatty liver disease by changing the way you eat and leading a more active lifestyle.
The best diet for fatty liver is an exercise-focused diet. In addition to helping you lose weight (which will help with any disease or condition), exercising more can help ease your fatty liver and other health concerns. Exercise works in tandem with a healthy diet to help you lose weight while giving your liver time to heal. Some of these exercises are cardio-based, and some are strength training focused, but they’re all important for making sure your body is operating at its highest level.
Get More Sleep
Studies have shown that getting more sleep can reduce fatty liver. This is because it allows your body more time to repair damage and work on cleansing your liver naturally. Most people are aware of how important it is to get 8 hours of sleep, but they struggle with making sure they actually get enough rest each night.
Discuss supplements with your doctor
It’s important to consult with your doctor before beginning to take supplements, as some may interfere with other medications and health-related plans. Share any concerns and look for workable solutions that still meet your goals.
For most people with fatty liver, lifestyle changes are enough to reverse it. But some doctors may prescribe medications such as cholesterol-lowering statins and anti-seizure drugs that work by stabilizing cell membranes. Other medications target fats in your blood directly; usually, they’re used only if lifestyle changes aren’t enough. These may be taken by mouth or injected into your muscle once or twice per month.
A healthy diet is one of the best ways you can support your liver. Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that promote liver health, as well as other nutrients and vitamins that help minimize oxidative stress in your body. A paleo diet for example has shown promising results for people with fatty liver, so try incorporating more whole foods like nuts, fish and leafy greens into your diet.