Things you need to know
- The food we eat plays a significant role in the functioning of the liver
- People with liver disease are given a specific and personalised diet
- Prolonged liver infection can lead to cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver failure
After skin, the liver is considered the second-largest organ of the body. The location of the liver is just under the ribcage on the right side. The size of the liver is approximately the size of a football. The liver’s function is to break down and separate essential nutrients and waste as they move through the digestive tract. It helps to remove toxins from the body and aid in better digestion.
Here, the term liver disease refers to any conditions that can affect and damage the liver thereby, hampering the functioning of the liver. There are several liver diseases that if left untreated can even cause untreatable damage to the liver.
People with liver diseases require a diet filled with essential nutrients to help the liver to function properly and also protect it from diseases and infections. Intake of protein can help protect the liver from damage and also prevent any fatty buildup. Proteins help to repair the body and strengthen the muscles.
Below are some essential nutrients that are necessary to consume especially if the liver is damaged or is at a stage where it can deteriorate.
- Carbohydrates:- A large number of carbohydrates are needed in the diet plan. You can include carbs like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, or whole oats
- Protein:– A moderate intake of protein can help keep the body healthy. Beans, tofu, and some dairy products are essential nutrients needed to keep the liver strong
- Fat:– The intake of fat can help prevent protein breakdown in the liver. Omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts oil, flaxseeds oil, and green leafy vegetables
- Vitamin supplements, particularly B-complex vitamins, should be taken.
- Vitamin D deficiency is common in persons with liver illness. Consult your doctor about whether you should take vitamin D supplements.
- To prevent fluid retention, limit the amount of salt you take during the day
Below are some of the foods that will help keep the liver healthy.
Oats are full of fibre and adding them to the diet plan will help improve digestion and help the liver consume essential nutrients from fibre. Oats are high in compounds called beta-glucans which help to fight and reduce inflammation in the immune system.
Green tea is low in calories and high in antioxidants and therefore helps in lowering the overall risk of liver diseases. Green tea along with exercise can help rescue the severity of liver diseases by 60-70%.
Coffee helps to reduce fat buildup and increases the antioxidants in the liver. Coffee helps to keep the liver healthy and protect the liver from damaging conditions like liver cancer and reduce the effect of chronic liver diseases.
Long-term use of fish oil can help reduce the risk of fatty liver disease. Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in fish, and these are beneficial fats that help reduce inflammation. These fats appear to prevent the formation of extra lipids and maintain enzyme levels in the liver, which may be especially beneficial in the liver.
It is important to maintain a balance to keep the liver and also the overall body healthy and protect the body from liver damage. Below is the type of foods that should be avoided to maintain liver health as some foods are difficult to digest.
Fatty foods: Fried foods, fast food meals, and takeout meals. For example:- Packed chips
Salt: Avoid canned and processed meats or vegetables, and minimise the use of salt
Starch foods: Low fibre, processed bread, cakes, and baked items
Alcohol: Either limit the intake of alcohol or stop it completely
Sugar: Sugary foods, such as cereals, baked goods, and candies
Coffee, garlic water, green tea, grapefruit, and turmeric water can help flush toxins from the liver.
Too much sugar can spoil the liver and so avoid food with sugars, such as soda, pastries, and candy.
It takes approximately 3-4 days for the liver to repair but in extreme cases, it may take more than 30days for the liver to repair.