A well-balanced, nutritious diet high in fibre, lean or plant-based protein, and healthy fats is the most effective method to improve liver function, reduce disease risk, and support healthy weight loss.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is among the leading causes of liver disease in India. It is a condition in which excess fat accumulates in the liver. NAFLD is more common in individuals with obesity and type 2 diabetes, and unlike alcohol-related liver disease, it is not caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
How does fatty liver happens
A healthy liver eliminates toxins and produces bile, a greenish-yellow fluid that breaks down fat into fatty acids for digestion. Fatty liver disease affects the liver and stops it from functioning properly, but lifestyle modifications can help prevent it from worsening.
There are two forms of fatty liver disease;
Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) disease, where fat accumulates in the liver without inflammation, yet expansion might cause pain.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) causes inflammation and can result in cirrhosis and liver failure if not addressed.
The primary treatment for NAFLD (Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease) in overweight or obese persons is progressive weight loss by calorie reduction, exercise, and healthy eating.
The healthy diet for fatty liver disease includes;
Fruits and vegetables
High fiber plants like legumes and whole grains
Significantly reducing foods and beverages with high in sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates, and saturated fat
Limited alcohol consumption
NAFLD patients should consume a nutrient-dense, whole-food diet high in fibre, protein, and unsaturated fats. Here are a few things to incorporate into a healthy liver diet.
1. Green signal to greens & fruits
Compounds found in spinach and other leafy greens may help fight fatty liver disease possibly due to the nitrate and distinct polyphenols in the leafy green. Spinach can be consumed raw in salads and as cooked too. However, raw spinach can be more beneficial.
Blueberries got nutrients in them called polyphenols that may help protect you against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, which often goes hand in hand with obesity and high cholesterol.
2. Beans and Soy
Both beans and soy have been found to reduce the risk of NAFLD. Legumes like lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and peas are not only high in nutrients, but they also include resistant starches, which help with intestinal health. Consuming beans may even help obese people lower their blood glucose and lipids. Soy contains β-conglycinin, a protein known for lowering triglyceride levels and perhaps preventing visceral fat development.
Tofu is also a low-fat food that is high in protein, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to reduce their fat intake.
3. Garlic for overall benefit
This bulbous plant vegetable is not only adds flavour to food, but studies also show that garlic powder supplements may help reduce body weight and fat in people with fatty liver disease.
4. Increase unsaturated fat intake
Those with NAFLD may benefit by replacing saturated fat sources, such as butter, fatty cuts of meat, sausages, and red meats, with unsaturated fat sources, such as avocados, olive oil, nut butter, and fatty fish.
5. Sunflower seeds for antioxidants
Sunflower seeds are particularly high in vitamin E, an antioxidant often helps healing NAFLD. If you want to increase your vitamin E consumption from natural sources, sunflower seeds can be a good option.
6. Master Antioxidant Glutathione
The tri-peptide master antioxidant Glutathione could help treat nonalcoholic fatty liver disease due to its high antioxidant properties and potential to detoxify.
High doses of turmeric's key constituent, curcumin, may lower liver damage markers in NAFLD patients. Turmeric supplementation may lower serum levels of ALT (alanine aminotransferase) and AST (aspartate aminotransferase), which are elevated in individuals with fatty liver disease.
8. Whole grains for fiber
Whole-grain, fiber-rich foods like oatmeal are associated with a reduced risk of NAFLD-related diseases. Studies have shown that a nutritious diet rich in high fiber foods like oats can be effective for those with NAFLD and may help reduce triglyceride levels.
Lifestyle Changes for Fatty Liver
In addition to changing your food, there are a few additional lifestyle adjustments you can do to improve your liver health;
1. Be more active: Regular exercise can help you reduce weight and manage your liver condition. Aim for 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic activity for at least 5 days in a week.
2. Maintain lower blood lipid levels: By limiting saturated fat and sugar intake you can manage blood lipid levels. If diet and exercise aren't effective in lowering cholesterol, talk to your doctor about pharmaceutical choices.
3. Manage diabetes: Diabetes and fatty liver disease often coexist. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you manage both diseases.If your blood sugar is still high, a healthcare professional can prescribe medication to lower it.
If you have NAFLD or are concerned that you may be at risk, consult with a trusted healthcare provider to develop a treatment strategy.
Dietary and lifestyle adjustments, such as increasing physical exercise, enhancing sleep, and reducing stress, may be part of the therapy plan. You might also seek the aid of a dietitian to create a sustainable eating plan.