The liver, the largest internal organ, takes care of around 500 essential functions of our body. Did you know it filters 1.4 liters of blood in one minute? The liver usually contains some fat. But when 5 to 15 percent of the liver weight is constituted by fat, then it is called a fatty liver. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of Americans have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease(1).
Further, 3 to 12 percent suffer from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Generally, the fatty liver does not cause any severe hindrance to health, but in some cases, it can cause liver damage. There are no medications that could guarantee a cure.
So, there is a need to find natural or alternative solutions to this health condition. And isn’t it a better way to cure a health condition than through dietary changes? With simple changes in your diet, you could help deal with fatty liver. The best way to combat it is through food for fatty liver.
Foods For Fatty Liver
Garlic is a powerful herb and a popular home remedy for treating many health conditions. It is also a common ingredient in Asian and Mediterranean food. Firstly, this excellent herb contains selenium that helps to detoxify the liver. Secondly, it also contributes to activating enzymes capable of flushing out toxins from the liver. Thirdly, it has the potential to reduce the weight and body fat of NAFLD patients(2) according to a study in Advanced Biomedical Research. Lastly, it gives a fantastic taste to food.
You could include this as part of everyday food for fatty liver. Add garlic seasoning to your daily meals to enjoy the benefits and the taste too. You could also chew raw garlic if you are game enough to tolerate its strong, pungent taste. Try roasted garlic as a spread on bread. If you want, you can opt for garlic supplements too.
You could consume around 400 mg of garlic or garlic regularly as part of your daily diet.
Coffee is a popular drink which a lot of people consume almost every morning or evening. It could be one of the simplest and best foods for fatty liver as it helps to protect the body from the occurrence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. According to a report in Annals of Hepatology, coffee contains chlorogenic acid, which has an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effect. Further, it reduces cholesterol and hypertension. So, you should include coffee in your daily food for fatty liver.
Opt to drink drip coffee, if you want to choose one of the best foods good for fatty liver. Avoid adding too much sugar to it as it may increase carbohydrates’ calorie consumption. Also, stop drinking other beverages containing coffee. If you drink drip coffee along with these coffee beverages, it may result in an overdose of coffee.
You could consume 2-4 cups of drip coffee in a day. Too much consumption of coffee may result in sleeplessness, anxiety, or palpitations.
[Read: Excercise for Fatty Liver]
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
There is quite a lot of research done about Omega-3 fatty acids, and a lot of health benefits have been found. It is an excellent food for fatty liver because it fights inflammation, obesity, insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and low HDL levels(3).
Omega -3 fatty acids constitute one amongst the best foods to eat for fatty liver. These include sardines, salmon, flaxseed, walnuts, etc. You could also opt for supplements of Omega-3 fatty acids. You should also be careful to stop eating harmful food for the liver. Fatty liver foods to avoid are refined grains, alcohol, sugar, salt, and fried dishes.
You could take 250-500 milligrams of omega-three fatty acids daily.
[Read: Supplements for Fatty Liver]
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are among the best food for fatty liver. These vegetables contain high fiber and useful plant compounds. Among these, broccoli has anti-oxidative properties and boosts liver enzyme levels. These enzymes help detox the liver and protect it from damage, increasing blood level.
Broccoli can be included in your regular food for curing fatty liver. Roast it and add garlic, along with a dash of lemon juice or vinegar to make it tasty and healthy eating. You could also consume other cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, Mustard Greens, Etc. Avoid adding too much salt to these vegetables as it harms your health. These cruciferous vegetables are a healthy substitute for fried, spicy, and other fatty liver foods to avoid.
There is no fixed dosage for broccoli as food to eat for fatty liver. However, a cup of broccoli every day is enough for your requirements.
The therapeutic effect of tea(4) is not new. It dates back thousands of years when the benefits of tea were first discovered. Tea is a popular drink enjoyed by people worldwide. There are several varieties of tea. Due to its anti-oxidative and detox effects, Green tea is an excellent food for fatty liver. It helps to reduce body fat and fat in the blood. Black tea too is considered beneficial as it reverses the ill effects of a high-fat diet.
You should consume either green or black tea. If you want to try green tea extract, then be careful as it may cause liver damage.
You could drink as much as 5 to 10 cups of green tea in a day.
Foods to avoid
Now that we have learned the foods to consume, it is imperative to remember the foods to avoid for a fatty liver as they contribute to weight gain and increasing the blood sugar level
Salt: Excess salt levels in the body, could cause retention of excess water in the body. Hence it is recommended that you stick to less 1500 milligrams of sodium in a day
Red Meat: Beef and other red meats are known aggravators of a fatty liver as they are high in saturated fat and lead to overworking of the liver. Hence steer clear of them
Fried Foods: High in fats and calories and tend to overwork the liver, hence recommended to not consume them
Added Sugar: Stay away from candies, cookies, and sodas as high blood sugar levels increase the buildup of fat in the liver
Alcohol: One of the major causes of fatty liver, hence it is strongly recommended that you refrain from consuming any alcohol.
Diet Plan For Fatty Liver:
- 8 oz. Hot oatmeal mixed with 2 teaspoons of almond butter
- 1 sliced banana and a cup of coffee with low-fat milk.
Salad, preferably spinach with healthy dressings (made out of olive oil or vinegar)
- 3 Oz. Grilled Chicken
- 1 Small Baked potato
- 1 Apple
- 1 Cup of greens ( preferably broccoli, carrots)
- Bean Salad
- 3 0z. Grilled salmon
- 1 Cup Cooked Broccoli
- 1 Cup mixed berries
- 1 Glass of milk
[Read: Milk Thistle for Fatty Liver]
Now you know about the best food for fatty liver and fatty liver foods to avoid. You can now plan your daily diet keeping these in mind. You could also include other foods to eat for fatty liver like walnuts, soy or whey protein, avocado, blueberries, cranberries, grapes, grapefruit, prickly pear, beetroot juice, olive oil, and fatty fish. Reduce eating out and be aware of what food products you are buying.
You need to be mindful of the food you are eating and avoid any food that could aggravate your health condition. The improved diet will not only help to cure your fatty liver but will also improve your overall health. Apart from including this beneficial food for fatty liver in your diet, you should also aim towards a healthy lifestyle.
[Read: Vitamins for Liver]
1. How Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies Help Fatty Liver?
There is no guaranteed medication to cure a fatty liver, apart from a liver transplant, in case of a severe condition. Lifestyle changes and home remedies could be long term solutions to your health condition, that too, without side effects. Through exercise, use of home remedies, and taking certain food for fatty liver, you could deal with excess body weight and other factors leading to NAFLD.
2. How to Diagnose a Fatty Liver?
The diagnosis of fatty liver is made through a series of liver function tests, which include blood tests, liver tissue examination, imaging procedures like an abdominal ultrasound, CT scan, etc.
3. What Are the Other Remedies for Fatty Liver?
Apart from food for fatty liver, you could also try several other remedies like
- Control of diabetes
- Lower cholesterol level
- Lose weight
- Vitamin E