6 Diets that Help Care for Your Liver Health

09 July, 2020
Have you ever thought that the foods you eat can affect your liver? Take care of your liver health with your diet!

The liver is one of the largest organs in the human body. Also, it’s in charge of helping your body digest food, store energy, and eliminate toxins. For this reason, experts recommend following a diet that cares for your liver health. Would you like to discover more about it?

Before making any change in your eating habits, you should always consult your doctor or a nutritionist.

Diets to care for your liver health

The liver is a key organ in digestive system functioning. However, we rarely bear all the work it does in mind. In fact, diseases that affect the liver are becoming increasingly common.

The Canadian Liver Society has reported that, soon, one in four Canadians will have liver disease, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Furthermore, death rates from liver cancer, a disease that affects more than 700,000 people worldwide each year, have increased by 3% each year since 2000.

According to data from the American Cancer Society, liver cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in the world, as it causes more than 600,000 deaths each year.

Due to these alarming facts, making dietary changes may be what you need to protect your liver and, therefore, your health. Below, discover the diets to care for your liver health that you can follow.

Diets to care for your liver health

1. The Mediterranean diet

Mediterranean diet foods.
The Mediterranean diet provides your body with all the nutrients it needs.

Among the best diets to care for your liver health, the Mediterranean diet stands out. In fact, it’s considered one of the healthiest diets in the world. Based on the daily and abundant consumption of vegetables and fruits, “good” fats such as olive oil, cereals, and dairy products, this diet is ideal to protect your liver.

These foods, along with the regular consumption of fish and the moderate intake of red meat, help your body get the minerals and vitamins it needs. Your liver needs these vitamins to metabolize fats, in addition to vitamin C, which works to protect liver cells from toxin attacks.

Choose whole grains to increase your fiber intake. Remember that fiber favors digestion and helps stimulate the bile this organ produces. Thus, it contributes to the prevention of gallstones and the buildup of cholesterol.

Read on to learn more: Ten Things that Will Motivate You to Follow the Mediterranean Diet

2. Macrobiotic diet

The macrobiotic diet is based on the main intake of whole grains, followed by fruits, vegetables, and legumes. When well-organized and planned, the macrobiotic diet can provide your body and liver with all the nutrients that they need for their proper functioning.

Ask your doctor about it!

3. A diet for people with fatty liver

Red meat in steaks.
It’s essential to moderate your consumption of red meat to care for your liver.

People who suffer from fatty liver should cut down on high-calorie foods and dishes to avoid continuing to store fat in their liver cells. Also, it’s a good idea to incorporate fiber-rich foods to stimulate bile production.

4. A diet for people with cirrhosis

If your liver is already damaged, you must modify your diet to ensure that the situation doesn’t worsen. To do this, you must moderate the consumption of protein in your diet, as well as limit your consumption of salt.

Consult your doctor so they can evaluate your particular condition and put together a menu based on your nutritional needs.

5. A diet if you suffer from hemochromatosis

A person adding salt to foods.
Reduce your salt intake to protect your liver and your overall health!

Hemochromatosis is the accumulation of iron in the liver. If you suffer from this disease, you should avoid consuming iron. For this reason, you should cut out foods such as liver, blood sausage, chard, spinach, shellfish, and nuts, among others, from your diet.

6. A diet if you have hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus attacks the liver. Thus, if you suffer from this condition, you need to change your eating habits to reduce your consumption of iron and salt. To minimize your salt intake, include herbs and spices in your recipes.

Talk to your doctor for more information.

Foods to include in your diet to care for your liver health

A woman drinking a cup of coffee.
Coffee would help eliminate substances that would cause cancer.

Here. we’ve decided to mention two special foods, due to the liver health benefits that different studies attribute to them.

1. Coffee

A recent study concluded that moderate coffee intake could help reduce the risk of liver disease.

Another study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology in 2014 determined that coffee can help decrease fat accumulation in the liver while providing antioxidants. Also, coffee may help rid the liver of substances that could cause cancer.

2. Oily fish

Another food that you should include in your diet to care for your liver health is fatty fish, as well as fish oil supplements. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, its consumption could help prevent liver diseases.

Fatty fish, such as salmon or herring, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These help decrease inflammation and, specifically, can prevent the accumulation of excess fats in the liver.

This article may interest you: 7 Great Ways to Care for Your Liver Health at Breakfast

Foods to avoid so you don’t damage your liver health

Alcohol produces toxins that are harmful to liver health. Thus, you should moderate its consumption and even eliminate it entirely if you suffer from any disease.

Finally, alone with the diets to take care of your liver health, we must mention the foods whose habitual or excessive consumption can be harmful to your liver.

1. Alcohol

No one will forbid you from drinking alcohol. However, experts recommend consuming it consciously and moderately. Excess alcohol intake could damage the cells of your liver, causing cirrhosis.

2. Foods rich in sugars, fats, and salt

Excess consumption of fats, salt, and sugars can cause metabolic problems. For example, did you know that saturated fats could increase liver lipid storage, which could lead to a condition known as fatty liver in the long term?

Take care of your diet by reducing “bad” fats and the regular intake of fast foods and ready meals. This way, you won’t only protect your liver, but your overall health, too!

Overall, diets to care for your liver health are balanced and provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimum performance.

  • American Cancer Society. Estadísticas importantes sobre el cáncer de hígado. https://www.cancer.org/es/cancer/cancer-de-higado/acerca/que-es-estadisticas-clave.html
  • WebMD. How Not to Wreck Your Liver. https://www.webmd.com/hepatitis/features/healthy-liver#2
  • Medical News Today. Coffee makes for a happy liver, says board of experts. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320089.php
  • NCBI. (2014). Coffee and liver health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25291138
  • NCBI. (2015). Oily fish, coffee and walnuts: Dietary treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4588084/