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Six Best Foods for a Fatty Liver

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common cause of liver disease in the Western world. Fatty liver is a condition in which a lot of fat is stored in the liver. Storage excess fat in the liver can lead to cirrhosis and even liver failure if not treated on time. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is more prevalent in people with pre-existing health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is also important to note that NAFLD is not caused by alcohol abuse.

A healthy liver detoxifies the body and produces bile. Bile is a protein that serves for fat emulsification. This means it breaks down fat into fatty acids so they can be easily digested and absorbed. Fatty liver disease is harmful to the liver. It prevents the liver from working efficiently. However, lifestyle changes can prevent it from worsening.

Weight loss is the first-line treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This can be achieved through healthy eating, exercise, and calorie reduction.

The best diet for a fatty liver includes the following:

· Vegetables and fruits

· Whole grains, legumes, and other high-fiber plants

· No alcohol

· Reduced beverages and foods high in salt, sugar, saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates.

The weight loss will depend on how much excess fat you have in your body. Your healthcare provider can guide you on a weight loss goal for your overall health. People with fatty liver are advised to eat a nutrient-dense diet based on whole foods rich in protein, fiber, and unsaturated fats.

Here are the six best foods for a fatty liver diet.

Photo By Lin

1. Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, mustard greens, and Brussels sprouts have high fiber content and a distinctive taste. They also contain a lot of beneficial phytocompounds.

Animal studies show that broccoli and brussels sprout extract help boost the levels of detox enzymes and protect the liver from damage (1, 2).

A study on human liver cells found that this protective effect was retained even in cooked brussels sprouts (1, 2).

Also, a 2016 study found that mice fed on broccoli rarely developed fatty liver disease or tumors compared to their counterparts in the control group (3).

Although human studies are limited, results from studies conducted so far show that cruciferous vegetables are promising as a healthy and beneficial food for liver health.

To create a healthy and tasty dish, you can roast them with lemon juice, garlic, or balsamic vinegar.

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2. Dandelion greens prevent fat buildup

Dandelion greens, spinach, and other leafy greens contain compounds that may help fight fatty liver disease.

A study found that eating dandelion greens and spinach lowered the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This was attributed to the specific polyphenols and nitrate in the leafy green (4).

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3. Salmon (wild-caught)

Salmon and other fatty fish like sardines, trout, and tuna contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies suggest omega-3 supplementation may benefit NAFLD patients by reducing liver fat, lowering triglyceride levels, and improving HDL cholesterol levels (5).

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4. Olive oil

Olive oil has many health benefits and is thus considered a healthy fat. In addition, it is highly beneficial to metabolic and heart health.

Olive oil also has positive effects on the liver (6).

A study involving 11 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease found that taking a teaspoon of olive oil daily (about 6.5 mL) improved fat and liver enzyme levels.

Another study also found that olive oil raised protein levels associated with positive metabolic effects (7).

Participants in the study had better blood flow and less fat accumulation in the liver.

Other recent studies have found similar effects of olive oil consumption in humans, such as improved insulin sensitivity, less accumulation of fat in the liver, and improved levels of liver enzymes in the blood (89).

Fat buildup in the liver is part of the first phase of liver disease. As such, the positive effect of olive oil on liver fat and other health aspects makes it indispensable in a healthy diet.

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5. Probiotic foods

Probiotic foods are loaded with good bacteria. In addition to their immune-boosting powers, these good bacteria also help flush out heavy metals. Examples of probiotic foods include kimchee, sauerkraut, kombucha, and other fermented foods.

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6. Garlic

Garlic is more of a vegetable. It adds flavor to food, but that’s not all. Experimental studies have shown that garlic powder supplements help burn fat and reduce body weight in fatty liver patients (10).

A 2020 study found that supplementing with 800 mg of garlic powder daily for 15 weeks drastically reduced liver fat in NAFLD patients (11).

Some phytonutrients can also help reduce fat in the liver. These include:

· Thymoquinone

· Resveratrol

· Epigallocatechin gallate

Other things you can do to reduce fat on the liver are:

· Get plenty of vitamin E

· Get plenty of vitamin A

· Get out in the sun

· Exercise

· Intermittent fasting

Photo by Tijana Drndarski  on Unsplash

Disclaimer: Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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