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The liver is an essential organ of the body which performs important tasks like secreting bile juice to aid in digestion and breaking down toxins resulting from alcohol and medications. To keep your liver super healthy, it is necessary to understand the best and worst foods for your liver.
If you consume a healthy diet, your liver will be able to function properly resulting in your overall well-being. But, if you aren't careful with your diet, the liver slows down its functioning and it may eventually cause liver failure or fatty liver disease.
So, choose the right foods that will protect your liver and avoid foods that will hamper your liver.
What Are The Best Foods For Your Liver?
Adding broccoli into your diet will keep your liver healthy. Some studies have revealed that this crunchy veggie can protect you from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver cancer due to the presence of a compound called sulforaphane. Researchers found that broccoli lessens the uptake of fat into the liver, which increased the output of lipids from the liver.
Broccoli increases the liver's natural detoxification enzymes, reduces the damaging effects and improves blood levels of liver enzymes.
Oatmeal is loaded with soluble fibre which is fantastic for making your liver work at its best. The presence of soluble fibre reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol that builds up in the liver, and blood vessels. It also affects the levels of blood cholesterol by lowering the absorption of cholesterol into the blood from the intestines.
If you are a coffee lover, start rejoicing! Noted studies show that drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day can protect your liver from damage caused by an unhealthy diet and drinking excess of alcohol. Coffee prevents the build-up of fat and collagen and lowers the risk of liver cancer.
Some theories suggest that paraxanthine in caffeine suppresses the synthesis of connective tissue growth factor , thereby decreasing the development of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver fibrosis.
4. Green tea
Green tea is abundant in catechins, an antioxidant which is known to prevent and treat many diseases, which includes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. According to the University of Maryland, drinking up to 10 cups of green tea a day benefits your liver and lowers the risk of liver disease.
5. Green leafy veggies
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collard greens, mustard greens have a powerful antioxidant called glutathione. This antioxidant has a powerful ability to ward off fatty liver disease and also increase bile flow which lets your liver get rid of the waste products.
Nuts like almonds can protect against fatty liver disease due to the presence of vitamin E and unsaturated fats, according to research. This aids in removing bad cholesterol from the body and lowers blood pressure as well.
Blueberries, strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, etc., are packed with polyphenols, an antioxidant that may protect you from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This berry is high in antioxidants like anthocyanins and polyphenols which protect from liver damage, thereby lowering the chances of liver cancer.
What Are The Worst Foods For Your Liver?
1. Fatty foods
Eating too many fatty foods such as French fries, burgers, red meat which are high in saturated fat makes it harder for your liver to do its job. This may eventually cause inflammation, which in turn leads to scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis.
2. Sugary foods
Consumption of too much sugar can damage your liver because sugar converts into fat in the body after consumption. Too much high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugar lead to a fat build-up in the liver leading to fatty liver disease.
3. Sodium foods
Canned soups, packaged foods and other salty food items are loaded with sodium which causes the retention of excess fluid in the liver and stops its functioning. Excess intake of salt led to changes in liver cells linked to fibrosis thus contributing to liver damage.
Alcohol tops the list when it comes to being one of the worst foods for the liver. When the liver breaks down alcohol it results in a chemical reaction that can damage the liver cells leading to liver scarring and inflammation.
5. Packaged snacks
Chips, pretzels and other unhealthy snacks are loaded with salt, sugar and trans fats. High levels of trans fats cause deposition of fats in the liver which can lead to dysfunction of the liver.
6. Red meat
Red meat is also full of saturated fats which increase cholesterol, that is harmful to your liver. Intake of red meat can also increase your hepatocellular cancer risk.
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