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Liver » Liver Transplant

Food for the Liver- What's Good and What's Not

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While not often recognised as one, your liver is indeed a key player in your digestive system. Whatever you eat is filtered by the liver. Your choice of food can keep your liver healthy and optimally functioning or turn it toxic.


A toxic liver has both short-term effects (metabolic issues, bloating, gas, constipation) and long-term consequences (diabetes, high blood pressure, inflammation, arthritis, etc.)

Undoubtedly, you should model your diet to include stuff that helps boost your liver power and avoid things that harm it. Here is a small list to help you out.

The "Must Include in Diet" Food Items

Involve these things in your diet, especially when your liver is already showing signs of sickness!

Raw nuts act as additional nutrition for an ill liver. They are high in protein, antioxidants, unsaturated fats, vitamin E, fibre, magnesium, calcium, potassium, etc.

Also, since nuts are protected by a hard shell and can be eaten raw, they are mostly free from any pesticide exposure. Your liver can break it down quickly, especially if the organ is already low on resources.

When you drink a good quantity of water each day, it increases the fluidity of your blood. Your liver can conveniently filter blood and all its constituents. 

Unless you suffer from hyponatremia, water will only help your liver in detoxification.

Regular but moderate coffee consumption may reduce the risk of liver cancer, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. It may also help slow down various liver diseases’ progression.

Spices and herbs help in liver detoxification. Turmeric, cinnamon, rosemary, cumin, and oregano are a few examples of such spices. They help extract nutrients from the ingested food, help you cut back on salt, stimulate bile flow, and may even help restore the damaged liver cells.

Whenever broccoli gets chewed, chopped, cooked, digested, or fermented, it releases phytochemicals. These chemicals, when broken down into indole 3-carbinol, sulforaphane, and D-glucarate, can help detoxify your liver.

Sprouted broccoli is more useful in cleansing the liver than regular broccoli.

Oats, a whole grain food, can lower blood cholesterol, boost your immunity, and diminish the risk of cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

Spinach contains glutathione, a strong antioxidant. It also contains twice the amount of iron found in other leafy greens. The antioxidants help the liver detoxify, especially when the spinach is prepared raw.

Blueberries possess fibre, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin K, E, C, B6, and A. They also contain phytonutrients (pterostilbene and anthocyanins) in high quantities.

Studies have noted the effect of blueberries in reducing liver size, improving insulin sensitivity, blood glucose management, and lipid profile of blood.

Brewed green tea contains an antioxidant known as catechin. It helps keep the risk of liver cancer at bay.

Many green tea supplements contain polyphenols in concentrated packets. Too much consumption of the tea (more than 10 cups a day for example) can lead to an increase in liver toxicity.

The "Must Avoid Whenever Possible" List of Eatables

A single high-fat meal can disrupt normal liver function. Cheeseburgers, french fries, burgers, pizza, etc. are full of saturated fats. They are capable of messing up your liver metabolism, leading to fatty liver disease if not checked in time.

The liver can metabolise sugar. Feed it too much sugar and the resultant fat will get deposited in the organ, causing a slow but eventual buildup of fat, and thus, fatty liver disease. Also, uncontrolled sugar intake will make your diabetic as well.

Too much sodium can lead to a skyrocketing blood pressure, cause the liver cells to change and deform, and contribute to liver cell death.

It may also affect the rate of cell division in the liver. Ultimately, ingesting more salt than required will lead to fibrosis.

Drinking in moderation may keep any chronic damage at bay. However, too much alcohol can lead to alcoholic fatty liver disease, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver failure ultimately.

Any packed and processed food source (baked goodies, salted peanuts, etc.) will be full of salt, sugar, and fat.

Take care of your diet. In return, it will take care of your liver.

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