dietplan for liver - How to heal liver naturally and prevent fatty liver

Dr. Amar Gautam
Senior Consultant, General Medicine
East Delhi Medical Centre, Shahdara

Liver is the body’s biggest solid Organ. But its significance also lies in the fact it does hundreds of functions for the Human Body. It plays a crucial role in detoxification, metabolism, and overall health, so it’s essential to prioritize its care.

It is a common myth to think if we don’t drink alcohol, our liver is safe. But did you know there is a condition called Non-Alcoholic Fatty liver disease? It characterstic is a build up of fat in the liver. Absistence alone is not enough, It is important we take care of the liver with a healthy and nutritious diet. Throughout the year I see patients who with or without alcohol, reach a stage where liver health is terribly compromised, A good diet is one of my first suggestions when the damage is either in preliminary stage or its only a risk at the moment. 

A word of caution before you begin, make sure you speak to your doctor before making a change in diet or adopting a new habit like drinking coffee. Additionally, for liver to reach its optimal health we need both diet and lifestyle changes. You eat all the right food and consume excessive amount of alcohol, or you have no physical activity, then we are looking at a disadvantaged position.

Incorporate Olive and Olive Oil for Live Health

So the olive oil which seems like a mere trend, has many benefits. One of them relates to your liver! Now if you Include olive oil and olives in your diet it will be extremely beneficial for liver health. Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is rich in monounsaturated fats. These fats are known to increase levels of good cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, in the body. Cholesterol is infamous for its health problems, and rightfully so, but good cholesterol- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, actually helps absorbs the Cholesterol which harms our body and helps liver process it.  This can help reduce the risk of fatty liver disease and promote overall liver function.

They also counter act against LDL((low-density lipoprotein- The counterpart of the good Cholestrol), high levels of which are associated with an increased risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and liver inflammation. 

It is easy to include this in our diet too.  Extra virgin olive oil can be added into your diet as a primary source of fat, such as for salad dressings, cooking, or drizzling over vegetables, and can be a simple yet effective way to promote liver health. We often completely gloss over or ignore western food and influence, but we should try to do the balanced act of taking the good and setting aside the negative. Aim for high-quality, cold-pressed olive oil to maximize its nutritional benefits. Talk to you nutritionist or doctor for specific information.

Coffee is good for liver! (in Moderation)

coffee helps in healing liver

Are you surprised to see one of the most popular beverages on the list? Usually what’s popular doesn’t make the cut for what’s healthy. But Coffee is actually good for the liver. But before exploring, you must remember moderation a keyword here!

What is it about coffee that helps us thus? Well, Coffee contains bioactive compounds like caffeine ( So the decaf version won’t work here), chlorogenic acids, and diterpenes, which have been proven to influence liver enzyme activity.

Research suggests that coffee may be inversely associated with the risk of developing NAFLD. Not only that, but the beverage also comes with reduced risk of liver fibrosis progression in patients with pre-existing NAFLD

Research has shown us Moderate coffee consumption relates to a  lower risk of liver diseases, including Liver Fibrosis and Cirrhosis. The presence of certain enzymes in coffee may help protect the liver from damage caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. Although, it’s important to consume coffee in moderation and avoid excessive added sugar.

Include Leafy Vegetables for a Healthy Liver!

Okay no surprises here, We all know vegetables are amazing. Children begin by hating vegetables but only to turn into adults who ensure a vegetable rich diet. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens are rich sources of vitamin K and antioxidants, while these are again elements which play a crucial role in liver health.

Vitamin K is essential for proper blood clotting which prevents excessive blood loss and hemorrhage. Did you know, it is liver that helps your blood clot when any injury or cut happens!  Also, as kids we hear about eating vegetables for good bones. Vitamin K is one of the reasons for that. This fat soluble Vitamin helps in creating strong bones. Antioxidants from the vegetables help neutralize harmful free radicals that can damage liver cells.

Incorporating these vegetables into your diet can support liver function and reduce the risk of liver disease, among the so many benefits of Vegetables!

Snack on Nuts for Both healthy liver and Healthy BMI!

nuts for liver health

Those soaked ‘badams’ put out for you to eat are helping your liver process and work better!
Nuts are full of fibers, minerals, Vitamin E, B2, B9, omega-3 fatty acids, essential amino-acids, antioxidants and phenolic compounds. Nuts, like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, and others
are Nutrition powerhouses which can contribute to health and wellbeing of an individual when taken regularly.

Focusing on the liver, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect liver cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, nuts contain healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help improve liver function. Including a handful of nuts as a snack can provide essential nutrients for liver health. Nuts also help reduce the risk of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver disease as weight loss, BMI and other requirements and indicators of the disease are aided by Nuts.

Choose Protein and Fiber Rich Food

Protein plays an important role in the body, but what does it do for the liver? Two of the few main functions are –

  • Amino Acids for Liver Function: We all have heard of amino acids, but what are they. These are the molecules used by all living things to make proteins. These amino acids play a significant  role in liver detoxification pathways, ensuring harmful substances are effectively metabolized and eliminated from the body.
  •  Liver Repair and Regeneration: The liver has a remarkable ability to regenerate itself, and protein is a key component in this process. When the liver is damaged due to factors like alcohol consumption, hepatitis infections, or fatty liver disease, adequate protein intake becomes crucial for supporting tissue repair and regeneration

The best places for getting lean protien best for liver- Poultry (skinless chicken or turkey),
Fish (salmon, tuna, trout), Tofu, Legumes (beans, lentils) and Low-fat dairy products

Fiber is an essential element for our body and we usually associate it with passing of stool and other nutrient benefits. But research shows us that Increased fiber intake helps in with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease ( NAFLD). All fiber rich food sources like Oatmeal, Fruits, Vegetables, Legumes are good not just for the body but also help in maintaining a healthy liver. 

The way Ahead

Diet works wonders, but diet is not enough. We must stay hydrated, limit alcohol consumption, avoid smoking, and maintain a healthy weight – which are all integral components of a liver-healing lifestyle.

Once again, I must repeat, while diet can be a valuable tool, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, especially if you have existing liver conditions or are considering significant dietary changes. With dedication, consistency (it will not be useful unless you make it a habit), and a focus on whole, nourishing foods, you can take significant strides towards a healthy liver and eventually, a healthy life.