Have you been wondering the weighing scale hasn’t budged or shown much difference despite you sweating it out religiously? Poor liver health could be the reason.
The liver is a hub for removing toxins from the blood and plays an important role in the body’s processes. The liver is directly affected by your food habits. “The liver not only filters toxins in the body but also plays a role in metabolising fat in the body – therefore good liver health is also reflected by a good Body Mass Index,” says Dr Vikram Raut, HPB and Liver Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Mumbai.
He adds, “Diets that are high in fats contribute to fat deposits on the liver, which is one of the leading causes of fatty liver disease.” Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet is best suited for a healthy liver. Low carbohydrate, high protein combined with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats contribute towards liver health.
The best way to cleanse or enhance liver health is to remove toxic food from your diet. A balanced diet is really the key. Keep your diet low on fat and fried food, and avoid alcohol. Dr Philip Abraham, Consultant Gastroenterologist at Hinduja Healthcare Surgical, Mumbai, says, “Cut down on concentrated sugar which is found in foods like cakes, colas, pastries etc. High fat and sugar levels are extremely harmful for the liver. When we say avoid food high in sugar, it means avoid foods that have high glycemic index. This does not mean we need to avoid carbohydrates — rather avoid concentrated sugar.”
Dr Raut shares 4 foods that boost liver health:
Fish is rich in essential fats such as omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein, both of which promote good liver health. “Omega-3 fatty acids particularly have been known to enhance liver function and help the organ with detoxification,” he says.
Another source of healthy fats, nuts are a compact source of healthy nutrients such as riboflavin, magnesium and iron. “They are also a great source of protein – which is essential for helping the liver heal itself,” Dr Raut explains.
Caffeine has been found to have great benefits. Studies show that coffee consumption has played a significant role in reversing liver damage although it is not exactly clear why. “Coffee contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative compounds which could help towards promoting liver health. Studies have shown that 3 cups of coffee per day reverses liver fibrosis,” he claims.