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Choose Plant-Based Foods Provide Best Diet For Liver Disease
Paying close attention to your diet helps to avoid further damage to your liver. What is the best diet for liver disease? Choose to eat healthy foods that nourish your liver and help it function properly. The inclusion of vegetables and plant foods rich in antioxidants, low in cholesterol and nutritional values helps increase the overall function of the liver. In fact, these plant-based foods may even help heal liver disease.[Sources: 0, 4, 8]
Not Just Alcoholic-Related, Diet and Lifestyle Causes (Our Family’s Experience)
(Who am I to speak of the best diet for liver disease? In fact, our family learned, first-hand)
Like many, I used to think that only alcoholics suffered from liver diseases. Then came a striking awakening. A close family member became quite ill. An emergency room visit revealed NAFLD that had advanced to cirrhosis. How could that be? This person didn’t drink alcohol!
Some quick research revealed interesting facts. NAFLD, also known as Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, doesn’t require alcohol. It turns out that anything that negatively affects the liver can lead to the same problem. Yes, those sweet treats, sodas, simple carb meals all contributed to his life-threatening condition.
I should not have been surprised. I’ve known for years that those foods and drinks often led to health problems. In fact, we had given up on them many years ago. Our journey to health didn’t include many of those foods. But his diet still had. I felt guilty for not being more proactive in encouraging healthier choices.
After a near-death hospital journey of great length and surgery, he was released from the hospital. After all the research we had done on diet and lifestyle, I was shocked that doctors and nurses provided no dietary guidance. Not a single word was mentioned about food choices.
Instead, he was given an appointment with the liver transplant team. Wow!
That didn’t deter our family. We continued researching and found foods that he needed and others he must avoid. It meant some of his favorites were removed forever. But his close brush with death and his desire to get back his health won over his tastebuds.
He tried to stay on the best diet for liver disease and what a difference. At that first appointment with the transplant doctor, he showed remarkable improvement. So much so, that they didn’t place him on the transplant list. In fact, he was given reason for optimism.
However, the doctors still gave no indication of diet or other lifestyle changes. The general advice they gave included such advice as: Take this medicine. You can not drink or have these foods. Avoid supplements. They would continue to monitor him and when he needed further surgery or to be placed on the transplant list, it would happen.
Our family’s determination didn’t stop with that, however. We continued to encourage him in a proper diet and lifestyle. And it has worked!
Of course, he is not entirely healed. But over 5 years later, he is still with us and not on the transplant list. One step at a time.
That experience led up to this series of articles. Of course, some doctors provide patients with dietary directions. Others will, upon request. But many have not had actual nutrition training. And I’ve heard from some who just don’t think their patients will adhere to such diet and lifestyle changes, even to save their own life. So they just go to medicines and treatments. Yes, the natural treatments including the best diet for liver disease often remain overlooked.
Research into the Best Diet for Liver Disease
Studies continue to show that patients with cirrhosis do better when they get protein from vegetables such as beans, lentils, and tofu. These eliminate problems associated with non-vegan products such as eggs, milk, yogurt, and meat. Foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins provide the best choice. Try to eat vegetable proteins instead of meat for maximum health benefits. [Sources: 6]
The American Liver Foundation recommends limiting calorie intake and modeling dietary habits according to the Mediterranean diet. Choose to eat in moderation. Include all or mostly plant-based foods such as whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, legumes, leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Healthy protein should focus on plant sources like beans, legumes, lentils, peas, quinoa, soy, and tofu. [Sources: 7, 9]
Compared to other diets that are used to treat diseases, you have a choice of many nutritious and delicious foods, including fresh products, whole grains, and plant proteins. Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, healthy oils, and whole grains prove useful in the fight against NAFLD. [Sources: 8, 12]
In fact, expert studies show that coffee offers superior health benefits. Yes, that morning beverage shows as one of the best plant-based foods to protect and support a healthy liver. Several studies also indicate that regular consumption of green tea leads to improved liver health blood markers, improved liver enzyme levels in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD), reduced liver fat deposits, reduced oxidative stress in the liver, and reduced risk of liver cancer. Consisting of foods that cure disease, most health professionals encourage patients to incorporate a vegan diet into their lifestyles for fatty liver disease. [Sources: 4, 11]
One of the most common chronic diseases in the USA, Fatty liver disease (FLD) appears frequently throughout the world. Doctors cite two main types of fatty liver disease exist, including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcoholic fatty liver disease (AFLD) (1). Alcohol abuse causes many liver problems in the United States. However, doctors indicate seeing more and more cases of liver damage in young people. These often result from poor choices in food and lifestyle, not alcohol. [Sources: 0, 2]
We know the best way to maintain a healthy body includes avoiding simple carbohydrates including sugar and fructose corn syrup, avoiding alcohol, and take medicine only as necessary and in moderation, Dixon says. [Sources: 0]
Liver disease increases the risk of malnutrition, as you need to consume more calories per day to meet your body’s increased energy needs due to your disease. [Sources: 8]
Plants Are Key
Studies prove vegetarian diets improve insulin resistance and reduce body weight. However, the effects on non-alcoholic fat liver show from more current studies and require further research. In this cross-sectional study, we wanted to investigate the relationship between vegetarian diets and main food groups of the non-alcoholic fat liver (NAFLD), to investigate the relationship between certain fatty liver constituents, and to compare the degree of liver fibrosis in vegetarian and non-vegetarian fatty liver. A study of 3,400 participants in the Tzu-Chi Medical Journal found that plant-based diets can prevent Nonalcoholics Fatty Lever Disease (NAFLD). [Sources: 10, 13]
According to the results of epidemiological studies, several plant foods help liver function. These include garlic, onions, whole grains, and their bioactive components. Also, insoluble fiber is beneficial in reducing the risk of fatty liver. However, excessive intake of plant foods with high fructose content such as candy and sweets might actually increase the risk of FLD. A study published in Clinical Nutrition by researchers at the Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and the University of Cape Town in South Africa concluded that a plant-based diet helped liver function. A healthy plant-based diet leads to better indicators of liver function and a lower risk of omega-3 fatty liver disease.
Plant-Based – best diet for liver disease
Again, these studies indicate that plant-based diets prove good for the liver. As such, as they mainly provide your liver and other organs with less fat and cholesterol. [Sources: 2, 3, 13]
To avoid chronic and often irreversible diseases, such as liver failure consider making healthy plant-based dietary changes. Research consistently shows a strong link between a Mediterranean diet with mostly or all plant foods and a lower risk of nasopharyngeal fatty liver disease. Plant and vegan diets based on a whole-food plan ensure that nutrients offered by these foods provide beneficial nutrients for fatty liver disease. In fact, they also lower high cholesterol, diabetes, insulin resistance, and hypertension. [Sources: 3, 13]
Types of Foods
Regardless of the type of liver you have, changing your diet and lifestyle remains the best prevention or treatment. Changes including losing weight, avoiding alcohol, and eating a plant-based diet help and may even reverse the liver condition. A plant-based diet helps to ensure adequate nutrition, reduce liver workload, prevent associated complications and prevent further liver damage. Additionally, try to avoid foods that slow down the progression of the disease. Instead, focus on reversing the progression of liver damage whenever possible. [Sources: 8, 9, 12]
Experts advise patients to include vegetables and plant proteins in their liver cirrhosis diet. Dr Delgado-Borrego says half the food should be fruit and vegetables, a quarter protein, and the other quarter starch. For best results, keep that plate filled with plant-based foods. [Sources: 9, 11]
People with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease often suffer from low immunity levels. To help boost immunity, include immune boosters such as berries, greens, and avocado each day. Work to improve immunity every day. Studies have shown that consumption of olive oil often improves liver enzymes, fat levels, and protein levels. Additionally, improvement is seen in positive metabolic effects such as reducing fat accumulation, improving liver blood circulation, and improving insulin sensitivity. [Sources: 4, 11]
Liver Friendly Recipes
The benefits of plant-based foods far outweigh those found in the standard American diet (SAD). Consider switching to a plant-based diet that focuses on fruit, vegetables, and grains. Eliminate those foods that harm your liver. And follow your doctor’s guidance for the best outcome.
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