Eating For Your Liver

The liver helps power your body by storing and releasing energy when you need it. Your liver plays a key role in converting food into the nutrients your body needs. So it’s important to make food choices that make your liver as healthy as it can be.

Your liver processes everything you eat and drink, every single day. Too much sugar and saturated fat in your diet, or too much alcohol, can cause fat to build-up in your liver. When it is fatty, the liver cannot perform all of its many functions, and it can become more damaged over time.

The Mediterranean Diet has been found to improve the lives of people living with fatty liver disease. Eating fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes and healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds has been found to reduce liver fat.

If you want a healthy liver, the best strategy is to eat different coloured foods and avoid processed foods, alcohol and sugary drinks.

What are the best foods to eat for my liver?

Eat lean meat, poultry, eggs, cheese, milk and yoghurt moderately Eat fish and seafood often Eat fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs and spices often Eat fewer sweet, fatty and salty foods, takeaways, alcohol and sugary drinks Be physically active, enjoy meals with others

These general guidelines will help ensure that your liver is functioning at its best:

  • Eat small regular meals. Do not skip meals or over-eat
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of fluids (preferably water) a day
  • Regularly choose a variety of whole foods including fruits and vegetables, protein sources (legumes, lean meats), whole grains (quinoa, wild rice), dairy (low-fat yogurt, milk and cheese) and sources of healthy fat (nuts, avocado, fatty fish)
  • Eat more fresh of fruits and vegetables, especially brightly coloured ones with deep bright pigments such as oranges, yellows, reds and greens
  • Wash fruit and vegetables straight before use to remove pesticides. Avoid washing too far ahead to reduce sweating or spoilage
  • When cooking vegetables and fruits, steam or bake them. This keeps in more nutrients than boiling
  • Limit saturated fat and sugar, like sugary drinks, chips, cakes and takeaways
  • Choose wholegrain products over white/bleached/refined products
  • You can download a great resource you cab print out and put on your fridge to help you remember. It is called the Harvard Healthy Eating Plate, developed by scientists at Harvard University.  It is a simple guide to what to eat and how much of each you should enjoy each day. It is available in English and many other languages here.Harvard Healthy Eating Plate
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