How to Prevent Liver Diseases | A Healthy Diet & Lifestyle

The liver is the second largest organ in the body that helps with functions such as filtration, digestion, etc. When your liver is damaged and not working efficiently, it can result in Liver Diseases. This can be caused by a number of issues such as excessive alcohol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. In severe cases, liver cases can result in liver failure and liver cancer.

Given the consequences of liver disease, it is important to check if you have or are at risk of any liver conditions. This is especially the case if you have a family history of liver diseases. The quickest and most cost-efficient method to test the state and functioning of your liver is to do a liver function test. Luckily, companies such as Fibronostics have excellent options.

Aside from doing liver tests, there are other ways that you can use to prevent liver illnesses. This article will provide a brief outline to show how diet and exercise can help prevent and manage liver diseases. 

How to Treat Liver Disease

In most cases, liver disease is caused when a substance such as alcohol, fat, and even viruses build up fat in your liver. Most of the time, doing a complete lifestyle change to reduce the amount of fat in your liver is needed. There are two main ways to treat and prevent the progression of liver disease: 

1. Exercising Regularly:

Exercise is associated with many physical and psychological benefits. Some of these benefits include improving self-esteem and self-confidence, managing weight, reducing depression and managing chronic illnesses such as diabetes, blood pressure, heart problems and liver disease. As such, different types of exercise can help to reduce the amount of fat in your liver. 

To reap these benefits, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the following regarding the amount of exercise tips that an adult should do:

  • Around 2 and a half hours of aerobic exercise with moderate-intensity as well as 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise in a week (Examples of aerobic activities include walking, running, cycling and swimming)
  • An equivalent amount of moderate and vigorous-intensity activity
  • Muscle-strengthening exercises such as weight lifting 2 or more days a week
man in black t-shirt and black shorts running on road during daytime
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2. Following A Balanced Diet:

As previously mentioned, liver disease results from excess amounts of fat that can come from the types of food we eat. People with liver disease might need to follow a special diet that will limit their intake of fat. Here are some of the foods and diets that you can follow to prevent liver disease:

Also read: What You Eat, How It Affects Your Health, and How to Change It

a) The Mediterranean Diet

One type of diet that might help reduce the amount of fat in the liver is the Mediterranean diet. This diet focuses on eating grains, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. Additionally, this diet has been associated with weight loss, improved sleep and reduced heart disease risk. Some foods you might eat when following this diet are fish, legumes, avocados, whole grains, vegetables and nuts. 

bowl of vegetable salads

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b) Eat Healthy Fats

A health condition known as insulin resistance can contribute to excess fat stored in the liver. This is because the body will retain large amounts of glucose that can not be used. This glucose is stored as fat. One way that can help your body use this glucose is to eat what is known as healthy fat. Examples of these are omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and nuts) and monounsaturated fats (found in avocados and olives). 

c) The Benefits of Antioxidants

The liver is responsible for breaking down foods into nutrients that are used by the body. However, when the liver is damaged, these nutrients can’t be broken down, leading to a build-up of fat and damage to liver cells. One way to fight this is by using antioxidants. Antioxidants are a type of compound that can delay or prevent cell damage. You can find antioxidants in the following: 

  • Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and beans 
  • Fruits such as blueberries, apples and plums
  • Spices such as pepper, cinnamon and turmeric
  • Drinks such as coffee, green tea and grapefruit juice 

Foods to Avoid When You Have Liver Disease

Although the types of food that you eat to prevent and treat liver disease are important. There are certain foods that you should avoid as much as possible. These types of food are high in fat and increase weight gain and insulin levels. Examples of food that you should avoid are: 

  • Fried food as they are cooked in oil and have high amounts of fat and calories
  • Red meat such as beef and deli products as they have high amounts of saturated fats
  • Food that is high in sugar, such as cookies, cake, soda and fruit juice 
  • Processed food that is high in carbohydrates, such as white bread, rice and pasta
  • Food that has too much salt can increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

The Key to Prevent Liver Disease

This article provided a simple outline of some of the ways you can prevent and treat liver disease. The key is to follow a balanced diet and a structured exercise regime. Check out our blog for more information on liver disease and other ways to prevent it.

Medical Disclaimer: All the content available on the website is just for informational purposes. It’s not a substitute for any Professional advice. Don’t take it personally. As a medical student, I’m just trying to use my information through my content, and please keep in mind it’s not written by a professional doctor. Use the data just for educational purposes.

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