What If You Have A Fatty Liver?
By Ng Peng Hock
A fatty liver is one that has build-up of fat in the liver. It may not cause any harm to the liver, if mild. However, if the condition gets worse, the liver can become inflamed and over time, this might even result in severe liver damage.
Diabetes and high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are often associated with a fatty liver. This means that there is a great chance of developing into complex medical complications such as hypertension, stroke and even heart disease.
An over-stress liver usually gets un-noticed since it has the capacity to regenerate. However, an over-stress liver can have symptoms such as digestive disturbances, aches and muscle stiffness. So watch out for these!
A therapeutic diet may be able to help and it usually consists of 2 parts: first to remove what is harmful and then to replace what is needed.
To remove what is harmful, you need to lower the overall intake of fats, which includes saturated animal fats and even the healthier vegetable fats. The only exception is omega-3 fatty acids. This is because these can help the liver process fats better and reduce the production of triglycerides. Even if you are not diabetic, intake of sugar and starchy foods should be minimized as sugar does affect triglyceride levels.
Meanwhile, you should stick to simple and unprocessed foods and products, and where possible, organic products. Avoid taking more medication than necessary, too.
You should ensure the body gets all the nutrients it needs. Certain foods, from the cruciferous family like cabbage, broccoli and radish contain nutrients that support the liver, should be included in your daily diet.
Try to take lots of herbs and spices such as ginger, cinnamon, garlic, coriander leaves and fresh turmeric since these help support the liver, heal and protect it, and act as a liver tonic, balancing sugar and lipid levels.
Magnesium and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E have been shown to protect liver. As such, make sure sufficient amount of these should be taken. If possible, get them from food sources such as green vegetables, whole grains, pumpkin seeds and citrus fruit.
If you feel that you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals from foods, you might want to consider taking some liver support supplements. Nevertheless, it is advisable to seek help from qualified dietitians or doctors. Taking large amount of vitamins and minerals without professional advice may do more harm than good to the liver.
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