Diet to Keep the Liver Healthy

By Dr. Mukesh Mehra in Internal Medicine

Jul 21 , 2022 | 2 min read


The body needs fuel to function properly. A healthy diet means eating items that have been minimally processed or are unprocessed. We are at a time where lots of foods we consume are not nutritionally dense- they are high in refined flours, saturated fats and sugar.

These foods are readily available and low in cost, thus offering a convenient option for those on the move but people do not realise that long term consumption of such foods can wreak havoc in our body. 

Foods high in salt, fat, sugar or saturated fats can throw the body off its balance, cause digestive issues, problems in nutrient absorption and just overall, affect different body parts at once.

The liver manages carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that have been consumed by the body. It also produces important fats and proteins necessary for the body. The liver alone has over 500 recognised functions, and not maintaining a healthy diet is to disrupt other bodily functions too.

Some Foods And Beverages Good For Liver Health Are:

  1. Vegetables

Both green, leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A mix of broccoli, spinach, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, kale can help with detoxification and reduce inflammation

  1. Sources of unsaturated fats

Fats should never be entirely eliminated since they are necessary for brain function, nutrient absorption, provide energy to the body and support cell function. Olive oil, nut butters and fatty fish are sources of unsaturated fat that are easily digestible by the body. They can reduce levels of cholesterol and help with heart health. 

  1. Nuts and seeds

We forget the importance of micronutrients in our diet and nuts and seeds are full of vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, folates, vitamin E, phosphorus, potassium, omega 3 and more. Some nuts and seeds to choose to include flax seeds and walnuts.

  1. Antioxidants

Increasing the intake of antioxidants is necessary to improve liver functions. Some foods high in antioxidants include berries, sunflower seeds, grapes, beetroot juice and cranberries.

  1. Coffee and Green Tea

Coffee and green tea are two beverages that help with liver function and control enzyme production. 

Some Foods And Beverages That Should Be Avoided Include:

  1. Alcohol

One of the few functions the liver has is to detoxify the body. An average drink (30-45 ml of hard liquor, 330 ml of beer or a glass of wine) takes an hour to metabolise. People get drunk when the liver cannot process alcohol as fast as it is being consumed and if this is done over a period of time, it can cause alcoholic liver disease.

  1. Foods made of refined flour

Refined flour has no nutritional value- it transforms into sugar in the body, is stored as fats in the liver, and are difficult to process, contributing to liver disease. 

  1. Fast Foods

Consuming fast foods or prepackaged foods containing saturated, trans fats, refined flour, excessive salt, and sugar can be difficult to digest, causing the body to work harder and can cause inflammation. Prolonged inflammation can cause cirrhosis and other liver diseases.

  1. Beverages

Aerated beverages contain high amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates that can put a strain on the liver and an accumulation of fats and sugars (that convert to fats) may lead to liver dysfunction.

All foods and beverages should be consumed in moderation but it is necessary to have a consistently healthy diet so it can counter the effects of the junk food that has been consumed. 

Our bodies will support us as long as we support our bodies. Nutritious food and ample movement and exercise are the best, most effective ways of keeping ourselves healthy and thank our body for the work it does. 

Written and Verified by: