Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become incredibly rampant in the past decade. NAFLD is the term for a span of ailments in which excess fat is stored in the liver cells. The disease affects people who drink little to no alcohol and is the most common form of chronic liver disease.
The primary causes of NAFLD include obesity, type II diabetes, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia.
Symptoms of NAFLD include fatigue, pain or discomfort in the upper right abdomen, abdominal swelling, red palms, jaundice, and enlarged spleen and/or blood vessels.
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These symptoms can be incredibly painful and cause major day to day discomfort. However, the good news is that NAFLD is reversible through proper nutrition and lifestyle measures.
A critical step in fighting or preventing NAFLD is reducing sugar intake. High levels of fructose consumption have been associated with NAFLD. It is highly recommended to reduce your intake of fruit juices, candy, processed biscuits and other foods high in sugar.
It is also recommended reducing dairy intake and palm, canola, and sunflower oils. These foods drive inflammation and may increase the number of fatty deposits in your liver.
Foods that can help cleanse the liver include turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemon, green tea, coffee, berries, avocados, omega 3 fatty acid rich fish, olive oil, nuts, vegetables and seeds.
Nutrients that support the liver include vitamin D, potassium, and betaine. One can acquire vitamin D by consuming eggs and mushrooms, along with spending time outdoors in the sun.
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Low levels of vitamin D can worsen fatty liver disease symptoms. Dietary potassium is found in salmon, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Low levels of potassium have been linked to NAFLD. Betaine may help protect one's liver from fatty deposits. Betaine can be found in shrimp, wheat bran, spinach, pretzels and more.
Favorable workouts that increase liver health include strength training and walking as these workouts help to lower inflammation levels and promote a healthy weight. By maintaining a healthy weight one can lower the risk of injury to liver cells.
The writer is a certified functional nutritionist