When we think about people who have liver problems, we automatically assume it’s because they drink too much, but that’s not always true. The nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the U.S. People who are overweight and have excess fat in the liver are often diagnosed with a fatty liver. These are people that eat a lot of fried, processed food, and that drink little or no alcohol.
Over time, if you don’t take care of your liver, it can enlarge and cause permanent liver damage. Cirrhosis happens when the liver enlarges and over time liver cells are replaced by scar issue. When your liver doesn’t work right, that’s when you can develop more serious damage and it can cause liver failure and even liver cancer. This is a big problem in the Hispanic community and especially in Hispanic children that are obese or overweight.
What Can You Do?
There is no treatment or medications for a fatty liver. The only thing your doctor will recommend is for you to make lifestyle changes, like losing weight. The liver is one of those organs that we take for granted, but, it has a number of functions such as detoxifying your blood from harmful substances like toxins. It also stores vitamins and iron, it converts sugar into usable sugar or energy. It produces bile, breaks down hemoglobin and other hormones, as well as destroys old red blood cells.
Losing weight will help your liver work less hard because when fat pushes against your organs it makes them work harder. Detoxing your liver is something you should do regularly, especially if you have a fatty liver. Here are some ways to help detox your liver:
- Lemon Water: Drink water first thing in the morning with lemon juice. Lemons and other citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit that contain vitamin C can boost your bodily functions and help cleanse your liver.
- Leafy Greens: Make it a habit to eat something green with every meal or at least lunch and dinner. Leafy greens can include spinach, broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts, which are great options.
- Good Fats: Try to remove fatty foods from your diet, this includes anything fried (including fried vegetables). Add good fats like almonds, coconut, chia, and flax seeds. Avoid eating fatty meats like pork and steak that can clog up your arteries and avoid corn and soy oil, which isn’t doing you any favors.
- Herbs: There are herbs like milk thistle, dandelion root, and artichoke leaf that can help you cleanse your liver. You can talk to your doctor or a herbalist who can reccomend supplements that help detox your liver naturally.