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Fight Fatty Liver Disease with These 12 Natural Methods!
Most of us don’t give our livers a second thought until they give us problems. Most of us also seem to believe that liver problems only happen to alcoholics. There is a very common problem among Americans called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease which is about to become the most common type of liver disease in this country. More than 30 million people are afflicted with this disease which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, cancer, even complete liver failure.
As the name implies, this liver disease is not from hitting the bars once too often, nor is it from Hepatitis. It’s generally caused by nothing more than our standard American diet, which includes too much sugar, salt, and carbs.
Although some fat in the liver is normal, when the buildup begins to reach the 10 percent fat mark, you are an official member of the fatty liver club. Besides diet, there are other risk factors for fatty liver disease including high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, rapid weight loss, hepatitis, diabetes, and malnutrition.
Most people have no idea that they have fatty liver disease until the disease has progressed substantially. Typical symptoms of advanced fatty liver disease are a loss of appetite, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, general feelings of un-wellness, and vagueness that something “just isn’t right.”
There is no current treatment for fatty liver disease, however, this is a completely reversible condition and can often be treated with simple home remedies and some dietary and lifestyle changes.
Keep reading for the top 12 natural ways you can treat and reverse fatty liver disease.
1. Milk Thistle
Perhaps the best herb in the world for any type of liver problem. This herb helps your liver to regenerate itself and create new liver cells. Milk thistle protects your liver by stopping compounds that can damage the liver further. Milk thistle contains two powerful compounds called silymarin and glutathione, which are two of the most important nutrients you can consume for both liver detoxification and restoration of the liver.
Increase your consumption of raw garlic. Not only is garlic good for the heart but it also improves liver function by flushing away toxins. Garlic is also loaded with two compounds, selenium and alllicin, which are known to protect the liver. Crush a clove or two of raw, organic garlic and wait about 10 minutes for these protective compounds to be released. Now swallow them whole and you are done! If the taste is too strong for you, chop up a few cloves and add them to your salads, stir fry, or vegetable dishes.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
This is an old home remedy for liver problems. Apple cider vinegar can help to remove accumulated fat in and around the liver as well as encouraging weight loss. Adding this natural substance to your daily diet can encourage healthy liver function and reduce inflammation. Simply add 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. You can add a bit of honey if this is too sour for your tastes. Drink this mixture twice per day before meals.
Sometimes called Indian Gooseberry, amla is another effective remedy for liver problems. This fruit is high in antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which help the keep the liver functioning at its best. Amla is also good for those with high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes. You can eat 3 or 4 amla each day and help to remove toxins from your liver while you enjoy this delightful fruit.
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5. Lemon Juice
This sour fruit contains high levels of vitamin C, which is a vital antioxidant that encourages the liver to make more enzymes called glutathione. Glutathione neutralizes toxins. Lemons also contain a substance called naringenin, which helps to stop inflammation of the liver, according to a study done in 2014 and published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. Simply squeeze the juice from half of an organic lemon into a glass of water and drink this two or three times each day. If you happen to be one of the rare people who really enjoy lemons, feel free to eat one every day, but be certain to rinse your mouth well with plain water afterwards to avoid damage to your teeth. Find out more 25 unbelievable uses for lemon juice.
Wow, bet you never thought something so tasty could do so much for your liver! Ayurvedic medicine says that both the fruit and seeds of papayas are an effective treatment for fatty liver disease. Papaya also helps to burn off dietary fats, which is one of the main causes of fatty liver disease. You can eat a big slice of papaya each day, then grind 5 or 6 of the dried seeds and mix this powder with 1 tablespoon of organic lemon juice. Add this mixture to a glass of water and drink twice a day.
This little flowering plant is actually a powerful liver tonic cleverly disguised as a garden weed. Dandelion encourages properly liver function while it also helps to detoxify and metabolize the fat that has accumulated around and inside the liver. The leaves of dandelion also help to prevent and treat obesity related fatty liver disease, according to a 2013 study which was published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.
8. Dietary Changes
Sometimes simple dietary changes are all that is needed to reverse fatty liver disease. Eating a mainly plant based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats can improve your liver function and treat liver problems. Make the following changes to your diet:
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup at all costs. This is believed to be the major cause of fatty liver disease.
- Eat plenty of foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, fish oils, tofu, walnuts, and flax seeds.
- Avoid white flour and foods made from white flour including pasta and bread.
- Eat liver repairing foods such as kale, cabbage, broccoli, and spinach.
- Avoid spicy foods, fried foods, and processed meats such as hot dogs.
- Eat more foods rich in fiber such as apples, blueberries, pomegranates. Avoid drinking too much juice or eating too much fruit as they can be high in sugar.
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9. Green Tea
The International Journal of Molecular Medicine published a study in 2013 which showed that green tea that contains high-density catechins improved liver function and fat infiltration in subjects who were diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. To improve overall liver function and block the amount of fat that is stored in the liver, drink 3 or 4 cups of green tea each day. If green tea does not tickle your taste buds, you can take green tea as a supplement. No matter which type of green tea you decide to use, supplements or dried leaves, be certain that you buy from a reputable source as many imports, especially from China, have been known to contain pesticide residue and other undesirable ingredients.
In a study published in 2012 in the journal Phytotherapy Research, an extract of licorice root helped to decrease transaminase activities of enzymes called alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) in those with fatty liver disease. Licorice can also prevent liver damage due to heavy metal contamination.
Simply add ½ teaspoon of licorice root to one cup of hot water. Cover and allow it to steep for 5 or 10 minutes, then strain. Add a bit of honey to taste and drink two or three cups each day.
If you decide to take licorice supplements, you should consult your physician first as they can interfere with certain types of medication.
The journal China Pharmaceuticals published a study in 2008 which suggested that turmeric can help to prevent fatty liver disease. Turmeric is loaded with powerful antioxidants and improves the body’s ability to digest fats rather than store them in the liver. Turmeric is also a great liver detoxification tool. You can take turmeric supplements or make your own turmeric tea by mixing a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of water or milk and drinking this once each day.
You’ve heard this over and over, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Regular daily exercise can do so much for your body, including helping to reverse fatty liver disease. Daily exercise will increase your overall metabolism and help to maintain proper liver function.
Try to get 30 minutes of exercise each day. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slowly by simply walking for 10 minutes at a time. Many people find that they can easily walk 5 minutes in any direction, then turn around and return home or to the office. Do this 3 times each day and you’ve gotten in your exercise for the day!
By the way, you don’t have to be a champion jogger or even a walker to get exercise. Anything that gets you up and moving is a good thing and counts as exercise! Dancing with your kids in the living room, swimming, aerobic videos, taking the dog for a brisk walk, or riding your bike with your spouse are all fun and easy to do.
- Reduce or stop drinking alcohol.
- If you are diabetic, try to keep your blood sugar under control.
- Keep your cholesterol levels within a decent range.
- If you are overweight, take the steps needed for gradual and sustained weight loss. Don’t go for fad diets as rapid weight loss (more than 4 pounds each week) can cause liver damage.
- Avoid processed foods including fast food, potato chips, candy, cookies, sodas, and sports or energy drinks.
If you think you might have fatty liver disease, ask your doctor for a liver enzyme test. You should also speak to your doctor before you begin any herbal or weight loss program to determine what is the best plan for you and your needs.