Fatty liver disease is a condition in which one has a high amount of fat in one’s liver cells. Normally, there is a little amount of fat in the liver. However, when the percentage of fat, in the liver, starts rising to more than 7 to 10 percent, that could be termed a fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver disease makes the liver more susceptible to inflammation, scarring, and injury.
There are two main types of fatty liver disease;
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
- Alcoholic fatty liver disease also called alcoholic steatohepatitis
Alcoholic fatty liver disease is majorly caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. On the other hand, Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is not caused by alcohol consumption.
Risk factors of fatty liver disease, other than alcohol consumption, include; viral hepatitis, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, high blood cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and rapid weight loss.
It is worthy to note that NAFLD affects about 25% of the world population especially as the rate of diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol are rising.
There are typically no early symptoms of fatty liver disease. However, one may experience; fatigue, loss of appetite, general feeling of unwell, and pain in the upper right abdomen.
There is currently no effective treatment of fatty liver disease. However, the condition is reversible especially with some lifestyle and dietary changes.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with fatty liver disease;
- You could take measures to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels naturally.
- Strive to maintain a healthy diet that is low in salt.
- If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, ensure you properly manage them.
- Get vaccinated for diseases such as hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
- Minimize your consumption of refined sugar and fried foods.
- Stop your consumption of alcohol.
- Stay physically active by exercising regularly.
- If you are obese or overweight, lose the excess fat.
Below are home remedies for fatty liver disease;
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
ACV helps to break down the fat deposits, thus, encouraging a healthy functioning of the liver. Since ACV is acidic in nature but metabolizes as an alkaline in the body, it reduces inflammation and destroys bacteria. To get rid of the fat deposits, add unfiltered ACV in warm water and drink before meals. The taste may not be friendly, so you may consider adding some honey. After that, use an oral mouth rinse to protect your teeth enamel.
Apart from its culinary use, garlic contains powerful compounds that support liver health. It’s packed with vitamin C which protects your body against cellular oxidation. Apart from that, garlic has selenium and allicin which prevents liver inflammation. To promote healthy liver function, you should include raw garlic in your diet. If you don’t like the pungent taste, you can add it to your vegetable dishes or salads. Make sure you chew the cloves for some time to release the allicin compound.
Lemon juice possesses a high amount of vitamin C which helps the liver to produce glutathione enzymes. Furthermore, lemon contains naringenin compound which is responsible for removal of the excess fat out of the body. To control fat accumulation in the liver, add lemon juice in a glass of water and drink in the morning. This regimen works best when on an empty stomach.
4. Green Tea
Green tea is rich in Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) compounds which protect the liver tissues from free radicals. Moreover, it contains catechins which improve the liver function. When you take green tea on a regular basis, you can eliminate the excess fat in the body. To prevent fatty liver disease, you should consume up to 4 cups of green tea throughout the day. Alternatively, you can take green tea supplements as instructed by your doctor.
Dandelion contains essential minerals and antioxidants which help to improve the liver function. Additionally, dandelion helps to remove the excess fat that has accumulated in the liver. You can either take dandelion in the form of a tincture or raw form. To prepare the infusion, steep a dandelion root in a cup of hot water for 15-20 minutes, then, drink three times a day. Alternatively, you can add fresh dandelion leaves to your salads and smoothies.
Apart from being a healthy spice, turmeric reduces the risk of getting fatty liver disease. Furthermore, studies have shown that the curcumin component, in turmeric, reduces the cholesterol levels in the blood. Additionally, turmeric improves your body’s ability to digest the accumulated fat. To make the decoction, boil half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of water for 20 minutes and drink while still warm. You can also add a quarter teaspoon of turmeric in a cup of milk and consume once a day. Drink the concoction up to 3 times a day until you see some noticeable results.
7. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla is an Ayurveda herb which treats numerous diseases including diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. Besides that, amla ensures the liver is performing at optimal levels by preventing the accumulation of fat. Amla is also loaded with vitamin C which helps to flush out harmful toxins. To keep the fatty liver disease at bay, add a half teaspoon of Indian gooseberry powder in a glass of water and drink in the morning. You can also eat an Amla fruit a few times a day.
8. Shiitake Mushroom
Shiitake mushroom comes with numerous health benefits including preventing body weight gain and lowering plasma lipids. It also contains B vitamins which help to reduce cholesterol levels in the liver cells. Since the mushroom is versatile, it can be incorporated into many dishes. Due to its rich nutritional value, you can find it in many grocery stores. For best results, add the mushrooms to your veggies or make some delicious soup.
Licorice reduces liver enzyme levels making it an effective cure for the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. To alleviate the condition, steep one teaspoon of licorice root in hot water for 10-15 minutes, then, add some honey. Drink the tea 2-3 times a day. You can also take some licorice supplements. Don’t take the supplement if you have diabetes or blood pressure.
Papaya possesses high amounts of vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and cancer-fighting lycopene. These nutrients help to treat fatty liver disease. For this remedy, consuming one glass of blended papaya every day can help to eliminate the fatty residues that accumulate in the liver. This remedy is also essential for the removal of excess cholesterol from the body. You’ll still reap the same benefits when you take a slice of fresh papaya each day.
11. Large Onions
Apart from their flavorful role in dishes, onions also come with many health benefits, especially for the liver. First, they contain quercetin which helps to lower the blood pressure and cholesterol in the body. Secondly, onion is rich in folic acid which is an essential vitamin B9 constituent that aids in the formation of red blood cells. To prevent fatty liver disease, you should increase the amount of onion in your diet and salads.
Flaxseed contains fatty acids which can treat liver and kidney dysfunctions. Furthermore, flaxseeds lower the cholesterol levels in your body and, most importantly, increase acid bile synthesis. To prevent fatty liver disease, grind some flaxseeds using a coffee grinder and put them in an airtight container to prevent oxidation. Consume 2-3 spoonfuls every day. You may also consider adding them to cooked vegetables or in your smoothies.
13. Raw Veggies
Eating more greens like Brussels sprouts, spinach, kales, and broccoli, can prevent the buildup of fat in the liver. Ideally, these vegetables cleanse the liver filter. Since they have low calories and high nutrients, they can support a healthy weight. For optimal benefits, you should limit your vegetable intake to two servings per day. You can also incorporate the greens in your salads.
14. Regular Exercise
Exercise is a secret weapon for treating fatty liver disease. Exercise helps to increase metabolism rate and at the same time fight obesity. With this in mind, you should concentrate more on aerobics and resistance training. Other exercises like bicycling, recreational sports, and swimming may be helpful. If you’re a beginner, start with a 30 minutes exercise per day and then increase gradually.
15. Milk Thistle (Silymarin)
Milk thistle is a Chinese herbal medicine for treating a fatty liver. It contains silymarin and glutathione which helps in liver detoxification. Even better, the herb protects the liver from further damage by creating new liver cells. To prepare the decoction, boil the herb in a cup of water for 1 hour and drink two times a day.
16. Eat A Healthy Diet
You should stop consuming any food or snacks made from high fructose corn syrup. Secondly, you should consume large amounts of monounsaturated fats like nuts, olives, and avocados. In addition to that, take foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like vegetable oils, fish oil, flaxseeds, and avocados. It’s also crucial that you eat fewer dairy products and also avoid eating fried foods.
17. Coriander (Cilantro)
Coriander is a popular cooking herb in Chinese culture. It contains large amounts of antioxidants making it a perfect remedy for fatty liver disease. Apart from its positive effect in the gastrointestinal tract, it helps the liver to break down fats and flush out toxins.
18. Silkworm Pupae
While this may sound impossible, it does work. The silkworm pupae peptides stimulate liver operation by reducing the cholesterol serum. To inhibit the synthesis of fat, you should add the pupae in your food or to your drinks especially in their powdered form.
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