Diet & Nutrition
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Diet & Nutrition

6 Nutrition And Lifestyle changes To Protect Liver From Damage

Hey people! Every year World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes place on the 28th of July bringing the world together to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis. With a person dying every 30 seconds from hepatitis, we all cant wait to act to bring awareness for better liver health. The liver is the powerhouse of an organism. It performs a variety of essential tasks, ranging from producing cholesterol, and bile to storing vitamins and minerals. It also detoxifies the body meaning it gets rid of all the toxic chemicals from the body. For your liver, that’s all in a day’s task! So don’t you all think being kind to the liver is important for optimal liver health? In fact, it is impossible to live a week without your liver.

The liver can be damaged by viruses such as hepatitis A, B, and C. It can be damaged by drugs, poisons, and excessive alcohol leading to fatty liver disease and cirrhosis and some inherited diseases like hemochromatosis and Wilson’s disease.

Hepatitis is caused by viruses like Hepatitis A virus (HAV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV), and Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Other types of hepatitis viruses are D and E. Hepatitis B, C, and D occur primarily due to contact with infected body fluids. The primary causes of hepatitis A and E are by consumption of contaminated water and food. Hepatitis can spread very fast and is fatal which can cause permanent liver damage too. It is therefore very important to watch out for the diet of hepatitis patients for better treatment outcomes.

Tips to avoid liver damage from hepatitis —

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet: A person with hepatitis just needs to follow a healthy and well-balanced diet as there is no special diet for hepatitis. A Hepatitis patient’s diet should consist of plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as oats, brown rice, barley, and quinoa, Lean proteins such as fish, skinless chicken, egg whites, and beans, low-fat or non-fat dairy products, Healthy fats like those in nuts, avocados, and olive oil.

2. Drink plenty of fluids: Water is always better than caffeinated drinks like coffee and cola. Aim to drink at least 1 ounce of liquid for every 2 pounds of body weight per day. Include fresh and thoroughly washed fruits and vegetable juices in between.

3. Avoid processed, packaged and high-calorie foods: Keep in mind that an unhealthy diet can contribute to liver damage. Avoid high-calorie, greasy, fatty, or sugary food. A fatty liver can also interfere with the effectiveness of drugs that target the hepatitis virus. Avoid saturated fats found in butter, sour cream, and other high-fat dairy foods, sugary treats like cookies, soda, cake, baked goods, and foods that are high in salt, and alcohol.

4. Avoid raw or undercooked foods: It is important to wash all the meat, fruits, and vegetables thoroughly and peel them before cooking food for hepatitis patients. Wash your hands with warm water and soap after handling raw foods, after using the washroom, and changing diapers to prevent cross-contamination. Avoid raw or undercooked shellfish that harbor viruses and bacteria. Wash all the fruits, veggies, and meat to remove any potentially harmful residues.

5. Strictly avoid alcohol: Be very careful about your alcohol consumption as just 4 ounces of hard liquor for men and two ounces for women can begin to scar your liver.

6. Prevention is better than cure: Get your hepatitis vaccine and practice safe sex.

People with hepatitis should talk to a doctor before taking any multivitamins as too much of certain vitamins and minerals can cause liver damage. Be cautious of iron, vitamin A, vitamin B3, vitamin C, and vitamin D supplements. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables like berries, cruciferous veggies, nuts and seeds, olive oil, fish and have some kind of physical activity regularly. Make sure to take these simple precautions to help your liver function properly. It does a lot of tasks for our health, so we equally are responsible to take care of our organs which work round the clock to maintain good health.

References:

https://www.worldhepatitisday.org/

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/5-ways-to-be-kind-to-your-liver

https://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/hepatitis-diet-recommendations-foods-to-eat-and-avoid.htm

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-foods-for-your-liver

https://www.everydayhealth.com/hepatitis/tips-to-avoid-liver-damage-from-hepatitis.aspx

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Nutritionist Vasundhara Agrawal

Nutritionist Vasundhara Agrawal

Lifestyle Trainer & Nutrition Coach | I help you #livehealthy