Due to the increasing incidence of obesity other lifestyle related diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has emerged as a rising problem. We tell you how to cut down on your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease by inculcating certain foods as part of your daily diet.
But what is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease? It is a term for a liver condition which affects people who drink little or no alcohol. As the name goes, the disease occurs when too much fat is stored in the liver cells.
Dr Palaniyamma D., Medical Advisor, The Himalaya Drug Company, says people who are overweight or obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle are at risk of NAFLD. The prevalence is especially common in those who eat highly processed food.
But what are some of the ways in which one can reduce the risk of the disease?
Dr Harshavardhan Rao B, assistant professor, gastroenterology and hepatology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, says that lifestyle changes are imperative for reducing the risk.
“You need to choose a healthy plant-based diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. If you are overweight or obese, reduce the number of calories you eat each day and get more exercise. If you have a healthy weight, work to maintain it by choosing a healthy diet and exercising,” says Rao.
But if we are to change our diet, what kind of foods would we include in it?
Dr Palaniyamma D sheds light on five foods which we need to start eating to regulate this condition:
Greens: Green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, cabbage, and sprouts help in general weight loss by preventing fat build-up in the liver.
Oatmeal: Oats are packed with dietary fibre and help a person feel full for a longer period, thus serving as a filling breakfast or snack and increasing the body’s energy levels.
Sunflower seeds: These seeds are high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which helps protect the liver from further damage, and are a healthy snack for munching in between meals.
Garlic: This popular flavour-enhancing ingredient helps burn extra fat, which in turn helps in reducing weight.
Fish: Rich in omega-3 fatty acid, fish is an excellent food that improves liver function and reduces inflammation.
If NAFLD is detected and managed at an early stage, it is possible to reduce the amount of fat in the liver and prevent the condition from worsening.
Medicines can be useful in managing the symptoms associated with this condition. Using medications that have natural ingredients can restore the functional efficiency of the liver. Formulations containing natural ingredients such as The Caper Bush (Himsra) and Chicory (Kasani) improve the functional efficiency of the liver, protect the liver structure, boost liver health, and remove toxins from the body.