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Treat Liver Disease with Nutrtion
Making healthier food choices, especially early in your disease, can reduce the amount of work the liver performs.
By Kimberly Madsen MEd, RD, Director of Nutrition Services and Marcus Tolero, Marketing and Communications Officer
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The liver serves an important function. Everything you eat, the liver will change nutrients to energy for the body. It also acts as a detoxifier, removing or lessening toxins that pass through it.

Unfortunately, a liver with Hepatitis C will not always function properly. 

So, what can you do to support your liver while taking medications to treat liver disease? Care for it with nutrition. 

Making healthier food choices, especially early in your disease, can reduce the amount of work the liver performs and could potentially regenerate new cells within a damaged liver. An improved diet can also help your body respond better to medical treatments. 

Fruits and vegetables, green tea, water, omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, soybeans), avocados, nuts, and lean proteins (turkey, chicken without skin, beans) are foods that work well with your liver. 

Here are some healthy liver tips for you to follow: 

    •    Eat enough calories and protein: see a dietitian if you don’t know how much you need. 

    •    Avoid smoked, cured, and salted foods (bacon, ham, sausage, hot dogs). 

    •    Avoid flavoring food with salt. Try lemon juice, onion, vinegar, garlic, pepper, mustard, cloves, sage, or thyme. 

    •    Do not take mega vitamins, nutritional products, or herbal remedies without consulting your doctor first. They can interfere with other drugs or harm your liver. 

    •    A basic multi-vitamin/mineral supplement (not exceeding the recommended dietary allowance for nutrients) and iron free is a good idea. 

    •    Avoid alcohol. 

    •    Eat a substantial breakfast, a very substantial lunch, and lighter evening meal, and include protein in each meal 

    •    Snacks are also helpful to get in adequate calories, protein, and nutrients. These should be mini meals, not junk food.  

    •    Avoid eating a lot of fat at once; the liver can be slow at moving this around and it can build up in the liver. 

  

Information from integrativerd.org and the American Liver Association. 

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