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What is the ideal diet for a healthy liver?

Q: What foods should be avoided and what foods should be eaten when the liver is bad? Apart from medications, how can we go about curing the liver?

A:There are several misconceptions and beliefs that are prevalent regarding liver and food intake. It is a common to see patients suffering from acute viral hepatitis who are taking completely fat free and boiled food. There are some who take only juices, in particular sugarcane juice. Also most people tend to take only carbohydrates and lots of glucose drinks during an attack of hepatitis. And then there are a group of persons who often take some liver tonics either as liquids or tablets. Let me clarify that there are no such Liver Tonics. All they do is the role of placebos. What our liver needs is a healthy well balanced diet for its proper nourishment. Liver is the largest metabolic factory of our body. It works best when the food intake is of good quality combining proteins, carbohydrates and fats. It is a myth that eating fat-free boiled foods hastens liver recovery in hepatitis. Conversely, it prolongs the illness and often makes the patient nutritionally deficient. So my advice is that:

  • One should eat a healthy balanced diet, which is easily digestible.
  • Too much oily and deep fried foods are to be avoided.
  • Excessive glucose drinks do no good. They may in fact curb the appetite.
  • Juices in the open from street vendors must be avoided.
  • Unnecessary liver tonics should not be consumed.
  • Those who drink should avoid alcohol.

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