Time for tea
The scientists say that up to one third of people in the UK have a fatty liver not caused by alcohol, but instead by being overweight or having a diet high in fat. If left untreated, this can change into a symptom called Non–alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), where our vital organ starts to get inflamed, swollen and stressed from having to work harder, which can progress to fibrosis and cirrhosis and even liver cancer.
But the good news is that there are some easy peasy tweaks you can make to your diet to try and reduce your risk of these diseases and learn to love your liver. Tara Whyand an oncology dietitian, has some top tips to help, the first of which, wonderfully, involves a cuppa:
Green tea is full of great antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it perfect for taking care of tissues in our body that have been damaged. This means it's good for your whole body but recent research has shown that's particularly effective for looking after our liver, helping stop the progression of NASH and eventually cirrhosis. If you're not sure about trying green tea, go for a green tea and fruit blend, such as pomegranate green tea which has a slightly sweeter taste.
Carry a watermelon
With the sun shining and the garden looking oh so inviting, there's never been a better time to stock up on sweet, yummy fruit to enjoy for a picnic or a touch of alfresco dining. You'll also be doing your liver good by chomping on fruit like watermelon, pink grapefruit and tomatoes, all of which contain a red antioxidant pigment called lycopene, which can help reduce your risk of NASH and some forms of cancer.
Stock up on sunflower seeds
We need plenty of vitamin E in our diet to protect our body against damage and sunflower seeds, along with avocados, naturally have the stuff in abundance. These healthy snacks also contain plant oils that help our body absorb even more vitamin E. Don't go too overboard though as eating too much of these foods, which are high in good fats, can cause you to gain weight, which doesn't help your liver. Just go for a handful of seeds or half an avocado when you need a lunchtime or mid-afternoon snack. For more info on keeping your liver healthy visit dietandcancer.co.uk or profbiotics.com for more information about keeping your liver/body healthy