There’s a hidden epidemic taking America (and other countries around the world) by storm right now:
The rise of Fatty Liver Disease — and especially Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, or NAFLD. (Which is Fatty Liver Disease that happens in the absence of alcohol abuse.)
Current projections from the Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology suggest that NAFLD will increase by 21% from 2015 to 2030! And worse yet, NAFLD causing chronic liver disease has also increased.
From 1988 to 1994, NAFLD contributed to 46.8% of chronic liver disease cases. But from 2004-2008, NAFLD contributed to 75.1% of all chronic liver disease cases. That’s nearly a 60% increase in 20 years — and that number is likely even higher today.
It’s also one of the leading causes of NASH (non-alcoholic steatohepatitis) and cirrhosis, both of which can lead to liver failure. And developing NAFLD increases your risk of liver-related, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.
In other words… NAFLD isn’t good and it can cause a heap of health and wellness problems if you don’t work now to prevent it.
Your liver is one of the most important organs in your body. It’s responsible for around 500 critical jobs in your body — including removing toxins, clearing medications, and metabolising your food. It also regulates your cholesterol levels, builds proteins, helps you absorb fats, stores sugar, and controls your hormone levels.
Your liver is so important that you can’t live a week without it!
And that’s not all:
There’s a strong correlation between NAFLD and your likelihood of developing insulin resistance, type-2 diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. And each of these health problems also increase your risk of developing NAFLD in a vicious sort of cycle.
Plus, there’s currently no treatment method for NAFLD now. However, a 2018 study from Cell Metabolism showed promise that ketosis — the process of getting your body’s fuel from fat instead of carbs by following a keto diet — can help mitigate and even reverse symptoms of NAFLD. Since this study was done on mice, we don’t know how effective it is on humans, if at all. But we should have a better understanding as research looks into this issue more.
Alright, that’s a lot of bad news to ingest all at once. But don’t worry, we have you covered!
As with everything in the realm of your health and wellbeing…
Prevention is the best form of medication.
In this article, we’ll look at 6 ways you can make your liver healthier, prevent NAFLD and it’s nasty consequences, and live a healthier, more enjoyable life.
What are the risk factors for NAFLD?
Before we discuss ways to make your liver healthier, it’s important to understand the risk factors that increase your risk of developing it. Even though many doctors don’t fully understand what causes NAFLD, some of the factors that increase your risk include:
- Obesity — NAFLD affects up to 95% of people who are obese. You’re considered obese if your BMI (body mass index) is over 30 or you have a large waistline (greater than 40 inches for men and greater than 35 inches for women). Not sure what your BMI is? Calculate it here.
Side note: BMI calculators always aggravate me because muscle weighs more than fat and this is not taken into account. Many healthy weight people will be considered overweight, and possibly even obese (especially if you work out). If you don’t work out a few times a week and you get labeled as obese, well you probably need some lifestyle changes.
- Excessive alcohol — Men under 65 can consume 2-3 servings of alcohol a day. But men over 65 and women should limit their alcohol consumption to just 1 serving a day. In a perfect world, your alcohol consumption should be much lower as it leads to several other health problems.
- High LDL cholesterol levels or low HDL cholesterol levels — LDL is the “bad” cholesterol while HDL is the “good” cholesterol. A high LDL level is anything over 160, and over 190 is considered very high. A low HDL level is anything under 40 for men and 50 for women. (There’s an easy-to-read chart regarding cholesterol levels available here.)
- High blood pressure — A high blood pressure includes 140/90mmHg or higher. While an ideal level is between 90/60mmHg and 120/80mmHg.
- Diabetes — Having a glucose level of 100 mg/dL or above and/or taking diabetes medications increases your risk of NAFLD.
Now that you have a better idea about the risk factors, let’s look into the top 6 natural ways you can make your liver healthier.
6 Natural Ways To Protect Your Liver
Before we dive into this, let me make something clear first:
You want to try to do as many of these as possible. Some will be harder than others, but remember, NAFLD doesn’t have a treatment today. That means, prevention is your best bet — and your future self will thank you for incorporating as many as these suggestions into your lifestyle as possible.
Alright, let’s dive in:
1. Eat a healthy diet
Obesity is one of the biggest causes of NAFLD and all the potential problems it causes. We’re smackdab in the middle of an obesity epidemic as well as a fatty liver disease pandemic.
Eating a healthy diet helps you maintain a healthy weight and prevents many of these fatty liver disease problems from arising.
But if we dive deeper into this idea that everyone already understands, let’s look at some of the best (and worst) foods for your liver.
Some of the best liver protecting foods you can eat include:
- Prickly pear
- Beets and beet juice
- Brown rice
- Kale and collards
- Fatty fish
- Olive oil
Try to incorporate more of these foods into your diet to protect your liver.
Also, it’s a smart idea to avoid (or limit) foods that wreak havoc on your liver. Your liver doesn’t process all foods the same. So you want to limit eating these foods as much as possible:
- Bad fatty foods — including french fries, fast food, most takeout meals, Chinese food, and processed junk food
- Starchy foods — including processed breads, cakes, pastas, and baked goods
- Sugary foods — including cereal, candy, and anything else with a bunch of sugar in it
- Foods with refined salts — an easy way to limit your refined salt intake is to eat out less often and don’t buy as much processed junk food from the grocery store
- Alcohol — which we already mentioned above
2. Drink more coffee and green tea
Both coffee and green tea have liver-protecting benefits, though doctors and researchers aren’t quite sure why. Their best guess is that coffee increases the protective antioxidants in the liver.
Coffee seems to reduce the risk of chronic liver disease. And both coffee and green tea may protect you against liver cancer.
3. Regular exercise
Again, this is an obvious one. But since so many of us lead hectic, stress-filled lives, it’s a needed reminder that regular exercise is one of the best ways to enhance your health and wellbeing.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, don’t worry I won’t tell anyone. But there are simple ways to get more exercise into your day — even when your time’s limited. Going on a quick 20-minute walk works wonders when you do it consistently.
4. Avoiding certain medications
We already covered how diabetes medication can damage your liver.
But one medication we didn’t cover yet is acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Acetaminophen is one of the most common causes of medication-related liver failure. In fact, acetaminophen causes more than 33% of all medication-related liver failure cases!
And acetaminophen isn’t just in Tylenol. It’s also found in hundreds of cold medicines (like Dayquil and Nyquil) as well as prescription painkillers.
If you’d like to learn about the other liver-damaging medications, you can find a full list here.
5. Avoid toxins and pesticides
We’re surrounded by different toxins and pesticides.
They’re in our food, our cleaning supplies, aerosol products, insecticides, and cigarettes to name only a few. Avoid using these products as much as possible. Having direct contact with them is much more dangerous, so if you use them, be extra careful.
Three’s also many toxins in lower quality dietary supplements. Avoid buying cheap brands and also make sure you read the full ingredient list before buying anything!
At Nourishing World, we only add the highest quality supplements to our store. We only choose supplements with natural, clean, and effective ingredients in them, so you can rest easy with any supplement you buy from our store.
Which leads me into my last point…
6. Detox your liver with safe liver supplements
A couple of months back, we wrote an article all about detoxing your body. You can check it out here.
But in this article, we’re going to deal with specifically detoxing your liver to improve your liver health.
Here are 4 supplements that can help keep your liver healthy:
One of the best ways to support your liver is by taking a raw liver organ supplement because it gives you the “like-for-like” benefits mentioned in this article.
Which makes NXGEN Organic Beef Liver Capsules one of the BEST supplements you can take for this.
Beef liver is simply the most nutrient dense superfood that you can consume. It has more protein, vitamins and minerals than any food on the planet! Dr. Weston A. Price recommends 7 ounces of organ meat weekly. And these NXGEN Beef Liver capsules make getting 7 ounces of organ meat weekly a breeze.
Each serving contains 3000 mg of beef liver powder. When taken daily you reach that 7 oz a week goal.
Ready to see how NXGEN Grass-Fed Liver Capsules can help you help your liver? You can find more information and order a bottle here.
Perfect Supplements also makes a great grass-fed liver organ supplement, but theirs is low heat processed, so not raw, but still very nutritious. Westin A. Price foundation loves cooked organs and definitely includes them in their 7 oz weekly goal. And like with the NXGEN Beef Liver, a serving a day gets you to 7 oz weekly. The best thing about Perfect Desiccated Liver is that it’s very affordable – only $19.95 for 120 capsules. You can find more information and order a bottle here.
Perfect Liver Detox Support is ideal for routine liver health maintenance after detoxing. But it also helps in both Phase 1 (breaking toxins down) and Phase 2 (the addition phase where new substances are added to the toxic and good metabolites produced during Phase 1) of liver detoxification.
This formula contains scientifically-studied herbs and organic superfoods that keep your liver functioning well. Perfect Liver Detox Support was developed by Dr. Erica Lepore. While it can be used daily for liver health, it is a big part of her intense liver detox program called the 21 Day Detox. Many experts agree that doing an intense detox once or twice a year is a very good idea for liver health as well as overall health and wellness. I’ve done this detox myself 3 times now and have support articles with recipes and food to have on hand.
If you want to try Perfect Liver Detox Support, you can order a bottle here.
Livatrex is designed to detoxify your system using all-organic herbs to eliminate toxic substances from your liver and gallbladder.
Each ingredient in Livatrex is specifically designed to aid in this complicated process of detoxing your liver and gallbladder.
You can find the entire Livatrex detoxing protocol (and order a bottle of Livatrex), by clicking here.