One of the organs that is most affected by drug and/or alcohol abuse is the liver. After years of excessive drinking or abusing drugs, the liver has had to work relentlessly to rid the body of these toxic substances and may have suffered permanent effects from this abuse. The liver is an incredibly important organ as it helps our bodies metabolize fats, filter the blood from our digestive tract, and is our main detoxifying organ. It is always encouraged to have your doctor check your liver if you have substance use in your past or present to know if you have a form of liver disease. Regardless of the disease state of your liver, you can always include foods in your diet that promote the health of your liver.
- Cruciferous vegetables – eating kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, better known as cruciferous vegetables, will aid your liver’s detoxification capabilities since they increase the liver’s natural detoxification enzymes through the antioxidant glutathione.
- Nuts and seeds – especially almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are high in antioxidants like glutathione and Vitamin E which help improve liver function.
- Fish – specifically fatty fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which act to lower inflammation and fat buildup in the liver.
- Coffee – the dose makes the difference with coffee consumption and liver health. Studies have shown that moderate amounts of coffee have been shown to potentially prevent liver cancer and decrease the risk for cirrhosis of the liver, but overconsumption can damage your liver due to the high amounts of caffeine.
Limit These Foods to Help Your Liver Stay Healthy
Of course, by abstaining from alcohol you are avoiding one of the most damaging substances for your liver, but there are still some foods to shy away from to help protect your liver health.
- Fatty foods – the saturated fats in fatty foods like burgers, pizza, and fries add more strain to the liver by increasing the fat deposits in the liver. Being mindful of your intake of fatty portions of red meat, butter or full-fat cheese is also helpful when watching your consumption of saturated fats.
- Processed foods – the refined carbohydrates and high sugar content in most processed foods make these a dangerous choice when eating with your liver health in mind.
- Fast food – fast food is usually high in sugar, salt, saturated and trans fats, all of which are not good for the liver.
Being mindful of the foods you consume every day can help you live a more intentional, healthier life. If you have suffered from an alcohol or drug addiction in the past, then being conscious of the foods you eat is one of the best ways to protect your liver health. At Avalon Malibu, our staff provides both standard nutritional intervention and dynamic dietary support to our patients. All patients arriving at Avalon Malibu for rehabilitation first have a nutritional assessment and guidance session because we believe in giving individualized treatment that focuses on complete healing. For more information on how we can help you, call us at (844) 857-5992.