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World Hepatitis Day on 28th July: 8 liver-friendly foods that you can try

With World Hepatitis Day around the corner, here is what you should eat to keep your liver healthy. © Shutterstock

With the World Hepatitis Day approaching on 28th July, we tell you about some foods that can boost your liver health and help you keep hepatitis at bay.

Written by Juhi Kumari |Published : July 26, 2019 1:06 PM IST

Unfortunately, around 290 million people are currently affected by hepatitis (a liver condition) unknowingly, says the World Hepatitis Alliance. This international non-governmental organisation also states that this number would possibly increase by 76 million by 2030. That is, if proper measures are not taken now. Sounds scary? There is more to it. According to WHO, hepatitis claims around 1.4 million lives every year. This is why there is an urgent need to look for effective ways to control the increasing number of hepatitis patients globally. In a bid to do that, the World Health Organisation started a global campaign called World Hepatitis Day in the year 2008.

Earlier, World Hepatitis Day was observed on May 19th. It was later changed to 28th July in 2010 to commemorate the birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg. Blumberg is the person who discovered the hepatitis B virus.

Notably, Pakistan will host this global event this year. This year's theme of World Hepatitis Day is 'Invest in eliminating hepatitis'.

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You can also contribute to this campaign by spreading awareness about this condition. Here is a low-down on hepatitis and foods that will keep your liver healthy.

WHAT IS HEPATITIS?

It refers to a group of viral conditions that affect your liver function. Hepatitis is of 5 types, namely hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. They affect bile production, breakdown of carbohydrates, fats and proteins, activation of various enzymes, synthesis of clotting factors, excretion of bilirubin, etc.

Symptoms are jaundice, loss of appetite, fever, stomach pain, nausea, fatigue, and diarrhoea. Excessive alcohol consumption, overdose of medication, exposure to poison and autoimmune response can increase your chance of hepatitis. Luckily, there are various clinical ways available to treat this disease. But you must have heard a proverb, 'Prevention is better than cure'. So, here, we help you with some natural remedies to keep hepatitis at bay.

NATURAL WAYS TO PREVENT HEPATITIS

The ideal way to prevent hepatitis is to keep your liver healthy. And, the best way to do that is by making informed food choices. With World Hepatitis Day around the corner, we tell about foods that are scientifically proven to protect your liver.

Grapefruit

[caption id="attachment_679094" align="alignnone" width="655"]World Hepatitis Day, grapefruit The antioxidants in grapefruit help to keep your liver healthy. Shutterstock[/caption]

This is rich in two antioxidants, naringenin and naringin. Grapefruit can protect your liver, says a study published in the Archives of Toxicology. It works by reducing inflammation and protecting cells. Another research published in the same journal showed that these antioxidants can reduce the development of hepatic fibrosis. It is a liver condition that comes with scarring of liver tissue. hepatic fibrosis causes appetite loss, nausea, jaundice, weakness, difficulty in thinking, etc.

Grapefruit also decreases the amount of fat in the liver and increases the number of enzymes necessary for burning fat. It thereby prevents excess fat from accumulating in your liver. This fruit also improves your liver's ability to metabolise alcohol and deal with some of its negative effects.

Blueberries and cranberries

[caption id="attachment_679096" align="alignnone" width="655"]Blueberries and cranberries The types of antioxidants found in berries can potentially slow down the development of scar tissue in the liver. Shutterstock[/caption]

Both blueberries and cranberries contain antioxidants named anthocyanins. They are responsible for their colours and plethora of health benefits they boast about. According to World Journal of Gastroenterology, blueberries and cranberries can help keep the liver healthy. These fruits can also increase your immune cell response and antioxidant enzymes. Another research noticed that the types of antioxidants found in berries can potentially slow down the development of scar tissue in the liver. Additionally, blueberry extract inhibits the growth of cancer cells in the liver.

Grapes

[caption id="attachment_679093" align="alignnone" width="655"]Grapes, World Hepatitis Day These fruits can effectively lower liver inflammation. Shutterstock[/caption]

Due to the presence of a plant compound like resveratrol, grapes are able to benefit your liver. They can effectively lower inflammation, prevent damage and increase antioxidant levels in the liver, says a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. To fetch the benefits of these compounds, you can have whole, seeded grapes.

Beetroot juice

[caption id="attachment_679101" align="alignnone" width="655"]Beetroot juice, World Hepatitis Day The nitrates beetroot juice are good for your liver. Shutterstock[/caption]

Beetroot juice is jam-packed with nitrates and antioxidants called betalains. They help in reducing oxidative damage and inflammation in the liver. These compounds are also helpful in increasing natural detoxification enzymes, says a research published in the journal Nutrient.

Cruciferous vegetables

[caption id="attachment_679097" align="alignnone" width="655"]Cauliflower, World Hepatitis Day Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower are rich in fibre and plant compounds beneficial for the liver . Shutterstock[/caption]

Vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and mustard greens are rich in fibre and beneficial plant compounds. According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, brussels and broccoli sprout extract can potentially increase levels of detoxification enzymes in the liver and protect it from damage.

Nuts

[caption id="attachment_679102" align="alignnone" width="655"]Nuts Eating nuts sufficiently will reduce your risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Shutterstock[/caption]

Being jam-packed with fats, antioxidants, vitamin E and beneficial plant compounds, nuts are able to protect your liver, says a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. During this research, scientists found that eating nuts improve the levels of your liver enzymes. Another study has revealed that men who eat small amounts of nuts and seeds have a higher risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease compared to men who eat large amounts of nuts and seeds.

Fatty fish

[caption id="attachment_679103" align="alignnone" width="655"]Fatty fish, World Hepatitis Day The healthy fats in these fish are linked to a lower risk of liver disease. Shutterstock[/caption]

Fatty fishes like salmon, mackerel, sardines, etc. are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They reduce inflammation. Also, these healthy fats reduce your risk of liver disease. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, omega-3 fatty acids help prevent accumulation of fat in the liver, keep enzyme levels normal, fight inflammation and improve insulin resistance.

Olive oil

[caption id="attachment_679105" align="alignnone" width="675"]Olive oil The healthy fats in olive oil help in reducing the fat accumulation and improving blood flow to the liver. Shutterstock[/caption]

Various studies have shown that olive oil is a healthy fat as it comes with lots of health benefits. Notably, consuming one teaspoon of olive oil daily can potentially improve levels of liver enzyme and fat in the liver. It also increases levels of a protein associated with positive metabolic effects. This helps in reducing the fat accumulation and improving blood flow in the liver.

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