Spring is finally here, and we’re getting more fresh air… so why are we still weary? According to researchers at Philadelphia’s Drexel University, a common culprit is fat buildup in the liver, a condition called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which can slow this energy-producing organ. Here’s how to prevent and reverse this energy-drain.
Savor an omelet.
Enjoying a two-egg omelet for breakfast five days a week could cut your risk of NAFLD by as much as 40 percent, plus boost your all-day focus and energy level by 55 percent. Explains Mark Hyman, M.D., author of Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? ($14.37, Amazon), eggs contain an essential nutrient (choline) that blocks fat buildup in the liver, plus switches on enzymes that speed repair of this hardworking organ.
Bonus: Choline shuts down the production of hunger-promoting hormones, helping you feel full longer.
Add a bit of broccoli.
It’s our favorite veggie — and a proven liver-healer too! According to University of Illinois researchers, noshing on 1⁄2 cup of broccoli daily can shrink fat stores in the liver by as much as 30 percent, cutting risk of tiredness and stiff, achy joints by 35 percent! Thanks goes to sulfur, which the liver uses to convert trapped fats into water-soluble waste that can be flushed out via the kidneys.
Soak up a little sun.
Basking in the sun feels blissful — and doing it for 20 minutes daily will cut your risk of NAFLD by 41 percent, plus help your liver flush out troublesome fats 33 percent faster, heightening your focus, concentration and energy in one week, four studies suggest. Explains endocrinologist Maria Cavallo, M.D., UV light exposure prompts your skin to make vitamin D-3 — a nutrient that helps your liver burn fats for fuel, plus reduces damaging liver inflammation.
Detox with milk thistle.
Taking 300 mg. of this herbal extract ($11.99, Amazon) daily could boost your liver function by 40 percent, cutting your risk of tiredness in half or more, Italian researchers say. Credit milk thistle’s active ingredient (silymarin), which activates liver detoxification enzymes, plus stalls fat buildup inside liver cells. Note: Check with your doctor before supplementing.
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.