A liver that’s clear of clogging fat does more than keep metabolism humming, it shields against brain aging, high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes — plus, it safeguards a sunny mood, lowering anxiety levels by up to 58 percent, reveals research in Frontiers in Medicine. While fatty liver affects more than 80 percent of women over 40, preventing and even reversing the problem is easy!
Cool off in the pool.
Just 30 minutes of activity daily helps the liver burn off 39 percent of its stored fat, British scientists say. As fatty liver researcher Jeffrey B. Schwimmer, MD, explains, moderate-intensity exercise triggers the breakdown of fat in the liver. And you don’t have to do it all at once either. Three daily 10-minute puttering-around breaks fit the bill too!
Bask before you slather.
Go ahead and relax a bit in the sun a bit before reaching for sunscreen. Australian research suggests that getting 15 minutes of sun exposure (sans sunscreen) daily helps the liver shed up to 50 percent of its fat stores within 12 weeks. The reason: UV rays spur skin to make vitamin D, which activates liver enzymes that burn fat for fuel.
Relax with a wine spritzer.
Wine seems like it’d be off-limits when it comes to protecting the liver, but experts at the University of California, San Diego, say that’s not entirely true. Their study found that drinking 4 oz. of wine daily lowered folks’ risk of developing fatty liver by 50 percent. Study authors explain that polyphenol compounds that abound in wine combat increases in blood sugar–balancing insulin and blood fats called triglycerides that can rev liver fat production.
Dip into guacamole.
Love guac and avocado-topped tacos, toast, and salads? So does your liver! Research in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition suggests plant compounds found in avocado help the liver burn fat so efficiently, eating two of these green gems weekly can reduce buildup in the organ by 33 percent while cutting the risk of future liver fat accumulation by 55 percent. Try this recipe for zesty guacamole with tomato!
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 Tbs. lime juice
- 1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1⁄2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 2 Tbs. chopped seeded tomato
- Pit, peel and chop avocados. In food processor, pulse avocados and lime juice until coarsely chopped.
- Add cilantro, scallion, garlic powder, and salt. Pulse until blended but still slightly chunky, 30–60 sec.; transfer to bowl. Stir in tomato; serve with chips. Serves 6
Note: Check with your healthcare provider before supplementing.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.