Your liver keeps your energy high, melts fat, and flushes toxins. And breaking research shows that avoiding nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that impacts more than 80 percent of women over 40, can cut the risk of serious COVID-19 complications. What’s more, preventing — and reversing — fatty liver is easy! Here are some easy ways to get a healthier liver.
Swap cereal for eggs.
Simply exchanging your bowl of cereal for a couple of eggs a few times a week increases your levels of choline, a nutrient the liver needs to break down fat, but which 90 percent of us don’t get enough of. In fact, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that simply boosting choline intake reduced the risk of fatty liver by 80 percent — and even reversed fatty liver for women who already had the condition.
Swap workouts for commercial breaks.
Great news! You don’t have to spend 30 minutes sweating to a video. Instead, get in little bits of movement — like walking in place or doing arm circles — when commercials come on during your favorite TV show. Sprinkled throughout the day, these bursts of movement cut the risk of fatty liver by 35 percent, plus help your liver burn off stored fats if it’s already clogged, say British researchers.
Swap potato salad for a side of coleslaw.
For your next barbecue, spoon out coleslaw as a side. A new study out of Texas A&M University showed people who have a higher concentration of the nutrient indole, found in cruciferous veggies like cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts, have 30 percent less fat in their liver. The scientists credit indole with shrinking the amount of fat in liver cells.
Swap plastic for glass.
And when the cookout is over, stash leftovers in glass containers. The reason? Many plastic food-storage containers have toxic chemicals, like bisphenol-A, that the liver has to filter out of the body. But reducing toxic exposure lessens your liver’s workload so it can focus on keeping fat from accumulating in the organ, says Harvard-trained Sara Gottfried, M.D. This not only keeps the liver healthy, but since it plays a central role in burning calories, it helps keep you slim.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.