A Day of Liver-Conscious Eating

Eating. We all have to do it, and for some people, doing it “wrong” can have negative health effects on the body. This is especially true for those of us who have lived or living experience of the HCV virus. When looking for foods to fill my fridge and pantry during my bi-weekly shopping trip, there are a few things I always consider: affordability, time to prepare, and taste. In my last foodie article, a I shared my own liver-friendly shopping list, but the question remains: "How could you incorporate these foods into your everyday diet while not breaking the bank or your taste buds?" To get you started, today I'm sharing a whole day's worth of my go-to easy, cost-aware, and tasty recipes.

The most important meal of the day

Breakfast: Smoothie bowl

  • ½ cup low-sugar yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh fruit, choose according to your tastes
  • ¼ cup low-sugar granola
  • ¼ cup sliced bananas (a liver-friendly food!)
  • ¼ cup of hemp hearts or sunflower seeds

This recipe is very quick to make on a busy morning. It even is considered by the pickiest of eaters as customization is endless. These ingredients are a great way to not only nourish your body for the day, but in a liver-conscious way!

Ring the lunch bell!

Lunch: ABC Salad (Apples, Beets, and Carrots)

  • 1 raw beet shredded
  • 2 raw carrots shredded
  • 2 Sweet apples shredded
  • Juice of 1 Navel Orange
  • (optional: 2 tbsp of each: sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, sliced almonds)

It may sound like a strange mixture at first, but once you try it you’ll be hooked. This salad is refreshing, crunchy, and packed with all sorts of important nutrients. Beets have a remarkable vitamin and nutrient content and lower blood sugar. Carrots fight cholesterol and the presence of biotin will have your skin glowing! Apples add a subtle sweetness that complements the other vegetables perfectly. The fresh-squeezed orange juice ties everything together with a refreshing sweetness.

Dinner that helps your liver

Dinner: Salmon, brown Rice and steamed broccoli

  • 1 6oz portion of salmon (prepare as preferred but look out for high sugar or fat.)
  • 2 cups of broccoli- steamed
  • ½ cup of cooked brown rice
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite rice topping (soy sauce, ketchup, etc.)

This dinner is simple, easy, and depending on the harvesting season, can be cost-effective. And there is no need for a lack of flavor in the form of sauces and seasonings, especially if they are labeled as being low-sugar or fat. Salmon is chock full of omega 3 fatty acids, which are excellent at lowering triglycerides (blood fats), which reduces the risk of heart disease. Pair it with broccoli and steamed brown rice and you have a perfect meal to boost your liver health. Broccoli is vitamin and nutrient-dense: iron, potassium, and vitamins A, C, B, E, and K! Brown rice is a more health-conscious, complex carbohydrate than its bleached and whitened sibling. Carbohydrates get a bad rap in many diets and weight loss circles, but whole grain or unprocessed carbohydrates digest slower and keep you feeling full longer. They also contain high levels of fiber which reduces cholesterol.

Finding your own balance

Finding foods that enhance liver health and function is not difficult... But finding liver-boosting foods that are affordable on a budget, quick to make, or in-season can be tricky. Armed with your list of liver-friendly foods and now ideas of how to prepare them, liver-conscious eating is easier than ever. Making and maintaining new eating habits takes practice, and moderation when eating foods high in sugar, fat, or salt will help immensely in itself! In my experience, eating a healthy, balanced diet while also being realistic about eating processed and sugary foods are the keys to good liver health.

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