Your medical provider might make specific dietary recommendations if you have cirrhosis or other medical complexities. In general, a heart-healthy diet is also good for the liver. Drink plenty of water and select minimally processed foods from all the food groups, including whole grains, proteins, dairy, fruits, vegetables and fats, keeping saturated fats in your diet to a minimum. Try to maintain a healthy weight and minimize sugar.
If you have cirrhosis, your doctor will likely discuss high-quality dietary protein, particularly from vegetable sources such as soy. You may also need to limit your fluid and salt intake.
Other recommendations include:
- Avoid raw or undercooked shellfish. Oysters, clams, and other shellfish may harbor Vibrio vulnificus, bacteria that are particularly harmful to people with liver disease. Only eat these foods if they are well cooked.
- Do not eat foraged mushrooms unless you are 100 percent sure that they are safe. Certain wild mushrooms contain toxins that can destroy even the healthiest livers.
- Drink caffeinated coffee. Regular coffee use (2 or more cups a day) has been associated with reduced formation of liver fibrosis, slower disease progression, and decreased risk of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Click here for more information about hepatitis C and nutrition.