Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that generates symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite and weight loss, because this is an organ that directly influences nutritional status.
This condition can affect the digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as their storage and metabolism, which can cause both vitamin and mineral deficiency and protein-calorie malnutrition.
For this reason, the diet should be easily digested, low in fat and prepared simply without the use of condiments, and should preferably be cooked grilled or parboiled. In addition to this, you should drink plenty of water to help cleanse the liver, unless contraindicated by your physician.
Foods to avoid
Foods to avoid during a hepatitis are mainly foods rich in fat, due to the fact that during this disease a decrease in the production of bile salts, which are in charge of helping to digest fats, may occur, so their ingestion could cause diarrhea, these foods are:
When a person has hepatitis and associated abdominal pain, it may be beneficial to avoid eating flatulent foods such as cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, because they can worsen abdominal discomfort. Know what are the foods that cause gas.
It is important that during hepatitis the diet is balanced, eating food in small portions and several times a day, this avoids weight loss due to lack of appetite. Also, you should eat foods that are easy to digest and prepared in a simple way, being able to use aromatic herbs to flavor the meals, some of them that are rich in antioxidants and favor the recovery of the liver are sage, oregano, coriander, parsley, mint, cloves, thyme and cinnamon.
Foods that can be included in the diet are fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, white bread, grains, cereals, gelatin, coffee, French bread or baguete, rice milk and tubers. In the case of proteins, they can and should be consumed but without abuse, white and skinless meats such as chicken, turkey or low-fat fish should be preferred, and in the case of dairy products, low-fat white cheeses, natural yogurt and skim milk should be preferred.
Some foods that can be included in the diet on a daily basis and that favor liver recovery due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, depurative and hepatoprotective properties are acerola, garlic, onion, artichoke, milk thistle, alfalfa, watercress, cherry, plum, turmeric, dandelion, raspberries, lemon, apple, melon, grapes and tomatoes.
It is important that the individual knows the tolerance to certain types of food, because the consumption of fats or foods difficult to digest in high quantity can cause diarrhea and discomfort. In case of diarrhea, it is recommended to consume cooked foods, avoiding the intake of fruits and raw vegetables.
Sample menu of a hepatitis diet
The table below shows a 3-day sample menu of a hepatoprotective diet:
Yellow rice with chicken (prepared with turmeric) mixed with peas, paprika and carrot
In case of chronic hepatitis or hepatitis during pregnancy, it is recommended that you see a nutritionist for an evaluation and to indicate a nutritional plan adapted to your needs.
In addition to this, it is important to be careful with nutritional supplements, although it may sometimes be necessary to take them, mainly during chronic hepatitis, they should be indicated by a physician or nutritionist, because they are all metabolized by the liver.