You probably already know that eating a Mediterranean diet has health benefits. But did you know that it can help reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)?

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Benefits of The Mediterranean Diet

According to experts at the UPMC FLOW (Fatty Liver, Obesity, and Wellness) Clinic, people with NAFLD benefit from eating the core ingredients used in Mediterranean diet dishes:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts, seeds, and olive oil
  • Lean fish and other seafood
  • Yogurt and some cheeses

The Mediterranean diet avoids foods such as:

  • Beef and poultry
  • Desserts and sweet drinks
  • Highly processed foods

Eating this diet fills your body with the nutrients you need to live an active life. It also helps to reduce the amount of fat in your liver, and helps you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Here are five Mediterranean diet dishes that can help prevent fatty liver disease. If you’ve already been diagnosed with NAFLD, they can help improve your liver function.

Start your day with quality ingredients for your liver

Spinach Feta Breakfast Wraps

These wraps combine the fiber of whole grain tortillas with the abundant vitamins found in dark green leafy spinach and fresh tomatoes. Use heart healthy olive oil instead of butter, and enjoy a moderate amount of eggs and feta for a delicious and savory start to your day.

Make your mid-day meal shine with a nutritious soup or salad

Vegetarian Arugula Chickpea Power Salad

This vegetarian salad features protein-packed legumes (chickpeas), vitamins from leafy greens (arugula), and healthy fats (avocado) in addition to a variety of fruits and vegetables. The chickpeas, which contain folate, fiber, and iron, help you feel full faster and longer, making it less likely that you’ll overeat. They also keep your blood sugar levels from skyrocketing, which is helpful for people with diabetes.

Tuscan Soup with White Beans

The creators of this dish say it tastes like pizza, but it’s actually filled with leafy greens, tomato broth, and savory spices, such as smoked paprika, fennel, red pepper, and basil. Cannellini beans, also called white kidney beans, give the soup a creamy flavor and pack it with healthy fiber.

For a mid-afternoon snack, try this healthier alternative to your go-to munchies

Roasted Veggie Chips

These pan-fried crispy chips may taste like store-bought potato chips, but they’re much healthier for you. Not only do they increase your daily intake of vegetables, but they also use a Mediterranean diet staple: olive oil.

Toss thinly-sliced beets, turnips, parsnips, and radishes with olive oil, dust with herbs, pepper, and a pinch of salt, and roast. These chips will keep for a week in an airtight container in your fridge, but it’s doubtful they’ll last that long.

Have a delightful dinner with healthy salmon and flavorful herbs

Mediterranean-Style Grilled Salmon

Salmon is one seafood that’s recommended for every Mediterranean diet. That’s because it’s an oily fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to heart and liver health. In this dish, the salmon fillets are smothered with flavorful spices such as parsley, garlic powder, and lemon.

Sources

Practical Dietary Recommendations for the Prevention and Management of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Adults, Advances in Nutrition. Link

TheKitchn.com. Recipe: Freezer-Friendly Spinach-Feta Breakfast Wraps. Link

FoodNetwork.com. Vegetarian Argula Chickpea Power SaPureWlad. Link

ACoupleCooks.com. Tuscan Soup With White Beans. Link

PureWow.com. Roasted Veggie Chips. Link

Mayo Clinic, Mediterranean-style grilled salmon. Link

About Center for Liver Diseases

The UPMC Center for Liver Diseases provides complete care for a variety of liver diseases. Our expert hepatologists manage and treat patients using cutting-edge practices and therapies. We research and evaluate new treatments to provide the best care possible. work out of several outpatient locations in western Pennsylvania and a specialty inpatient unit at UPMC Montefiore in Oakland. We manage your care and, if necessary, can help you make the transition to subspecialists, including transplant surgery and oncology.