After being diagnosed with a fatty liver condition (NAFLD), I always looked for natural ways to cleanse my liver, based on the idea that every little bit of help… helps. And when it comes to natural remedies, even though I am at least skeptical when it comes to accepting their health benefits, I am willing to give them a try as long as the worst thing they can do is just have no effect.
We’ve already talked about the hyped milk thistle which I took for a long time before reversing my fatty liver, but there’s a new natural way – maybe even “more natural” if something like that exists – to help cleanse the liver and help it with its battle against the extra fat: Green tea!
Drinking green tea when you have a fatty liver is probably not the first dietary change that a doctor would recommend and I didn’t know anything about it until doing extensive research on all methods that help reversing your fatty liver. And you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to find out that this otherwise delicious drink might actually help those with a fatty liver!
Like many things out there regarding one’s health – including the NAFLD – there is no certainty that green tea helps your liver. But there are studies and voices that claim it does and since it is 100% natural and at most non-harmful (if not healthy), I’ve decided to give it a go and for almost a week now I am drinking a cup of green tea every morning. And you should do the same – at least for the sake of additional variety in our otherwise limited drinking options.
Why should people with fatty liver drink green tea?
A study conducted in 2008 and published in the Journal of Nutrition magazine found out that mice suffering from a fatty liver who were on a treatment based on the amino-acid EGCG – which is found in green tea – after 4 weeks of treatment showed reduced inflammation of the liver and reversed the condition.
Even better, those on a longer treatment – 16 weeks – continued to show progress and had reduced body weight gain and fat percentages, proving to the scientists that green tea can provide long term health benefits.
This is indeed a study on mice – and I couldn’t find any data on anything similar done on humans – but the effects are pretty obvious and I am ready to consider that enough for now. All lab studies start on mice, and even though after successful results, they move on to testing on human beings – which needs further confirmation – I am still happy with the reports.
Months after being diagnosed I found out about the benefits of drinking green tea for fatty liver and I had a period of maybe a month (or more) when I drank a cup each day. I slowed down later on, especially as summer came and it was too hot to think about more hot drinks, but still I have reversed my fatty liver and green tea could’ve helped. At the very least, it didn’t do any harm – and its taste is pretty good.
Green tea has long been praised for its plethora of antioxidants and for its general health benefit and I tend to believe that there’s at least a bit of truth out there for this statement. It might not help with reversing fatty liver, but at least you’re trying out something new – something that might be the cure of your problem, without risking any side effects (note that green tea does have caffeine, so if you suffer from hypertension or you’re already drinking a lot of coffee, add it to your daily caffeine intake to keep numbers under control).
How to drink green tea for fatty liver
The general rules of thumb when it comes to a regular diet for NAFLD apply in the case of green tea as well.
This means that you should not drink it sweetened (compared to coffee, I found it extremely easy to drink this one without any added honey or sweeteners). This is the main and most important rule.
If you like to add a bit of milk to your tea, I believe that you still can do this, but make sure to use fresh milk that is low in fat (1.5% or less) or any other milk substitute that is natural and without any chemicals.
Finally, you can add a variety of flavors to it if you want to change the taste: I personally prefer it with mint (when I have them, I use fresh mint leaves, but you can even get a green tea & mint combination), squeeze some lemon in it or add any other natural leaves or juices to it.
If you want to drink it cold, you can prepare it in just a bit of warm water, then add cold water on top (or ice). Refreshing and nice for a hot summer’s day.
All in all, you have a lot of options when it comes to drinking green tea, which definitely beats the repetitiveness of the regular plain water (or maybe lemon water) that we all drink on a daily basis now.
What green tea is best for you?
To be honest, I think that you can choose absolutely any type of green tea and it will be just as healthy and tasty. But there are voices claiming that non-organic tea can have a lot of pesticides, which would be unhealthy especially for our already suffering livers.
However, it seems that if you want to make sure that you are getting the best possible green tea and reduce the intake of chemicals (like pesticides) to a minimum, going for an Organic option is your best bet. This way, you have the guarantee of feeding your body with a healthy, organic product.
If you still can’t decide, you can go on to Amazon and get their own brand which is Organic and delicious – the 365 Everyday Value Organic Green Tea (affiliate link). Alternately, you can go for a well known brand like Yogi and their Organic Pure Green Tea (affiliate link) – I think that any of these are great option, just like basically any type of organic green tea that you can find in any store.
So, as I said, the worst thing that could happen if you drink it is it having absolutely no health benefits at all, but without doing any type of harm. And since there’s even a small chance of it actually being helpful in the fight to reverse fatty liver, I say it’s worth adding it to your daily diet especially since it’s actually a drink that tastes really good.