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The best diet for hepatitis patients is one that does not put stress on the liver. Whole, fresh foods are the most beneficial, as they are easiest for the body to process. It is also important to avoid food and drink that make the liver work harder, such as meat, caffeine, alcohol, bleached white flour, and processed foods. Meals should be small, full of nutrients, and have a moderate amount of protein. The best way to transition to an optimum diet for hepatitis is with gradual adjustment, so that the body is not shocked by a sudden change.
In a diet for hepatitis, it is important to eat whole foods with high nutritional content as this provides the body with all the tools it needs for easy and efficient processing. Whole grain breads and cereals, brown rice, beans, and fresh vegetables and vegetable juices are all good choices. Junk or processed foods, including anything with bleached white flour, should be avoided as the key nutrients needed for easy digestion are absent from these foods.
There are other foods that are acceptable in the diet for hepatitis if they are eaten in moderation. These include potatoes and fresh fruit. A minimal amount of white flour is also safe if it is organic and unbleached.
Meat, however, is a particularly important food to avoid in the diet for hepatitis patients as it is difficult to digest, and thus puts a strain on the liver. It is also possible that the animal has consumed chemicals, antibiotics, steroids, and other elements that would tax the body. Meat sits in the stomach for several days before it is digested, putting an added strain on all body systems, and especially the liver.
Dairy products are also difficult to digest and should also be avoided. An exception is yogurt, which has cultures that can aid in digestion — though it should be avoided if the patient is taking liver-regenerative supplements. Products made with soy and plain organic soybeans are a good alternative to dairy.
Care should be taken with beverages as well. All forms of caffeine should be avoided, as its stimulating effect makes the liver work harder. Due to its high sugar content, fruit juice is a shock to the liver and puts a strain on the digestive process. Alcohol is also particularly detrimental to the liver as it can speed the onset of cirrhosis.
In the diet for hepatitis, all water should be filtered. Tap water often contains liver-taxing elements such as fluoride, chlorine, and other chemicals. As these toxins can be absorbed through the skin, all water sources for bathing should also be fitted with filters.
Meals in general should be baked rather than fried. For cooking, organic virgin olive oil is a beneficial choice. Flaxseed oil is not only acceptable, but can provide several benefits such as fiber, Omega-3 essential fatty acids, and added protection against a range of other diseases such as cancer.