Foods that are high in fat or animal protein are contributors to an unhealthy liver, as are foods that contain processed chemicals, according to Everyday Health. The liver processes and stores nutrients, so anything bad that is consumed has the potential to damage the liver.
Three nutritional guidelines are key for maintaining a healthy liver: consume protein from mostly plant based sources, focus on whole foods, and decrease the amount of fat in the diet, states Everyday Health. The best sources for plant-based protein are beans, legumes and lentils. Animal protein consumption should be kept to a minimum.
Limiting one's salt intake is also advisable for liver health, as salt may increase liver swelling and fluid build-up, says MedlinePlus. Other substances to be avoided are alcohol and acetaminophen, which is an over-the-counter pain reliever, suggests Everyday Health. Alcohol has the potential to cause cirrhosis, so drinks should be limited to one a day for women and two a day for men. Acetaminophen can also cause damage to the liver, and individuals should ingest no more than two grams a day.
For overall liver health, it is wise to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid highly processed foods that have a high level of trans-fats. Healthy sources of monounsaturated fat, which the body needs, are avocados and nuts. The body also requires polyunsaturated fats found in foods such as flax seed and pumpkin seeds, says Everyday Health.