Chicken Recipes for Fatty Liver: Top 5 Tasty Meals

How does a poor diet lead to fatty liver disease, what foods make up a fatty liver diet, and what are some chicken recipes appropriate to eat if you’re concerned about fatty liver? Find out.

If you have a diagnosis of or are worried about developing fatty liver, the food you eat could make a life-saving difference. Outside of having a genetic predisposition or an underlying absorption condition like leaky gut syndrome, one of the leading causes of fatty liver disease is poor diet. By focusing on healthy weight loss and an improved diet, you can reverse fatty liver and restore your liver function to optimal levels. To that end, here are five of the tastiest chicken recipes for fatty liver to get your healthy meal planning starting.

What Is Fatty Liver?

Fatty liver could refer to two different types of liver disease: alcoholic and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Each of them occurs when there’s an increased buildup of fat (triglycerides) in the liver. Here are the further distinctions.

  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease (alcoholic steatohepatitis): People who experience liver issues after long-term drinking to excess may develop alcoholic fatty liver disease. This condition often comes with chronic inflammation in the liver leading to liver damage, alcoholic hepatitis, scarring (cirrhosis), liver failure, and possible death.
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD): Fatty liver disease that does not develop due to heavy alcohol use falls into this category, including simple fatty liver (a buildup of fat in the organ that may or may not progress to disease), and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a disease that could lead to irreversible cirrhosis or life-threatening liver cancer.

To potentially reverse alcoholic fatty liver disease, the first order of business is to detox from alcohol. For non-alcoholic fatty liver, a fatty liver diet focused on liver health is your best medicine.

What Is the Fatty Liver Diet?

The fatty liver diet, much like any healthy diet, embraces whole foods like fruits and veggies, dietary proteins, and high-fiber foods like legumes (beans) and whole grains. It’s not unlike the Mediterranean diet plan, which prioritizes foods like cold-pressed olive oil and fish over refined vegetable oils and red meat. A quick rundown of foods that can improve fatty liver include:

  • Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and broccoli
  • Tofu and quinoa for low-fat plant protein
  • Fish like tuna, salmon, and trout that are high in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds and walnuts for more omega-3 support and heart health
  • Low-fat dairy for the essential amino acids contained in whey protein
  • Whole grains like oats for the fiber content that aids weight loss and healthy digestion
  • Poultry products like chicken breast and eggs
  • Garlic and garlic powder for helping with body weight loss
  • Avocados, olives, and olive oil for healthy fats and certain phytochemicals that help fight liver damage
  • Beverages like coffee and green tea to help lower abnormal liver enzymes

Chicken Recipes for Fatty Liver: Top 5 Tasty Meals

Chicken Recipes for Fatty Liver: Top 5 Tasty Meals

If you’re looking for chicken recipes and meal plans that can contribute to a healthy liver, here are a few ideas to get you started.

1. Easy Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts

Let’s start with a simple recipe from Olga at What’s In the Pan?: plain chicken breasts with just a few spices for flavoring that you can sauté right on your stovetop. Her recipe calls for  4 chicken breasts, half a cup of flour (try almond or coconut flour instead of refined white flour for optimal health), Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder. That plus a pinch of salt and pepper, and all prepared in just a few tablespoons of rich olive oil. It’s a fried food that won’t damage your health, but instead promotes it.

At a total time of 15 minutes, you can have this clean chicken recipe ready for dinner tonight, and serve healthy food to the whole family.

2. Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl with Broccoli and Tomato

This healthy recipe from Heidi at FoodieCrush combines boneless, skinless chicken with spices including minced garlic, dried oregano, and freshly ground black pepper. Tossed in are fatty liver diet-approved additions like roasted tomatoes, broccoli, and crumbled feta cheese, all in a protein-rich bowl of the pseudocereal quinoa.

You almost couldn’t fit more nutritious whole foods in one bowl: marinate the chicken, simmer the veggies in olive oil, and mix it all together for a powerful, filling meal to fuel your body.

3. Creamy Garlic Chicken

Shelly at Cookies & Cups provides a rich, seemingly decadent, flavorful dish with chicken in a creamy garlic sauce. Seasoned with smashed garlic, garlic powder, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, and topped by a sauce made with chicken broth, heavy cream, mascarpone cheese, and flour for thickening.

Full of healthy ingredients that contribute vital nutrients to your liver, this recipe would make a hardy wintertime dish to serve warm and garnish with parsley.

4. Chicken and Black Bean Salad

Liz at The Lemon Bowl has another nutritionally dense recipe perfect for a fatty liver diet. Shredded chicken is mixed in with dark, leafy greens full of vitamins, beans that are excellent for stabilizing blood sugar levels while you digest, and fresh veggies like cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, and cilantro. Prep your chicken in advance or buy a lean rotisserie from the grocery store so you can prepare this meal in as little time as it takes to prepare the beans and stir your salad bowl. Just add lime juice, garlic, and cumin for zest!

This recipe makes for an excellent portable lunch: food in one container and sauce in the other. Just combine when hungry.

5. Creamy Chicken and Spinach Quesadillas

For those who want to be healthy while saving money, Beth at Budget Bytes has a simple recipe (costs included) for a chicken and spinach quesadilla spiced with cumin, chili, and garlic powder, and held together by melty Monterey jack cheese. With some light sour cream and a healthy tortilla, you can layer together this quick bite to eat without breaking the bank.

Other Supplemental Foods for Fatty Liver

Other dietary supplements you can consume to reduce symptoms of fatty liver and promote detoxification include:

  • Milk thistle: An herbal remedy with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifibrotic (meaning it reduces scar tissue formation) abilities, milk thistle has been used medicinally to help treat chronic liver conditions.
  • Turmeric and black pepper: Turmeric’s active ingredient curcumin has been shown time and again in clinical trials to reduce inflammation throughout the body, including for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Black pepper contains piperine, which helps boost curcumin’s bioavailability and absorption by up to 2,000%.
  • Amino acids: The reason protein foods like chicken, fish, and quinoa are important when recovering liver health is because they contain amino acids, the building blocks of protein and the source for many vital hormones and enzymes needed for detoxification and beyond. Amino acids are necessary for tissue repair.

Just be sure to seek medical advice before adding liver cleansing supplements of any kind, especially if you’re already on prescribed medications.

You’re No Chicken

The most amazing quality of the liver is that it can heal and recover from damage in ways other organs, like your heart and kidneys, cannot. Lifestyle changes and a balanced, whole foods diet can literally cure what ails you, so long as you’re brave enough to make those changes and stick to them.

5 Tips for Mixing Up the Flavor of Your Essential Amino Acid Drink

We’re all for keeping life exciting, so why shouldn’t the essential amino acids you ingest have a little variety? Shaking things up with different flavors and ingredients in your essential amino acid drink is a great way to maintain enthusiasm for your daily supplement routine.

Essential amino acids are not a medicine that you take for a little while until the condition that spurred you to seek them out has been resolved. Rather, they are called essential because we can’t live without a regular intake of these miraculous, protein-building nutrients. It is, therefore, advisable to incorporate essential amino acid supplements into your daily dietary routine.

We’re all for keeping life exciting, so why shouldn’t the essential amino acids you ingest have a little variety? Shaking things up (pun intended) with different flavors and ingredients in your essential amino acid drink is a great way to maintain enthusiasm for your daily supplement routine. Read on for five pieces of expert advice on how to tweak the flavor of your essential amino acid drink.

The Benefits of Essential Amino Acid Drinks

The draw of essential amino acid drinks, for many, has to do with their ability to support muscle mass gains and speed up muscle recovery times. Because of those benefits, it’s common for individuals to schedule their essential amino acid drink consumption around their training sessions. In fact, people often down essential amino acid drink mixes both pre-workout and post-workout because these dietary supplements can improve exercise performance as well as minimize muscle soreness capacity.

The Role of Amino Acids in the Human Body

Amino acids have earned themselves the nickname “the building blocks of protein” due to the crucial role they play in muscle growth. Three specific amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—known as branched-chain amino acids, have an especially significant impact on muscle tissue. But branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and the entire cadre of essential amino acids (EAAs) have numerous benefits that go far beyond helping the human body build muscle and preventing muscle damage.

Take branched-chain amino acids, for example. Leucine—considered the most significant of the BCAAs—initiates muscle protein synthesis. When the rate of protein synthesis outpaces protein breakdown, muscles can recover between workouts and new muscle growth can occur. So, clearly, an adequate intake of leucine is a vital prerequisite for anyone striving to build muscle. However, the branched-chain amino acids also contribute to energy production and even fat loss. There’s evidence, too, that they stabilize balance blood sugar levels and enhance blood sugar metabolism.

To learn more about the overall health benefits of amino acids, check out this article.

Understanding the Link Between Taste and Smell

We all have certain foods or drinks that we love. Some of us scream for chocolate ice cream while others crush on freshly squeezed orange juice. To some degree, these preferences for certain tastes and textures may be innate. Familiarity also plays a role in shaping our palates. Plus, some tastes can be acquired. This process often transpires naturally as we grow older. Children often find strong flavors like liver or blue cheese to be off-putting, but as we age, our tastes mature. Sometimes the very foods you disliked strongly when you were young become favorites in adulthood.

The way we respond to a food’s flavor is informed by its aroma. The smells of foods originate from their chemical components and can be enhanced and even altered with cooking. Interestingly, the individual molecules of food can have a very different smell than the intact food. Whole grains, for instance, contain rich stores of vitamin B yet have a far more appealing aroma than a jar of B vitamins does! This is because food is a mixture of ingredients that are chemically bound together, changing the characteristics of each molecule.

How Does This Relate to Essential Amino Acid Drinks?

Amino acids derived from intact proteins provide a very good example of this phenomenon. High-quality dietary protein sources such as milk or fresh uncooked meat typically give off very little odor. Go ahead, take a whiff…we’ll wait for you…

Once you break that protein down into its constituent amino acids, however, it begins to emit a different and quite distinct aroma, one that may not be considered pleasant by everyone. Free amino acids also have a distinct taste that may include some bitterness depending upon the particular amino acid.

Each amino acid contains nitrogen paired with a unique side chain. For example, methionine and cysteine are two of the sulfurous amino acids, therefore, their side chains contain sulfur. Sulfur has a very strong taste and smell, as anyone who likes hard-boiled eggs can attest to.

The branched-chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which we discussed earlier—get their name from the somewhat large, branched structure of their side chains. This structure makes them hydrophobic, a fancy way of saying they do not mix well in water. So if you are trying to blend pure leucine crystals into a beverage, it’s going to require some shaking!

If you have previously tried a commercially available essential amino acid blend, you may have thought it tasted just fine, or you may have found it to be somewhat bitter. Individuals vary genetically in their sensitivity to bitter tastes and those with strong responses often dislike foods with bitter notes, such as cruciferous vegetables or coffee. Regardless of where you fall on the taste spectrum, there are a number of strategies to enhance the flavor of an amino acid drink.

Expert Advice on Mixing Up the Flavor of Your Essential Amino Acid Drink

The biggest taste issue most individuals run into with amino acid products is finding them to be overly bitter. Fortunately, there are a number of tactics you can try to balance out the innate flavor of essential amino acid drinks so that amino acid supplementation can be an enjoyable part of your day. Here are five tips for turning your essential amino acid drink into a concoction you look forward to.

1. Chill It Out

The temperature of a food or beverage influences the intensity of the flavor. Hot cocoa tastes very chocolatey and sweet, while ice cold milk with the same amount of cocoa tastes a bit bland. Ice cream requires a fair amount of sugar and flavoring for the taste to be intense once it is frozen solid. It follows that if you want to diminish a flavor, you should consume it ice cold. For this reason, amino acid drinks taste best with lots of ice.

2.  Blend It Up

Even the most hydrophobic amino acids are no match for the power of a blender. Simply add your essential amino acid blend, the liquid of your choosing, and plenty of ice.

You can add essential amino acids to your favorite smoothie or slushy recipe, or even treat yourself to a good-for-you virgin margarita, salted rim optional.

3. Pour in Some Sweetness

Balancing components of taste is a common strategy used by food scientists and chefs. If something is bitter, add something sweet and just like that, you’ve offset the bitterness.

Natural fruit juice is one of the healthiest options for sweetening up an essential amino acid drink. Keep in mind that certain flavors are stronger than others. Grape, pomegranate, and cherry juice are very rich in color and have a bold taste that can mask less desirable flavors. Apple juice, on the other hand, is rather neutral and adds just a hint of sweetness.

4. Make It Mouth-Puckering

Adding tart or tangy notes also effectively diminishes a bitter taste. Splashing in some fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice can dramatically change the final taste of an amino acid drink.

Even a small amount of citrus—roughly half a lime or lemon, or a full orange since the flavor is more mild—can temper bitterness.

5. Tweak the Ratios

Most amino acid supplements come pre-flavored, usually with a natural low-calorie or non-calorie sweetener. The manufacturer usually suggests a ratio of powder mix to water but this is by no means a hard and fast requirement. Using different volumes of water, or water and juice combinations, allows you to create a whole spectrum of concentrations. As long as you stick to the recommended serving size, you will get the same effective dose of essential amino acids regardless of the concentration.

For those who find the taste of essential amino acid drinks simply do not agree with your palate, the best strategy could be to mix the powder in a very small volume of water. While this “shot” of essential amino acids will be intensely flavored, it can be consumed in one gulp.

I should note, too, that it’s possible to take some essential amino acid supplements in capsule form. If you would prefer to swallow pills (the dose is usually five or six fairly large capsules), then you can skip the culinary creativity altogether.

Hopefully these tips—which you should feel free to mix and match—will show you that there are endless options you can use to create your favorite essential amino acid drink. The idea is not just to love the benefits of a daily essential amino acid supplement, but also to love the taste of your essential amino acid drink.