Worst And Best Foods For Jaundice Patients

By Medical Expert Team

Nov 11 , 2022 | 5 min read


Jaundice is caused by the excessive buildup of bilirubin (a yellow pigment) in the blood. When the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) break down, it releases bilirubin. An excessive amount of this pigment causes skin, gums, and eyes to turn yellow.

Furthermore, jaundice is caused by liver failure or other underlying liver diseases as it is the liver that is in control of filtering out bilirubin from the blood. This disease primarily affects adults, young children, and newborns. If the level of bilirubin is 2.5 to 3 milligrams per deciliter or higher, then the symptoms of jaundice are stronger and more visible.

People suffering from this disease must strictly follow a jaundice diet and eat food suitable for jaundice patients. As the food you eat and drink directly impacts liver function, jaundice patients must consume jaundice treatment food.

How Does Diet Play an Important Role in Jaundice Recovery?

Our liver processes the food we eat and drink and turns them into energy; therefore, our diet plays a prime role in preventing and recovering from jaundice. Furthermore, the liver is responsible for removing toxins and clearing damaged and old blood cells from the body. When this normal functioning of the liver is disrupted, it causes the build-up of the bi-product bilirubin, which finally results in jaundice.

Therefore, healthy food and a proper diet for jaundice patients are a must to combat the disease. Eating according to the jaundice diet chart will help your liver function efficiently and remove toxins from the body, thereby reducing the risk of any further episodes of jaundice.

What to Eat During Jaundice

Best foods for jaundice patients for fast recovery include

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh veggies and fruits are loaded with fiber and antioxidants that aid the digestion process and lessen the chances of liver damage. Fruit and vegetable that primarily benefits the liver are citrus fruits (grapefruits, limes, and lemons), cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli), tomatoes, avocados, olives, melons, papayas, turnips, beets, grapes, blueberries, spinach, ginger, and garlic.

Coffee and Herbal Tea

Along with caffeine, both herbal teas and coffee contain high levels of antioxidants, which boost digestion and clear toxins from the system. Moderate coffee consumption is known to reduce inflammation, harmful liver enzymes, and the risk of liver cirrhosis.

Whole Grains

From healthy fats, fiber, and minerals to antioxidants, whole grain foods possess several liver-friendly nutrients. For instance, oats rich in beta-glucan improve liver function within 12 weeks of regular consumption.

Nuts and Legumes

Plant-based proteins like nuts and legumes (which include peas, lentils, horse gram, kidney, and other beans) are liver-friendly food. They are rich in vitamin E, phenolic acid, fiber, and healthy fats; therefore, these foods for  jaundice treatment are highly beneficial as they enhance recovery.

Lean Proteins

Tofu, fish, and legumes are a few examples of lean proteins that do not stress the liver. Oily fish varieties (like salmon and mackerel) are among the best jaundice foods to eat as they contain zinc and omega-3, which helps in better metabolism.


Water eases the digestion process and helps the kidneys - along with the liver - in flushing out toxins. Therefore, drinking enough water is the best way to combat jaundice.

Worst Food for Jaundice Patients


Alcohol is toxic and harmful to the liver. It also causes damage to several internal bodily tissues. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to liver fibrosis, chronic inflammation, and reduced liver function. If you are diagnosed with jaundice, you must avoid alcohol altogether.

Refined Carbohydrates

Foods like white bread, pasta, soda, and baked goods have enormous amounts of refined sugar. Unwarranted refined sugar and carb can impair liver function, lead to obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Packaged, Smoked, and Canned Foods

Packed with high levels of preservatives, and canned and smoked foods to avoid jaundice. For example, canned vegetables and deli meats contain excessive salt, which can dehydrate the body, put more stress on the liver, and make digestion difficult. Therefore, you must avoid packaged food that has 1.5 grams of salt per 100 g or 0.6 grams of sodium level as they are considered high in salt.

Saturated and Trans Fats

A jaundice diet rules out saturated and trans fat as they increase insulin resistance. Insulin regulates blood sugar and helps in the digestion of sugar. An unchecked consumption of saturated and trans fat is linked to both obesity and malnutrition, which causes risks to the liver. It is recommended that diabetic patients should limit the use of oily, fried, and fast foods. Some dairy products too contain excessive saturated fat, including whole milk, cheese, full-fat yogurts, and cheese, and should be avoided.

Shellfish, Raw or Undercooked Fish

Shellfish, undercooked or raw fish, may contain bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other toxins that can infect and damage the digestive organs, including the liver.

Beef and Pork

Beef and pork contain fats and animal amino acids that cannot be easily digested by a damaged liver. Moreover, these foods exert a lot of strain on the liver and thus fall under the jaundice foods that must be avoided category.

Tips and Tricks to Stay Healthy During Jaundice

Along with medicines and other medical treatments, jaundice patients must focus on jaundice treatment food options and a healthy diet. Certain dietary measures can boost liver health, improve metabolism, and strengthen the digestive system.

You can make your jaundice diet chart and maintain a food diary to note what you eat, when, and how much. These will help ascertain your trigger symptoms and rule out jaundice food to avoid.

Follow the Below-given Tips and Tricks to Stay Healthy

1. Eat Smaller Meals

For improved digestion and metabolism, refrain from eating large meals. Split your food intake into frequent smaller meals.

2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is the best way to help the liver fight jaundice. Water eases digestion and assists the liver in flushing out toxins.

3. Avoid Sugar

Refined sugar builds up fat in your liver, thus limiting your sugar intake. For fast recovery from jaundice, switch to sugar-less tea and coffee. Opt for natural sweeteners to satisfy your sweet cravings.

4. Look for Healthy Substitutes

While it is not advisable to consume milk products in jaundice, you can look at substituting whole milk with low-fat milk. Salt and sodium intake can be curbed by using different flavourings, including lemon, lime, or spices.

5. Cut Back on Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages stress and damage the liver. You must avoid alcohol until your jaundice is treated; even after your health gets better, you practice moderation. You can choose to consume low-calorie mocktails to satiate the urge for alcohol.


Jaundice remains in the body until the bilirubin buildup is cleared out from the system. While a healthy diet for jaundice patients remains integral to treating this disease, effective medications are needed to prevent its recurrence.

Written and Verified by:

Medical Expert Team

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