Liver...the long lost superfood.
Now some of you may be eating liver or grew up eating liver....but I know MANY of you are not eating it and/or have NEVER eaten it. I personally never tried liver until my days in acupuncture school when I found out how beneficial this organ meat was for my health. And I have to admit that I didn't fall immediately in love. Liver has a very "special" taste. One that reminds me of the taste of iron....which totally makes sense. But knowing the health benefits it offers has pushed me to stick with it and use it has a part of my health journey.
Most traditional cultures still have liver (and all the other organ meats) as a stable part of their diet. The reason being that they are not in a position to waste parts of an animal that are usable. Unfortunately the consumption of organ meats has fallen out of favor in the West, which may be a mixed blessing. Liver, kidney, heart and other animal organs from organically raised, grass-fed animals are some of the most nutrient-rich foods you can eat.
Unfortunately, that's not how most food animals are raised these days. In today's world of high calorie/high carbohydrate but low nutrient foods, most people would benefit greatly from adding these superfoods back into their diet.
Gram for gram, liver contains more nutrients than any other food. In fact, liver provides:
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
- All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folate
- A highly usable form of iron
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
- A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
From the perspective of Oriental medicine liver nourishes the blood, is sweet, and nourish the Earth element. Some signs of having liver blood deficiency include symptoms such as: cramps, numbness, dry hair, blurry vision, dry/brittle nails, excessive dreaming, insomnia, scanty periods, palpitations, mild anxiety, poor memory, dizziness, poor appetite, tiredness, or dull pale complexion. Now you don't have to show anemia on a blood panel to be considered blood deficient form a Oriental medicine point of view. Symptoms can be pre-diagnostic. Women tend towards blood deficiency more than men because of menstruation and child birth...but men are not excluded.
So how can you harness the strength of this powerhouse? Start consuming liver once a week. Establish a day of the week that will be "liver day" and commit to making a meal every week that incorporates liver. Using food as medicine, one really needs to be consistent. Eating liver once on the odd occasion will not help your body build back up. Consistency is KEY.
HERE is one of my favorite recipes.
Now if you are still cringing at the thought of liver...maybe you are a recovering vegetarian (totally get it...I have been there) or you just aren't that adventurous with foods....then I highly suggest you try supplementing liver. Not all liver supplements are created equally...remember the liver is the part of the body pulls most of the toxins out so it's really important to get good quality liver. I sell a supplement HERE that is made from pasture raised cow liver from New Zealand. Top notch stuff.
Using food based medicine, along with targeted nutritional supplementation and lifestyle medicine, I’ve helped many individuals succeed in becoming healthy and creating an amazing life.
Click here to learn more about working with Dr. Nancy Crowell or contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss whether or not you are a good fit for the Inside Out program.