Benefits of Liver Consumption
Most of us in the United States have never eaten liver of any kind. And to be honest, culturally speaking, it sounds reviling to the majority of people. The mental block around the idea of consuming organ meats is something that can be very difficult to overcome. To be perfectly honest, I have struggled with this concept myself. Luckily, there are many ways to consume this natural superfood for our health regardless of the squeamish factor it presents.
Organ meats, also known as “offal”, is a traditional food that is very healing and nourishing to our bodies. Liver in particular from the animals we already consume muscle meats from has many positive health benefits, and arguably said to be one of the healthiest things you can consume. The Weston A. Price Foundation is a non-profit organization that has studied the traditional diets of indigenous cultures and tribes from around the world and found that the common link of all their diets for health and vitality was liver. Historically, it has been considered both sacred and a delicacy in these indigenous cultures. While there are many animal source choices, bovine liver is considered one of the best, while chicken liver is a great gateway for new eaters to top off a salad with.
Benefits of Liver Consumption
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, it contains “more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, 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 folic acid
- A highly usable form of iron
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
- 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.
How to Consume Liver
- Buy grass-fed, organic liver and find a recipe that best suites you and your preferences. There’s the classic liver and onions dish, and you can find various animal derived liver options and ways to prepare them. This is very individual and I encourage you to look online for one that sounds best for you. Bovine is considered one of the best sources and most popular.
- Supplement grass-fed, organic bovine liver. There are many great products and companies available that are selling this in capsule form. This is great for convenience and if you just cannot stomach eating liver.
- Cod liver oil. Another alternative that is similar to supplementing with fish oil. This is a great source of vitamin A as well as D.
As always, this is not medical advice, and it is best to consult with your MD, naturopath, or functional medicine doctor to see if any liver supplements are best for you. I believe there is so much to learn from traditional foods and cultures, and many options for optimizing health and vitality. If you’re looking to try something out of your normal comfort zone, I highly encourage you to consider the many benefits of supplementing liver into your diet!