Women have eaten liver for 1,000s of years because of its revitalizing properties. Liver is fantastic at replacing iron lost in menstruation, balancing hormones, and boosting libido. Traditionally, liver and other organs were reserved for women during the childbearing years to promote fertility and healthy babies.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I consider liver to be a #1 food next to fermented cod liver oil; especially for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. We women, at all stages of life, need a constant building up of vitamins and minerals found in liver.
Liver has many benefits; including making new red blood cells that keep our energy levels up (and libido!). Liver is one of the best iron sources and absorbs into body more easily than plant sources of iron.
If you are menstruating or planning to give birth then liver is a real “booster” during times of blood loss. Prone to anemia? Eat liver!
My own experience with liver, is now that I eat it consistently, I no longer get dizzy when I menstruate and I bounce back more quickly once done. Eating red meat during menstruation definitely helps but taking liver pills is what stopped me from feeling anemic around my period; something I never thought would go away.
If you avoid liver for fear of getting too much Vitamin A, then check out this article on Vitamin A Saga.
Liver is the highest source of vitamin A.
Contrary to popular belief, we must consume vitamin A from animal sources like liver because vitamin A in vegetables, like carrots, comes in the form of carotene which must be converted into retinol in our body before we can use it. This conversion rate is poor in most of us and almost insignificant in kids/adults with compromised health.
The vitamin A in liver is already in retinol form, so our body uses it easily (a.k.a. bio-available). Liver has a high vitamin A content and this helps regulate and balance hormones and thyroid. Vitamin A also keeps our liver (the one inside!) healthy in its ability to detox properly.
Liver keeps your brain and body healthy
Liver is extremely rich in nutrients that keep our brain and body in good health; including essential fats (EPA/DHA), copper, vitamin A, iron, folate, and B vitamins. Liver is particularly good for those with nervous system disorders.
- Contains unidentified “anti-fatigue factor” (famous animal study)
- Excellent source of protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
- Abundance of B vitamins, esp. B12
- Best source of folate (natural form of folic acid)
- Bio-available form of iron
- Rich in trace elements (i.e. copper, zinc, chromium)
- CoQ10 for cardio-vascular function
- Relieves PMS and mood swings
- Cardiovascular stamina
Ways To Take Liver
I like homemade liver capsules or store-bought from Radiant Life. Either way, source liver from pastured cows, chickens, or lamb and make sure it does not contain any fillers. I also like these liver capsules.
If you don’t have access to local, pastured liver:
- Local Harvest – just enter your zipcode and find local farmers.
- Weston A Price Foundation – get in touch with local chapters in your area for local, sustainable food resources.
- White Oak Pastures is an online source for pastured liver.
What about cooked liver?
Liver is one of the best things to eat …. cooked or raw. Eating it in the raw form has an advantage because of all the enzymes they contain. Cooking will destroy these enzymes, but you still get many of the nutrients (except for the delicate B vitamins which get decreased during cooking). Here is a recipe for cooking liver.
Cristina with “The Organic Wife” (2013). DIY Liver Capsules. Retrieved at www.anorganicwife.com
Lauren with “Empowered Sustenance” (2013). The Easiest Way to Eat Liver. Retrieved at http://empoweredsustenance.com/the-easiest-way-to-eat-liver-no-taste-no-fuss/
Kelly with “Primal Inspired”(2013). Frozen Raw Liver Pills. Retrieved at http://www.primallyinspired.com/friday-favorites-frozen-raw-liver-pills/
Sarah with “The Healthy Home Economist” (2013). Exhausted? This Superfood Can Get You Off the Couch! Retrieved at http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/exhausted-this-superfood-can-get-you-off-the-couch/
Razaitis, L. (2005). Recipes & Lore About Important Sacred Food. Retrieved at http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/liver-files
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May all bellies be happy!