Most of us know that eating liver is a good thing to do. We’ve heard rumors that this animal organ comes with benefits, hits many nails at once, and is especially beneficial for women.
I was raised in a suburb near Boston with limited access or exposure to traditional foods. There were definitely no cows grazing by the side of the road. We kept chickens and a garden though and my mother often fried up liver with bacon ‘n onions, which continues to be the only way I can eat liver to this day. That right there is the extent of my experience with liver, that is until I became a responsible, conscientious adult seeking ways to nourish my body 😏
My husband grew up eating lamb liver, cow liver, pig liver, you name it he has had it. Born and raised in Czech, he lived with his grandparents who worked a piece of land and slaughtered their own animals, grew their own food, the whole 9 yards which explains why he’s so familiar with eating these foods.
I raised my own children on traditional foods as I wanted to make this way of eating ‘normal’ in hopes that one day they too will introduce these health-promoting foods to their own children; my grandchildren.
My teenager is increasingly more difficult to feed, yet more open than other kids his age and for that I am grateful. My youngest is completely open. He dives into any kind of liver, fish heads, heart stew, even fried tongue. Really, just about anything that we put in front of him …. unless it’s orange Kraft macaroni and cheese …. he might not know what to do with that one.
The Lost Art of Eating
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I see first-hand how upcoming generations are less savvy, even not willing, to eat liver. This is partly due to the fact that most of the younger generations did not grow up with liver. They weren’t exposed at an age where it became acceptable; nor were most of their parents for that matter. I see this again and again. It’s up to us parents (+ grandparents) to keep liver, and other traditional foods alive if we want ’em passed down to future generations.
If you weren’t raised on liver, then it might be hard to get accustomed to the taste. Not impossible though 🙂 If this is you, then might be a perfect candidate for purchasing a bottle of liver capsules and getting the benefits that way. If you’re reading this, while simultaneously slathering pate on crackers or spearing bacon wrapped livers, then skip this post …. you already have a good dose of liver going in. If you’re on the fence and want to try liver in an easier to take form, then check out how to make your own raw liver pills.
Liver is known to balance hormones, boost energy + libido, and is an excellent source of iron and protein. Liver is one of Nature’s most concentrated sources of vitamin A and contains all the B vitamins your body needs; including folate.
As a woman, I have noticed since eating liver that my menstrual periods are smoother (they come on without any big shift in body or mood). My mood swings have lessened too. I have more color in my cheeks and my iron levels feel normal, which has been a pleasant surprise as I’ve always run on the side of anemic.
Here are more benefits I get from eating liver on a regular basis.
Eating liver is definitely energizing. When I go into a slump during the day, and remember to take liver pills, I can feel a change come on quick. This is likely due to the fact that liver plays a role in building the body’s stores of vitamin K, B12, vitamin A, copper, and folate; vitamins that many of us tend to be deficient in.
How To Eat Liver
Liver pills (homemade/store-bought) go down easiest in my opinion with next to no after-taste. My teenager, who no longer eats straight-up liver, pops liver pills, no problem. My youngest, who is still too young to swallow a pill, still eats liver on a plate so he’s the least of my worries.
What I love about liver pills is that they are 100% liver; no fillers added. They are flavorless and a simple way to get your daily dose of vitamins. Best of all, they are raw, which means they contain enzymes and nutrients in them, making them more easily absorbed and delivered in your body. The hardest part about making your own liver pills (if you decide to do this) is the amount of time it takes to prepare them. Have faith! They are worth the effort. I make a large batch at once so that I don’t have to make them so often. I put on a ‘Ted Talk’, sharpen my knife, and get down to business.
If you, or your child, is weary of eating liver, and you don’t want to make liver pills, then you can always buy liver capsules from Radiant Life or Vital Proteins. Ready-made capsules are certainly the expensive option but if this works best for you, go for it. You might also want to try blending pasture-raised liver with hamburger meat and minced celery, onion, and spices; shape that into burgers, sausages, even meatloaf. This is a lovely way to camouflage liver.
Source pasture-raised liver to avoid the risk of parasites and other pathogens. This is very important. Even better, raise the animal yourself or buy from a local farmer (that you know and trust) and ask them to freeze the liver immediately after slaughtering. DO NOT use conventional supermarket liver.
My Geek On
Liver contains more bio-available nutrients — that are easily absorbed and metabolized by the body — gram for gram than any other food. Did you catch that?? This is why liver is one of the top nutrient-dense foods you can eat. I like to call my liver capsules, tiny powerhouses 💪
Photo credit: Thank you Kimberly Mahurin! (owner of Method of Hope)
Empowered Sustenance (2013). The Easiest Way to Eat Liver. Retrieved at http://empoweredsustenance.com/the-easiest-way-to-eat-liver-no-taste-no-fuss/
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/
Primally Inspired (2013). Frozen Raw Liver Pills. Retrieved at http://www.primallyinspired.com/friday-favorites-frozen-raw-liver-pills/ and Why I Take Liver Pills
Razaitis, L. (2005). Recipes & Lore About Our Most Important Sacred Food. Retrieved at http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/liver-files
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May all bellies be happy!