Women have been eating liver for thousands of years for its revitalizing properties (i.e. replacing iron lost in menstruation, balancing hormones, boosting libido). Traditionally, liver, and other organs, were reserved for women during the childbearing years to promote fertility.
As a Holistic Nutritionist, I consider liver to be the #1 food (right next to fermented cod liver oil) for all women; but especially those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Women, at all stages of life, seem to need a constant building up of the vitamins and minerals found in liver.
Liver has many benefits; including helping us to make new red blood cells that keep our energy levels up (and libido!). Liver is one of the best sources of iron and absorbs into the body more easily than plant sources of iron.
If you are menstruating or planning to give birth then liver is a real “booster” during such times of blood loss. If you’re prone to anemia, liver is a great resource.
My own experience since starting to eat liver, is that I no longer get dizzy right before menstruation (or during) 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!
Do you avoid liver for fear of getting too much Vitamin A? Read 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 can help women to repair and balance hormonal issues and thyroid issues. Vitamin A also plays a role in keeping our liver 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 to take liver capsules that are homemade or store-bought from Radiant Life. Either way, source your liver from pasture-raised cows, chickens, or lamb and make sure it does not contain any fillers. I also like these liver capsules. You can see here for how my family eats liver.
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.
Photo credit: Kimberly Mahurin, Method of Hope
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 “Primally 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 Our Most Important Sacred Food. Retrieved at http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/liver-files
Disclaimer: Content on this site in the form of opinions, ideas, recipes, and dietary advice are provided for general information only; primarily educational in nature; and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your health care professional that you, the reader, may require for any cause whatsoever, now or in future. Always consult your doctor regarding any health issue that you have and keep him or her informed as to the opinions, ideas, recipes, and dietary advice offered on this site that you find useful.
May all bellies be happy!