Liver. Eat it. Love it. Your body will thank you.
Lynn Razaitis, in her article “The Liver Files” puts it perfectly:So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, 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.
If you have concerns about vitamin A, consider this (also mentioned in the linked article above) to overdose on true vitamin A- not synthetic vitamin A- you would need to eat:
Polar bear or seal liver
Or 100,000 IU per day which would be 2 1/2 100g servings of duck liver or 3, 100g servings of beef liver
The putative toxic dose of 100,000 IU per day is contained in two-and-one-half 100-gram servings of duck liver or about three 100-gram servings of beef liver.
My girls ask for their cod liver every morning and my 3 year old adore paté and will eat breaded liver. You can grated some frozen liver into taco meat, spaghetti sauce, meat loaf, etc to sneak liver into meals without feeling like you are “eating liver…ugh”. I recommend soaking liver in lemon juice or whole milk for a few hours which dilutes the taste. The liver does not store toxins, it filters and neutralizes them. It does however store many vitamins and minerals in concentrations that we couldn’t get from any other food.
Purchasing tips: Quality matters. Beef liver must be from grass fed cows ( organic doesn’t mean grass fed). Chicken livers should be from pastured chickens. You can find calf liver in the store and even feedlot cows start off on grass so calf liver is a safe alternative to grass fed beef liver.
Cook your beef liver in bacon fat or lard as beef liver is high in vitamin A but not vitamin D. Chicken liver is more balanced as is pork liver. As with everything, moderation is key as is switching it up between chicken/pork/beef.
There is a good reason why organ meats were always the prized part of the animal and the lean meats where often left for scavengers. The nutrition is in the organs and the fatty cuts of the animal.
Please email me if you have any questions or would like to know more about what I offer education wise on traditional diets.
Almond flour breaded liver
- Grass fed beef liver soaked in lemon juice for a few hours prior to cooking
- Almond flour spelt flour works as well
- Rosemary garlic powder, unrefined sea salt, red pepper, basil, oregano
- Lard or bacon fat.
- Heat a cast iron skillet
- Mix the herbs and salt with the almond flour and bread the liver. Add the bacon fat or lard to the pan and then add the liver and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until firm. You could slice the liver before breading it as well. Serve with sauteed vegetables or as I did last night with einkorn flour pasta and homemade marinara sauce from my garden last summer and pecorino romano cheese.