When making the switch to a traditional diet, some adjustments are easier than others. Say goodbye to refined sugar and hello to raw honey or pure maple syrup? No problem! Making bone broth? Piece of cake! Adding more butter and coconut oil to your meals? Easy! But when it comes to liver, well, that’s a whole different story.
Real food enthusiasts may go crazy over liver, but let’s be honest, it’s an acquired taste. Despite that, liver is packed with bioavailable nutrients that are essential for filling any nutritional gaps. So, how can we incorporate it into our diets?
The Power of Liver
Liver is nature’s highest source of bioavailable vitamin A. Contrary to popular belief, we can’t rely solely on vegetables like carrots for vitamin A, as the type they contain (carotene) needs to be converted to retinol in our bodies before it can be put to use. Unfortunately, this conversion process is quite inefficient and doesn’t have a significant effect on children and individuals with thyroid disorders (source). Liver, on the other hand, already contains retinol, which our bodies can readily absorb and utilize.
The high vitamin A content in liver also plays a crucial role in repairing hormonal damage, especially for those with thyroid deficiencies. It is also beneficial for liver health and detoxification.
In traditional cultures, liver was considered a sacred food with revitalizing properties, particularly when it came to promoting fertility. Couples trying to conceive were advised to consume liver regularly.
Additionally, liver contains an unidentified “anti-fatigue factor.” A well-known animal study demonstrated that rats consuming liver were able to swim for two consecutive hours without experiencing exhaustion (read more).
To reap the benefits, it is recommended to consume 2-3 ounces of liver at least 1-2 times per week (source).
Creative Liver Consumption
While some folks can enjoy liver on its own, others need a little help to incorporate it into their meals. Personally, I find liver tolerable when it’s used in homemade pate. Mixing it with ample amounts of butter and caramelized onions effectively masks its “minerally” taste. Another trick I use is grinding up pastured chicken liver and combining it with ground beef to make meatballs. Adding flavorful seasonings like garlic also helps disguise the liver flavor.
However, my absolute favorite way to benefit from liver’s healing properties is by taking liver pills!
Homemade Liver Pills
These homemade “pills” provide a convenient and tasteless solution to incorporate liver into your diet. What’s even better is that these pills are made from raw liver, ensuring that all the enzymes and nutrients are at their most potent. While cooked liver still provides valuable nutrients, certain delicate vitamins, especially certain B vitamins, can be diminished through cooking.
Of course, it’s crucial to have a fresh source of liver when using it raw. I personally purchase pastured chicken livers from a local farmer who freezes them immediately after butchering his chickens. Remember, liver should only be consumed if it comes from pasture-raised animals. Avoid eating regular supermarket liver from conventionally farmed animals.
Desiccated Liver Capsules
If making your own liver pills isn’t your thing or if you don’t have access to pastured liver, don’t worry! There’s an alternative. I recommend trying these desiccated liver capsules.
This brand follows strict standards when sourcing the grass-fed beef liver used in their capsules. The product contains purely beef liver and gram for gram, desiccated liver holds more valuable nutrients than any other food. Simply take 2-4 capsules per day.
Do you incorporate liver into your diet regularly? If so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy it?