Essential benefits of liver
When transitioning to a traditional diet, some changes come easier than others. Switching from using refined sugar to using raw honey/pure maple syrup as a sweetener? Pshaw, no problem. Making bone broth? Couldn’t be easier. Eating more butter and coconut oil? Yep, no problem there!
But liver. Real foodies love their liver, but the gosh-darn stuff is certainly an acquired taste.
Due to the high amounts of bioavailable nutrients in liver, it plays a key role in rebuilding nutritional deficiencies. I knew I just had to get it down!
- Liver is the highest source in nature of bioavailable vitamin A. Contrary to popular belief, we must consume vitamin A from animal sources like liver. The “vitamin A” in vegetables like carrots is carotene, and this must be converted to retinol in our body before we can use it. This conversion rate is extremely poor and virtually insignificant for children and people with health issues including thyroid disorders (source). Because the vitamin A in liver is already retinol, the body can use it.
- The high vitamin A content can help repair severe hormonal damage. In particular, it supports thyroid deficiencies so liver is a must for anyone who is hypothyroid. Vitamin A also plays a key role in liver health and detox.
- Traditional cultures considered liver a sacred food and put great stock in it’s revitalizing properties. In particular, liver was used to promote fertility. It should be consumed on a regular basis by couples trying to conceive.
- Liver contains an unidentified “anti-fatigue factor.” In a famous animal study, liver consumption prevented rats from exhaustion, even after swimming for two straight hours (read more)
- A 2-3 ounce serving of liver should be consumed at least 1-2 times per week (source).
I’ve given it the old college try, but I just cannot eat liver plain. I’m okay with it in homemade pate. I make my pate with copious amounts of butter and caramelized onions, and that does a good job of disguising the “minerally” taste. Often, I’ll grind up a pastured chicken liver and mix it into ground beef to make meatballs. Again, I add lots of heavy seasonings like garlic to mask the liver taste.
But my absolute favorite way to get a healing dose of liver? Liver pills!
Homemade Liver Pills
I swallow a couple of these homemade “pills” with every meal for a no-fuss, no-taste way to get the benefits of liver. Even better, the liver is raw so all the enzymes and nutrients are most potent. Eating cooked liver still provides your body with nutrients, but some delicate vitamins, like certain B vitamins, are decreased by cooking.
Of course, since the liver is raw, make sure you have a fresh source of liver. I buy pastured chicken livers from a local farmer who freezes the liver immediately after butchering his chickens. Liver should only be consumed if it comes from pasture-raised animals. Regular supermarket liver from CFAO animals shouldn’t be eaten!
Desiccated Liver Capsules
What if you don’t want to make these liver pills? Or what if you don’t have access to pastured liver? In that case, I recommend purchasing these desiccated liver capsules.
This brand uses very strict standards for sourcing the grassfed beef liver used in the capsules. And that’s all… it’s just purely beef liver. Gram for gram, desiccated liver contains more valuable nutrients than any other food. Take 2-4 capsules per day.
- Grassfed/pastured liver, thawed if frozen. Use only the highest quality liver.
- Rinse the liver and pat dry. With a sharp knife, carefully cut the liver into pill-sized chunks. Place the pieces, separated, on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Freeze until solid.
- Transfer the frozen "liver pills" into an airtight container and store in the freezer. Freeze for 14 days before eating to kill any pathogens in the liver. Swallow a couple of frozen "liver pills" with every meal.
Do you eat liver on a regular basis? What is your favorite way to eat liver?