Liver is a super food, it is chock full of nutrients. Liver has been valued as a sacred food by many indigenous peoples. Some found it so sacred that it was not allowed to be touched by hand. Others only ate it raw.
Liver has been and still is a very important food to eat. It is chock full of nutrients, essential nutrients, nutrients that a lot of people are deficient on these days. You (great) grandmother was right with feeding her children liver once a week.
As a young child I remember eating liver. My mother would make it once a week. She had different ways of making it, sometimes in a soup, sometimes just fried or so. It was always tasty. I still love liver, though not plain fried. At some point this stopped. She told us liver was unhealthy, so we didn't get my favourite chicken soup anymore. Decades later I still remember this soup. Only recently have I found a recipe that resembles it.
Liver from animals raised in their natural way is chock full of nutrients. It contains the vitamins A, all of B, D3 and K2. It is especially high in B9 (folate) and B12. The combination of the vitamins is in a very well balanced way, so that your body has it the way it needs it.
It contains the minerals iron, copper, zinc, chromium, phosphorous and selenium. Over the years I have learned that many people have a low intake of phosphorous and selenium, liver can solve that.
It also contains the essential fatty acids EPA, DHA and AA. We really do need those from our food. Our body cannot make those itself.
And then to make it even better liver contains CoQ10, the nutrient that is needed for heart health.
The studies that have shown vitamin A toxicity have been done either synthetic vitamin A which is a different ballgame. The anecdotal stories of vitamin A toxicity is from the North Pole area. The livers of Polarbears and Walrus are very high in vitamin A, that is why the Inuit will not eat those. They know. We would not eat those. The livers of the animals that we would eat are perfectly safe. These days many people are very low or deficient on the nutrients from liver. It is high time we add it back into our diets.
When a woman wants to become pregnant it is a good idea to make sure that the nutritional stores are filled to the brim. That way mother has enough to nourish her growing baby. Her baby will need a lot of nutrients to optimally grow. These nutrients do not come falling out of thin air. They have to come from food. So it is of the utmost importance to make sure that, before you get pregnant, you start about 6 months to a year before you get pregnant to build up your health and nutritional stores.
My communities of old did this. In many tribal communities men and women would be fed a diet in which the sacred super foods were abundantly fed to those who were a year or so before having children. The people would to go great lengths to get those foods, they would be transported over long distances. Some people would use fish eggs, others liver and such. Every healthy traditional community had scared super foods. Every community with healthy people would make sure that men and especially women of childbearing age would have access to those type of foods. They wanted to ensure a healthy next generation. Liver is one of those super foods that have always been used in the western world.
During pregnancy women need a lot more nutrients than they would normally use. The nutrients get used up much faster as the growing baby needs a lot of them to be able to develop fully and healthy. The human blueprint is amazing, but with a lack of nutrients not every part of it will develop fully. Our children deserve to be able to develop to their full potential, therefore it is crucial to make sure that as a mother you have a multitude of nutrients in your diet and that you keep replenishing them. Your child needs them, you need them. Therefore liver is the best super food you can eat, it is chock full of nutrients.
To be able to feed your baby the best food possible it is important to have the best diet possible. This includes eating foods high in nutrients. In time gone by people would make sure that women of childbearing age would get the best foods possible. These days we do not think about all of that anymore. The western diet is quite devoid of nutrients. But for a mother to stay healthy and feed her baby a healthy food it is crucial to get all these nutrients out of her food. The standard diet that is prescribed these days is lack tremendously. This can cause mothers to end up with health issues. Once a baby is born the milk is the first thing that gets the nutrients as this baby needs all these nutrients to grow up to be a healthy person. So this will go from the mothers body. But this is not a healthy thing. Mothers can end up with chronic disease because of that. And when it continues to go on this way that mother is lacking in nutrients, the milk will suffer, which will cause the baby to suffer.
So for all involved it is very important to eat a nutrient dense diet. In the olden days liver was one part of those foods that were use to keep mothers and babies healthy. Above you can see the amount of nutrients. It is really a super food.
There are many, many recipes to be found online, in old cookbooks and just by asking your grandmother. She will know. Liver can be made so very tasty.
Here I will share a few ways in which I have made liver dishes. They are more like guidelines as it depends on how much liver you have.
I prefer using Duck and Chicken liver as they are quite mild in flavour, though I will eat any type of liver as I just love liver.
With this we caramelise onions in butter, usually 4 large ones, sometimes more. After that we fry the liver in butter in such a way that it isn't fully cooked through as that makes it dry. A bit rose on the inside is really nice and soft.
With onions in cream & wine sauce.
First we caramelise the onions in butter, usually 4 large ones.
Then we fry the liver in butter and once the outside it fries a bit we add some Madeira red wine (any other red wine will do) and cream. This we cook in a little while the liver cooks a bit more. And done.
This is very easy, fry some liver in butter with some onions. Once cooked rose let it cool down. Once you can touch it, put it with the onions, some cream, some salt & pepper and other spices to taste and put it in the kitchen machine until you have a smooth consistency.
Some fried lardons are really nice in it as well.
Add spices to taste and eat on sourdough crackers, sourdough toast or something like that.
In case you really cannot fathom the idea of eating liver, you can use desiccated liver capsules. You only need about a tablespoon a day to get the right amount of nutrients. This means about 2 capsules, nothing too scary I think.
Here you can see how we make our own capsules for the family members that prefer that over eating liver: ******insert*****
There seems to be a common recommendation for women not to eat liver, pate or such while pregnant because of vitamin A toxicity. The problem with that recommendation is that this is based on exactly one study, which has not been reproduced after. Therefore it is a myth.
Other studies show that it requires awfully high levels before it can cause toxicity. What other studies also have shown is that low levels of vitamin A are the cause of a whole host of birth defects.
The point at which vitamin A can become a problem is at a level of over 40.000 IU per day. That is a huge amount and really not easy to get from food sources at all. Below the level of 40.000 IU research shows that it either has no risk effect or it decreases birth defects. That is very important information, yet I have not seen any midwife or other health care professional say or write that.
When you look at the amount of vitamin A that you find in a normal portion of liver, which is about 2 ounces or 4 tablespoons, this range is between 6.000-20.000 IU. This highly depends on which type of liver you use, but it is well under the 40.000IU, which ever type you use.
That means that there really isn't any safety issue with eating liver.
Liver a superfood!
Will you add liver to your diet and that of your children?
Let me know how you will add liver to your diet!
For more information, please read this very well researched article and follow the links to the studies referenced:
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