I know, I’m weird. Liver makes me drool. Am I the only one? Please tell me if you’re in the same boat as me. Does the very moment someone mentions liver make you salivate like a dog with rabies? Please tell me, yes!? If so, we’re long lost best friends.
If you’re not a liver fan, I’m about to do my best to change that. If you’ve never tried liver before, I am going to tell you why it is something that should be a regular part of your diet.
- Gram for gram, liver contains more nutrients than any other food in the world.
- Liver is one of the most concentrated food sources of vitamin A.
- In addition to vitamin A, liver also contains the other fat soluble vitamins, D, E, and K.
- Liver (and other organs meats) have some of the highest concentrations of vitamin D of any other food source.
- Liver is abundant in all of the B vitamins, especially vitamin B12.
- Liver is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc, and manganese.
- Liver contains high amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.
- Liver is an excellent source of high quality protein.
- Liver (and other organ meats) are usually very inexpensive, even from grass-fed/pasture raised/organic animals.
One of my favourite things about liver, besides it’s delicious flavour and appealing texture, is the fact that it contains high concentrations of the nutrients important for overcoming mental health issues, particularly depression.
- B vitamins, particularly 1, 2, folate, and 12, have been associated with depression when a deficiency is present. (1)
- There is evidence that vitamin D deficiencies are associated with mental illness. (2)
- Studies indicate that vitamin D improves mental illness. (3)
- Magnesium deficiency can result in depression and anxiety as well as other mental health disturbances such as personality changes, apathy, and irritability. (4)
- Zinc deficiency can result in depression and mental confusion. Lower zinc levels have been correlated with higher depression severity. (5)
A common concern many people have in regards to consuming liver is whether or not it contains toxins. Although the liver’s function is to neutralize toxins from the body, it is important to know that the liver does not store toxins. Rather, it stores all of the nutrients I mentioned above. Toxins are usually found within fatty tissues and the nervous system.
When purchasing liver, I highly recommend finding a quality source. Search for animals that have been grass fed or pasture raised. Choosing liver from high quality sources, will provide you with a liver that is higher in nutrients than a liver from a conventionally raised animal.
As I said, I love liver so much that I could literally eat it every single day, probably for every meal. I’m drooling just thinking about that, but since it is such a concentrated source of vitamin A, a good recommendation is to consume approximately 4 oz. of beef, lamb, or bison liver 1 – 2 times per week. Chicken liver can be consumed more frequently as it is lower in vitamin A, but still an incredible source.
When it comes to preparing liver, since I love it so much, I normally don’t do anything fancy. My favourite way to prepare it is in a hot skillet with ghee and a bit of sea salt. However, I realize I’m not like most people and the majority of the population will require recipes that make the liver a little more palatable or even *gasp* hide the liver. I’m in the process of creating some of my own liver recipes to share with you, but, until then, here are some great liver recipes from some of my favourite people:
Garlic Fried Chicken Livers by Grazed and Enthused
50/50/50 Burgers by The Paleo Mom
Liver Pate by The Paleo Mom
Turkish (Hidden Liver) Meatballs by The Paleo Mom
Egg-Free, Tomato-Free (Hidden Liver) Paleo Meatloaf by The Paleo Mom
Chopped Chicken Livers by Well Fed
Beef Liver with Parsley-Onions, and Lemon by Well Fed
Crispy Spiced Chicken Livers by Well Fed
Aromatic Chicken Livers by Well Fed