Did you know liver gram for gram is one of the most nutrient dense foods humans can eat? Liver contains something scientists call the “anti-fatigue factor.“ Scientists named it this but have not been able to pinpoint what it is specifically in liver that prevents exhaustion.
Either way it is like taking an extreme energy pill but all natural. Liver is high in B vitamins, contains a highly usable form of iron, has natures most concentrated source of vitamin A, is our best source of copper and other trace elements such as zinc and chromium, is abundant in CoQ10 which is a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function.
Its Natures Multivitamin!
“A popular objection to eating liver is the belief that the liver is a storage organ for toxins in the body. While it is true that one of the liver’s role is to neutralize toxins (such as drugs, chemical agents and poisons), it does not store these toxins. Toxins the body cannot eliminate are likely to accumulate in the body’s fatty tissues and nervous systems. On the other hand, the liver is a is a storage organ for many important nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron). These nutrients provide the body with some of the tools it needs to get rid of toxins.” – Chris Kressner http://chriskresser.com/natures-most-potent-superfood
Most important is to be sure you are eating liver from animals that have been raised on fresh pasture (grass-fed) without hormones, antibiotics or commercial feed. Pasture-raised animal products are much higher in nutrients than animal products that come from CAFO’s (confined animal feeding operations).
Keep in mind : Liver is a concentrated source of Vitamin A so to avoid toxicity limit your liver portions to 200g per week.
A side note for Athletes: Liver maybe just what you need to add to your diet to go the extra mile!
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation “The anti-fatigue factor of liver was described by Benjamin K. Ershoff, PhD, in a July 1951 article published in the Proceedings for the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
Ershoff divided laboratory rats into three groups.
- The first ate a basic diet, fortified with 11 vitamins.
- The second ate the same diet, along with an additional supply of vitamin B complex.
- The third ate the original diet, but instead of vitamin B complex received 10 percent of rations as powdered liver.”
A 1975 article published in Prevention magazine described the experiment as follows: “After several weeks, the animals were placed one by one into a drum of cold water from which they could not climb out. They literally were forced to sink or swim. Rats in the first group swam for an average 13.3 minutes before giving up. The second group, which had the added fortifications of B vitamins, swam for an average of 13.4 minutes. Of the last group of rats, THE ONES RECIEVING THE LIVER three swam for 63, 83 and 87 minutes. The other nine rats in this group were still swimming vigorously at the end of two hours when the test was terminated.
Something in the liver had prevented them from becoming exhausted.
To this day scientists have not been able to pin a label on this anti-fatigue factor. http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/liver-files
For me the taste of liver is strong so I “hide” it in ground beef. Here is how I do it…. I use livers from organic pastured soy-free chickens (the taste is a little bit more palatable to me than beef). Next I puree, saute’ in ghee/coconut oil, then mix in with ground grass fed beef. You would never know it mixes in so well!